Black Forest by Laramie Dean _ Book Review

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Nathan has always been haunted by what he calls “deaders,” frightening, disfigured creatures—once human but now hungry and relentless ghosts. After a séance to banish them goes awry, Nathan escapes high school to start over at Waxman University in idyllic Garden City, Montana. But when young men begin to go missing from campus, Nathan finds that the deaders have returned, more frightening and hungrier than ever.

With the help of the mysterious Theo, Nathan seeks to learn the truth behind the disappearances. But something worse than the deaders begins to haunt Nathan . . . something with glowing yellow eyes and giant wings. As reality grows thin, things emerge from the cracks. Is Theo what he seems? Or could he be some kind of monster? Will Nathan learn the truth before he vanishes into the darkness?

[[I received a copy from PrideBookTours for an honest review]

He can keep me safe, he told himself at night. Whoever he is, or will be, he will keep them at bay.

Black Forest is a Queer horror by Laramie Dean. About a young man who see and speaks to ghosts, but doesn’t know how or why. The story follows him as he tries to understand and find his place in a world, a world where he finds his perfect boy and feels loved.

I really don’t know where to start with this. Did I enjoy it ? I think I did, yes definitely at times. All the characters, even our main character Nathan, whose POV is frequently unreliable. I think that’s one of the things I liked about it, the fact that no one was blatantly good and everyone was a little bit dark in their own ways. I found the “deaders” and ghost creepy and chilling, their descriptions well done.

The story is broken into 4 parts and the writing is wordy, and it does drag at times, especially in part 2. Part two seemed quite unnecessary and didn’t add much to the story. My favorite part was probably Nathan’s last year of high school even though the time jumps in it were unneeded, I’m a big fan of telling a story linearly. The story as a whole lost me in the middle and by the time I was invested again, Nathan didn’t know what around him was reality or not. It’s trippy the way he sees something happening or does something or says something but then realizes it never occurred.

They want to eat me up, he thought distinctly. Until there’s nothing. Until I break apart and dissolve and there isn’t any Nathan. Until there’s nothing left.

In the end, I was left satisfied..I the way the story ended. However, I can see why this might not work for a lot of people. It had great potential that wasn’t fully reached.

TW/CW: oh goodness there’s a lot so sorry if I can’t remember them all…violence, death, attempted sexual assault, homophobic slurs, alcohol, oral sex

—Written by Amanda—

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