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Sequel’s Book Nook: It Waits in the Woods by Josh Malerman A Review


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Josh Malerman, renowned for his gripping novel Bird Box, delivers another spine-chilling tale in It Waits in the Woods, the third installment in the Creature Feature series. This short story weaves together elements of urban legend, personal tragedy, and supernatural horror, all set against the eerie backdrop of a dense Michigan forest.


it waits in the woods book cover

The narrative follows Brenda Jennings, a young woman haunted by the disappearance of her sister three years prior. The setting is masterfully crafted, with the Michigan forest emerging as a character in its own right—dense, dark, and filled with unsettling sounds that set the reader's nerves on edge. Malerman’s prose brings the forest to life, making the reader feel the weight of the trees and the chill of the night air.


Brenda’s quest for answers takes her on a solo journey into these ominous woods, where the legend of haunting wails and the clip-clop of demon hooves on a bridge to nowhere lingers. Malerman excels in building suspense, gradually revealing the layers of fear and determination that drive Brenda. Her journey is not just a physical one but an emotional and psychological odyssey, as she grapples with her desperation and terror.


The strength of It Waits in the Woods lies in Malerman's ability to blend the supernatural with raw human emotion. The story delves deep into themes of loss, obsession, and the lengths one will go to for family. Brenda’s fear is palpable, and her bravery is commendable, making her a protagonist the reader can root for.


The pacing of the story is well-executed, with each page heightening the tension and drawing the reader deeper into the mystery of the woods. The climax, when it arrives, is both surprising and satisfying, tying together the strands of the urban legend with Brenda's personal saga.


For fans of Malerman’s previous works, It Waits in the Woods offers the same intensity and chilling atmosphere that made Bird Box a bestseller. New readers will find it a gripping introduction to his style, with its perfect blend of horror and heartfelt storytelling.


In conclusion, It Waits in the Woods is a hauntingly beautiful short story that lingers long after the last page is turned. Malerman has once again proven his mastery of the horror genre, delivering a tale that is as emotionally resonant as it is terrifying. This book is a must-read for anyone who enjoys a good scare, coupled with a poignant exploration of the human condition.

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