The Haunting of Cabin Green
Written by: April A. Taylor
Reviewed by: Joe Bones
Genre: Horror / Suspense
The Haunting of Cabin Green is a very surprising novel that offers more than the dust jacket leads one to expect. I always go into anything described as ‘modern Gothic’ fiction with quite a bit of skepticism. Oftentimes, novels and films bearing this description have a few Gothic elements, such as a spooky castle or elements of romance. Yet they devolve into either generic horror or a different horror genre entirely, such as a haunting theme or creature feature. That was not the case for The Haunting of Cabin Green, as it is truly an example of Gothic horror set in our modern world.
My favorite thing about this novel is that the Gothic elements and tension start out at almost mundane levels before slowly ratcheting up to a terrifying peak. This novel offers a different take on the romantic element needed for a story to qualify as Gothic fiction. The cabin isn’t as creepy as it could be, but the supernatural element certainly is. The hauntings featured in this novel are unique and chilling. Author April A. Taylor does a tremendous job of keeping the reader guessing by inserting strange visions, precedence for potential mental health issues, red herrings, and palatable emotion into the protagonist’s history and experiences in the cabin.
The journey to the story’s climax gets pretty bleak. Normally upon nearing the end of a horror book, I am enlivened to reach the ending. With Cabin Green, I was actually anxious, almost nervous, to reach the conclusion. I urged myself to read more quickly so that I could reach the literary climax, not just because I wanted to know how things would turn out, but also just so I could relax. This speaks volumes about the tension and suspense Taylor achieves in this novel. Much like riding a roller coaster, once I was over the peak, my anxiety melted away and I was filled with relief and exhilaration.
This novel isn’t for everyone, even possibly some fans of horror fiction. It’s filled with as much despair and desolation as it is with horror. There are also several graphic depictions of sex that might turn some readers away. But for those who can steel their reserve and make it to the end, The Haunting of Cabin Green is very much worth the read. It is a great work of Gothic horror and one of the most suspenseful thrillers I’ve read this year.