Glimmers in the Ravine

Fiction - Horror
273 Pages
Reviewed on 12/07/2021
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Stanton Polk lives in North Carolina, and he is always coming up with crazy new ideas for stories that he wants to share with the world.

At the moment, Polk is captivated with the subgenre of cosmic horror, and wants to write many more creative and terrifying novels that expand on the dreadfully humbling themes inherent to the subgenre.

If you want to keep up with the latest developments on his novels, and/or you are an individual of refined taste and sophistication, you should consider following @stanton_polk on Twitter.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Vincent Dublado for Readers' Favorite

Glimmers in the Ravine by Stanton Polk is a fine example of cosmic terror that will push you into a nightmarish scenario, make you question reality, and challenge your sanity. Archaeology student Jules Romero is in need of a job to sustain his school tuition and joins a crew of freelance surveyors for a mining corporation. Romero is highly suitable for the job, as he knows more about historical territories and geographical details than most of the members of the team. They discover a mysterious ancient city beneath the mountain, and as they continue to venture deeper underground, a horrifying malady begins to afflict them. It is not only an ancient city that they will discover, but an ancient creature that is older than anything, and the odds of humanity winning over it are completely hopeless.

Glimmers in the Ravine has a strong Lovecraftian feel to it, and I love it. Stanton Polk doesn’t rely on cheap scares. He focuses on the unknown and takes the opportunity to bring out people’s fear of things that they don’t understand. His writing has the pristine tone that you will also find in the works of Stephen King and Dean Koontz, with an attention to sensory details that make you feel as if you’re part of the surveying crew and that sooner or later, you will also succumb to insanity. The effectiveness of Polk’s story is that it effectively conjures up an atmosphere of dread. The dilemma of his characters losing their sanity plays a large role, as it establishes a strong psychological aspect in the plot that is rarely present in many horror stories. The behavioral descriptions of dread create a credible atmosphere of descent into madness. This is a powerful story in the horror genre, and I highly recommend it. It not only scares you, but it also makes you think and gives you the unsettling sensation that some things are inescapable.

JC Minnaar

In Glimmers in the Ravine by Stanton Polk, Jules Romero is a bright-eyed student excited to be part of an expedition into an old civilization’s settlement. The expedition team soon uncovers underground ruins and sets out to explore to their hearts' content. Jules uses his knowledge in the fields of history and anthropology to slowly piece together what happened to such a sophisticated civilization that seemingly died out unexpectedly and tried to hide their ancient city from the outside world. Things take a turn for the worse when fellow crewmembers suddenly become increasingly deranged and exhibit aggressive behavior. What secrets lie within the ruins, why are the crewmembers behaving so strangely, and can Jules figure out what happened to the civilization underneath the Lonesome Bluff?

I was hit with a wave of nostalgia reading Stanton Polk’s Glimmers in the Ravine and reminded of movies like Predator, Alien, and Friday the 13th. Stanton Polk nails the setup of an expedition crew walking into a situation they are horribly ill-prepared for and wonderfully creates a detailed history and culture for the people of the Lonesome Bluff. Jules and his crew are well-written characters with extremely relatable struggles and ambitions. The atmosphere created throughout Glimmers in the Ravine left me in suspense and eagerly awaiting the emergence of what lives in the darkness and why it was covered up. I very much enjoyed the cosmic horror twist at the end. Stanton Polk’s Glimmers in the Ravine is a suspenseful horror story that serves as a great reminder to sometimes let sleeping dogs lie.

Pikasho Deka

Glimmers in the Ravine is a sci-fi horror novel written by Stanton Polk. Archaeology student Jules Romero is excited when he is hired to accompany an excavation team of contractors working under a mining corporation to dig beneath the Lonesome Bluff, an inselberg in northern New Mexico. While delving under the surface, the crew discovers the remnants of an ancient lost city, leading to a few confrontations between people with vastly different agendas. However, chaos erupts when the crew members start hallucinating, eventually losing their minds one by one. As Jules and Harper, the crew's mineral analyst, start investigating, they discover something that spells disaster for the entire mission. Although his colleagues give in to madness, Jules must find a way to stop the operation as the planet itself is in danger.

Author Stanton Polk's hair-raising horror novel feels like a cross between the hit movie franchises Alien and Annihilation. A fast-moving plot, compelling characters, thrills, suspense, and plenty of gore make Glimmers in the Ravine a riveting read that you will find hard to put down. The twists and turns of the plot, alongside the reveals, are utterly unexpected as they keep your eyes glued to the pages. Polk has a way of building up tension and intrigue, and he uses those scenes masterfully to create an atmosphere filled with dread that culminates in a horrifying outcome. Every character has an agency of their own, but I especially enjoyed the dynamic between Jules and Harper. If you're a fan of horror, do not miss out on Glimmers in the Ravine.

Tammy Ruggles

Glimmers in the Ravine by Stanton Polk is a tense horror novel that evokes imagination and fear. Set in the near future during a heightened gig economy, a financially strapped archaeology college student named Jules joins a team of contracted surveyors to mine for a mega-corporation beneath a mountain called Lonesome Bluff. What they find is an ancient city buried below it, but they need to stick to their plan, which is to find minerals. But something malicious waits below--a sickness that reduces its victims to a psychotic, manic state, which turns the team members against one another. It's left on Jules' shoulders to figure out the mystery illness, but that's just the beginning because a strange lifeform waits for him.

Polk has crafted a classic cosmic horror scenario that will please any Lovecraft fan, but with a modern take. He sets up the premise a little at a time, giving his audience time to get to know the characters, where they're going, and what they're going to do. The author uses a good balance of narrative and dialogue to drive the story, and by the time things get frightening, you really care what happens to the crew. But the writing also plays on the reader's fear of what may happen next, and you get an ever-increasing sense of dread as you get deeper into the story. I especially like the psychological aspects of the novel. Bad enough that the characters face unknown dangers below, but the mental crises make it even more intriguing. I also like the little details the author provides, which add realism and weight, like the injections that enhance job performance, etc. The characters are multi-faceted and believable, the plot convincing, and some parts are downright horrifying but well-executed; not overly done. For a thoroughly entertaining and engrossing novel in the cosmic horror genre, don't miss Glimmers in the Ravine by Stanton Polk.