Hell Spring

Fiction - Horror
335 Pages
Reviewed on 08/17/2022
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Kim Anisi for Readers' Favorite

The setting of Hell Spring by Isaac Thorne is one that readers have often encountered before: a small American town with its usual mix of inhabitants. But that setting soon turns into a nightmare - at least for the handful of people who find themselves in the little local store during a powerful storm with so much rain that rivers swell and a bridge is washed away. Each of the characters within the store has something they are ashamed of or should be ashamed of in the eyes of others. There is a gay man who keeps his lover a secret and is haunted by the ghost of his judgmental mother. There is an abused woman with a young baby. She did what she had to do to survive. There is a man of the church who is breaking one of God's commandments. There are two teenagers who do what teenage boys do. And there is the owner of the shop who is less than happy about the events, especially when a naked stranger is rescued from outside - and the stranger looks all too familiar. It soon becomes clear that this alluring stranger has only one goal.

While Hell Spring by Isaac Thorne is not a short book, it felt like a short read because I finished it in just under two days and three longer reading sessions. It is a rather interesting story that mainly boils down to how the characters are described and how they interact. While it is a horror story with some gore and some not-so-appetizing moments that you do expect and want in a horror novel, it is also a character study, a look at society even though the events are set a few decades in the past. I was never sure how the story would end, and the end did surprise me - but also left me with questions, which is nothing unusual for horror novels. This is is a very well-done story. The author also seems to understand that editing and proofreading should not be neglected. It's always nice to read books without spelling and grammar mistakes. This novel is worth a read if you are looking for an entertaining horror novel.

Anne-Marie Reynolds

Hell Spring by Isaac Thorne is a tale of paranormal horror. It’s March 1955. The sun has gone down and a storm is raging. Water floods through Lost Hollow town as a small band of people take shelter in their general store. Eight people and not one of them is who they say they are. But only one wants blood to quench their thirst and flesh and souls to ease their hunger. Their only escape has been washed away and the eight people must now confront one another. But there’s a stranger in their midst, a stranger with a familiar face intent on destroying each one. Can they survive the night? Will they be victims of an out-of-this-world murderer or of Hell Spring?

First off, Hell Spring by Isaac Thorne is not for those easily offended by violence of any kind. This is a horror story with a difference, a face from the past who comes back to pick off the main players in the story. It isn’t just a gore-fest, though; it also covers other topics, such as abuse, shaming, and LGBTQ – a bit of everything. The characters are an eclectic bunch, all very well developed with their own lives and flaws, and the face from the past will surprise everyone. The beginning is a bit odd but stay with it because it will all make sense. The story is unique, packed with action, and written in an engaging tone that draws you in and transports you to 1950s Tennessee. It is quite a long book. Good story though; I'm looking forward to reading more from Isaac Thorne.

Ammaarah Seboa

Welcome to Hell Spring in the year 1955, when a flood swept away seven victims; one could almost call it a biblical reckoning for the sins committed. Seven residents of Lost Hollow took refuge in Beard’s General Store when they happened upon a young woman stranded in the rain. They didn’t know that saving her was the start of their demise and a very long night. Isaac Thorne’s Hell Spring is a psychological horror with all the fun gruesome bits.

Isaac Thorne kept me on the edge of my seat, anticipating the next move of each character introduced in this book! We get an understanding of each character and their sins, aside from baby Theo. The wonderfully developed plot is complemented by the multi-character points of view. With this, we are able to understand each character and their actions on a deeper level. The pacing and events that take place leave no gaps in the story. Instead, we are shown how one can overcome their circumstances and how history has a tendency to repeat itself.

I thoroughly enjoyed Hell Spring especially the character of Marilyn and how she has a resemblance to the protagonist, Alice, of the Resident Evil movie franchise. I also loved the symbolism and themes brought up. The image of water appears, how it cleanses and is used to wash away our sins so that we can be born again. One important message that I think Thorne wants to impart to us is that we shouldn’t always assume the intentions of others as it can lead to our downfall.