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Reviewed by Rosie Malezer for Readers' Favorite
Samhain is a chilling paranormal tale of buried horrors, written by Lori R. Lopez. Daren Karl is a thirty-year-old survivor of a traumatic event which had taken place twenty years prior. His anxiety and PTSD is off the charts; if only he could remember. When Daren’s nine-year-old nephew, Dare, comes Trick or Treating at Daren’s door, panic grips Daren like never before. Bravely deciding to confront his demons, Daren volunteers to take Dare door to door for candy treats. After noticing a real-life Witch in the mist, disappearing with various children, Daren becomes briefly distracted before realizing that his nephew has just become her latest victim. Now Daren must confront his buried past head-on, not only in the hopes of saving his nephew, but also the souls of his four best friends of long ago.
As a Pagan, I could not help but quickly grab this title off the shelf. Although the content is vastly different to what I had envisaged, the story itself gives horrifying chills with each turn of the page. Lori R. Lopez has a firm grasp on the realities of Anxiety and PTSD – conditions which often come from surviving something so terrifying that the brain cannot grasp it properly in order to process it. Samhain is so well-written that the visual aspect of reading the book was descriptive, graphic and quite unique in that it was a horror story that I was actually able to read through to the end. Not only does Samhain present the reality of mental illness which arises due to severe trauma, but it also shows that repressed memories can be pulled back to the forefront when the stakes are high enough. I thoroughly enjoyed reading Samhain and wholeheartedly recommend it to readers over 15 years of age who are fans of horror with paranormal sidelines. I cannot wait to read more from Lori R. Lopez in the future.