The Knowing

A Bulwark Anthology

Fiction - Paranormal
106 Pages
Reviewed on 04/08/2019
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by K.J. Simmill for Readers' Favorite

JB had known from the moment his eyes first met Ellie's that they were meant to be together. His grandma had called what he experienced 'the knowing.' He was drawn to her beyond anything he had experienced before. She was a rich Yankee, he a poor peanut farmer with only the promise of an unfulfilled dream as a football star. He was talented, but was certain he was trapped, forever destined to remain a farmer. Ellie wouldn't listen as he told her to find someone better; she wanted only him, and would even defy her parents for his love. Fate, however, had other plans for the lovers.

The Knowing - JB Stratton's Story - is volume one in Brit Lunden's A Bulwark Anthology. It is a beautifully written love story encompassing the present, past, and even past lives. It is a romance with a hint of the supernatural. It is well written with a level of area building and character development often unseen in shorter books. It was easy to read this in one sitting; the story is sweet, intriguing, and sometimes moving. It has certainly piqued my interest in other books by this author, especially the Bulwark, from which this story stems. Intrigue, obstacles, fate, and the supernatural combine to present a gripping tale bound to satisfy anyone who enjoys a character-oriented, well-constructed read. There are little touches throughout which caught my interest, and have no doubt referenced events in the main book. I thought the conclusion of the book made the perfect ending to a tightly-knit tale. I look forward to reading more work from this author.

Jack Magnus

The Knowing: A Bulwark Anthology is a paranormal novella written by Brit Lunden. J.B. Stratton was stunned by the accusations he had received as a result of his sheltering a stranded couple while they awaited an ambulance and the sheriff. His beloved and now departed wife, Ellie Stratton, had been anything but the witch the woman had accused her of being. Things were definitely getting strange lately in Bulwark. Sheriff Clay Finnes’ infant daughter had disappeared without a trace, and the loss had devastated both the sheriff and his wife, who were now separated as a result. That green pond of sludge was steadily encroaching on the road and the surrounding field and J.B. wondered if the foul-smelling stuff was toxic waste. And then there were the reports of wolves lately when no wolves had been sighted in the area for some time.

Brit Lunden’s paranormal novella, The Knowing: A Bulwark Anthology, delves more deeply into the history of Bulwark, Georgia, as Sheriff Clay Finnes seeks to find a connection between current events, including the kidnapping of his infant daughter, and those earlier years, decades before, when J.B. and Ellie Stratton first met in high school. This novella follows up on the author’s earlier work, Bulwark, adding dimension and nicely filling in the history of the area. Lunden’s characters feel real, and their interactions make the story work quite well. Her plot is engaging and suitably dark, making this an entertaining urban fantasy tale. The Knowing: A Bulwark Anthology is a well written and engrossing read. It’s most highly recommended.

K.C. Finn

The Knowing: A Bulwark Anthology is an extended short story penned by author Brit Lunden, and forms part of the ongoing anthology of tales set in the town of Bulwark. In the isolated little town of Bulwark, Georgia, strange events take place all the time, and this new evolution of tales begins with the eerie romance of loner JB Stratton and his beloved Ellie. Combining the shattered memories of past lives with the newfound romance and sexual spark of teenage first love, the story Lunden weaves is one of primal passion and impossible circumstances. But in Bulwark, the impossible so often turns out to be true that JB and Ellie might just have a chance.

Having recently reviewed the original Bulwark, which introduced us to the town and its fable-esque, eerie atmosphere, it was wonderful to step back onto familiar ground with a brand new protagonist and a new story to uncover. Author Brit Lunden has developed a highly successful formula for continuing her narrative, and JB Stratton gave a delightfully twisted new focus as his passion for Ellie grows. The Knowing, as its title suggests, makes a compelling pull in such a short space of pages, absolutely filled with emotion and conveying a powerfully romantic story line in sharp contrast to the previous book, but also very fitting of the town and its tone. Readers seeking an immersive new series where they can experience all different story types within the same, dark mysterious world are certain to love The Knowing and the Bulwark Anthology in general.

Edith Wairimu

The Knowing: A Bulwark Anthology by Brit Lunden follows the life of JB Stratton, a football star from the small fictional town of Bulwark, Georgia. The town residents prefer to keep to themselves, protected by the borders of the town. They are suspicious of newcomers, especially those from up North. When Ellie and her family move to the secluded place, she is automatically regarded as an outsider. In school, she barely has any friends. For JB, Ellie is like no other girl he has ever met. Maybe it is because she is not from Bulwark. Still, JB is captivated by her. It is almost as if they have met before. Ellie is, however, sophisticated and JB sees no bright future for himself as he is already destined to be a peanut farmer.

The Knowing’s plot moves forward steadily, stopping briefly at passionate or suspenseful scenes. The conversations are few but equally powerful as they are characterized by intense feelings and uncertainty. The story focuses mostly on the main characters with few inclusions of supporting characters. This gives the plot direction and ensures the full development of the main characters. The story is brief yet impactful as the details included and the images they paint are emotionally evocative. The wisdom of characters such as Bear Bryant shines through and adds a beautiful touch to the already delightful love story. The intensity of JB and Ellie’s relationship plus the paranormal aspects of their story makes it even more enthralling. The Knowing by Brit Lunden is a well-told tantalizing read.

Joel R. Dennstedt

The Knowing: J.B. Stratton’s Story is a sequel/prequel or just plain accessory to Brit Lunden’s earlier work: Bulwark – A Paranormal Thriller. Lunden includes this follow-up in a series that will together comprise her Bulwark Anthology. As such, it may technically stand alone as a long short story, or as a short novella, but in either case it derives most of its depth and appreciation from its relationship to the earlier, foundational book. Bulwark was a fast-paced, concisely-written story about horrible, supernatural events taking place in a small town. It included a cast of several memorable characters, one of whom was J.B. Stratton, an old widower who rescued two stranded tourists from immersion in a supernatural event.

In The Knowing, Brit Lunden returns to the locale of Bulwark and its referenced earlier events in order to play a memory sequence detailing the history of J.B. Stratton as a young man in love with the woman mentioned, whose death made him a bereaved widower. This reconstruction of his life does not qualify as paranormal (if that is what the reader seeks) but does fill in and deepen the reader’s understanding of an important character. Authors are inclined to do this quite frequently these days. Fans often encourage them to write additional material for the purpose of extending and deepening a story with a plot and characters they like. J.B. Stratton’s story is a romance, however, not the paranormal thriller from which it derives. One should keep this in mind when approaching Volume 1 of A Bulwark Anthology.