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The werewolf horror crime thriller “Paradise of the Wolf” is an original piece of out-of-the-box creativity and an intriguing debut.

Paradise of the Wolf

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If you’re like me and love anything to do with monsters, gory murders, and some cool supernatural elements, then this book is for you. It certainly got my attention.

Paradise of the Wolf, from the creative mind of Benjamin J. Burton, revolves around a serial killer werewolf running amock in Miami — emerging from the shadows to stalk and hunt his prey. Meanwhile, our protagonist watches it all happen in her nightmares.

Chapters are written from the first-person perspective, giving us elements of Clive Barker’s Mister B Gone before throwing us into up-close-and-personal perspectives of the victims, written in the third person. This cleverly obscures just how long our victims will last in a writing style reminiscent of James Herbert’s Rats.

The story throws us straight into the deep end, following a young lady’s unfortunate events of breaking down in a derelict area with no cellphone signal and an over-the-top imagination. She sits and waits, planning on how she is going to get out of this mess, while The Beast waits, planning his attack on her, watching her, observing his prey.

The gore of the murders is over the top and exactly what is needed from a werewolf novel.

Paradise of the Wolf

I love how Burton does not shy away from giving us horror fans the gory goods.

‘She bolted out of the passenger side. The creature grabbed her leg and pulled her back against the car. It then ripped into her with its razor claws and tore off her left arm, leaving behind a bloody stump. It continued to rip until she stopped moving.’

With every good villain, we need an equally compelling hero. Here, Chelsi is our heroine. Haunted by vivid nightmares that affect her personal life, she’s left to wonder if what she’s experiencing are really just nightmares or if they might be visions. Chelsi seeks guidance from her Grandmother, who specializes in supernatural abilities.

Benjamin gives us something new with this storyline, providing us with witchcraft and religion from Cuba (Chelsi’s family background). It truly is fascinating and a breath of fresh air reading something a little different and discovering new cultural perspectives.

Reading about Chelsi’s Bruja grandmother:

‘Abuela had explained that Santeria is based on balance, on activating the sacred within. The religion allows one to empower oneself with sacred energy, drawing on the inner sacredness that each person carries as part of their nature.’

It becomes immediately clear that these two powerful women will put their spiritual gifts to good use in hunting down the Beast. The hunter has become the hunted!

It’s a promising debut from Burton who delivers a compelling but imperfect tale. 

Paradise Of The Wolf is quite a short story (slightly longer than a novella at 174 pages), and I felt it could have used more descriptive writing, making us feel a little more like we’re there right in the action and feeling the atmosphere surrounding the victim’s fear and the scenes of the grizzly murders.

What is a brilliant story is let down a bit from what I’m guessing is the excitement of Burton wanting to get his story finished and out there for everyone to read. As a writer myself, I completely know this excitement and how it takes over.

The continuity of the events in the story can get lost. Not everything makes sense, and the narrative can be a bit confusing. The narration also tends to shift from first to third person within the same paragraph at times.

This brings me to one critical observation.

I urge all budding novelists to seek professional guidance before publishing their work. If at all possible, hire professional proofreaders and editors. If you’re lucky enough to have friends in the industry, send your manuscript to them to read over. The more eyes you can get on your work, the better.

Unfortunately, mistakes in grammar, spelling, and sentence structure can detract from the reading experience and tarnish a writer’s reputation. That’s a shame because an auspicious talent like Burton deserves to make a splash and find his footing in the world of genre literature.

It’s disheartening to know that some publishers that claim to put all published works through a thorough editing process seem to shortchange the process. That’s why it’s always a good idea to seek outside expertise. Just like with every great movie script, never shoot the first draft.

With that PSA out of the way, let me conclude by saying Burton has the makings of a tantalizing tale. 

With a careful edit and a few quick fixes, this book will be great fun! Although according to my research, Burton is in the process of turning this story into a graphic novel, which may work out better in the long run. A good story accompanied by some great artwork can go a long way.

Personally, I would wait until some fixes are done before diving into Paradise Of The Wolf; it will be worth the wait.

You should, however, keep Burton on your radar, as he is an up-and-coming writer with a bright future ahead of him.

If you are intrigued, you can find Paradise of the Wolf through the publisher here or at Amazon at the link below.

 

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