FARALLON ISLAND – BY RUSSELL JAMES
Published by Silver Shamrock Publishing / Available March 2021
Verdict: 3.25 out of 5
Overview: In an effort to escape his criminal ways as a Prohibition era bootlegger, Nate takes his pregnant wife to Farallon Island to work its lighthouse in seclusion. There’s a small group of employees and their families already there, looking for a replacement. The man leaving seems to have gone mad, and can’t seem to get on the boat fast enough. As he escapes the island, Nate and his wife join it. But there’s an evil sweeping through Farallon, one that has just left its cave.
The Good: The plot isn’t complicated, but thoroughly entertaining. There’s a wealth of promise in these ideas, even if they aren’t wholly unique.
The Bad: There is some mention of rape early on that seems unnecessary and placed for the sake of shock value. There is also some – SPOILER / CONTENT WARNING – child death to be found in the later pages of this story, which is always bothersome for me. As much potential as there is for some gruesome action, the death scenes are actually lacking brutality and suspense.
The Takeaway: Looking back at my review of The Portal – the only other Russell James title I’ve read so far – you can pretty much copy and paste my opinions from there to here. Farallon Island has a lot of promise, but lands in the middle of the road for me. The characters are forgettable and the action falls short. And yet, I didn’t dislike my time reading this novella. There’s definitely potential here and things to enjoy, especially for fans of fast-paced, isolation horror.
File Under: Isolation … Island horror … ghosts … demons … possession
Also See: The Portal … Dark Inspiration … Q Island
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