by Raymond E. Feist
This one kept getting recommended and after trying a sample, I decided to give it a read. It's my first Feist and possibly my only, as sampling another of his novels didn't impress me as much.
It's a very dark story that wraps folklore, especially Irish mythology, around a modern day setting. A family buys a farmhouse with woodland attached to the property and there are local stories about the woods and some sort of sleeping evil.
What I liked was that this isn't a standard monster story with one nasty critter causing all the problems. Various otherworld entities encounter the family members, some in harmless ways and others, well, you have to read to see what happens.
The story was more sexual in parts than I expected and not always in nice ways. People really sensitive to anything suggesting rape might want to steer clear. The strange experiences are fairly subtle at first and build as the story goes along.
Another thing I liked was short chapters! It's really easy to decide to read just one more, and just one more since it's only a few pages. I got 149 pages in on the first sitting! Then towards the end found myself getting through a lot of pages without realizing as things really heated up.
The family who are central to the plot are well defined characters and some of their close associates also come across strongly as individuals. Even the twins become distinctive as their part of the story develops. At times I didn't know where the plot was going and wondered if it was just meandering or if it was setting me up for something specific, but it all came together in the last couple of hundred pages.
My one niggle is the mixing of different cultural histories and mythologies. As it happens, I recently read an academic book on Persian Zoroastrianism/Magic and crossing that over with the Illuminati in Europe and a mix of Irish/English/Germanic folklore stretched believability a little far.
Putting all that aside, I enjoyed the story and fully approve of the ending. Highly recommended for dark fantasy fans.