Forsaken was nominated for a Bram Stoker Award by the Horror Writers Association for the Best Debut Novel in 2014. So, I had high hopes, but I ended up with mixed feelings about this one.
One of my favorite parts of this book was the fact that it contains a clever nod to Stephen King. The main character, Thad, is a horror writer. The book begins with his wife, Rachael calling directory assistance to find the number for a store called Needful Things in Castle Rock. Yes, THE Needful Things, from the novel by Stephen King. I really enjoyed that little part and how it fits in with the story.
From the beginning of the book, there are obvious supernatural elements. Rachael is pregnant and seems to have promised the baby to a witch. Thad has just written a novel which connects him and his family to an ancient, and very powerful witch.
The story has a lot of creepy elements including little demons (about the size of rats, but more vicious), magic spells, cursed objects, and a witch trying to be reborn. Chapters alternate between the present time and 1692. The chapters from the past are in the form of a journal written by a witness to the witch's trial.
One of the things that really bothered me about this novel is that it claims to be Book One of the Shadow Cove Saga. The ending is an obvious set up for the next book, but I searched the internet and can find nothing that indicates another book even exists, let alone an entire series.
I was never really scared when I was reading this story, and I had an idea of what would happen. But, it's possible that I have been desensitized by my frequent reading of scary stories. I also love horror movies but have a hard time finding one that actually scares me.
The story itself was a little disjointed and there were details the author just left hanging that didn't end up meaning anything. I would read the next book, in the hopes that things became clearer, but.... oh well.
I read this book for the Witches square, because of the crazy, evil, powerful witch. :)