“Full of non-stop revelations and actions”
By Kimberly for HorrorAfterDark.com
This second half delves into a ritual that five boys took part in, whose ramifications are now running loose as a result of the elder Dawson’s death, and his son’s ignorance of these facts. This part of the supernatural tale was riveting and full of non-stop revelations and actions. In one of my favorite scenes: “Snakelike, it dragged the rest of its unlikely body through the window. Hips and legs went boneless as they plied and molded to fit through the pinched gap…..For a moment it lay in a crumpled mass of ruined flesh. Then joints snapped back into place and bones set with sickening crunches…”
As Matthew learns of the events that occurred in a barn long before his own conception, one of the participants sums up their act plainly, but in a way that sent a shiver through me, nonetheless.
“Turns out, there was a price for what we did and now someone’s here to collect.”
Full Review: www.horrorafterdark.com/review-sacra-obscurum
“One of the best first novels of the year”
By Tim Potter for Hellnotes.com on May 10, 2015
Secrets can be an insidious thing, able to due untold amounts of damage. The destructive nature of secrets is at the heart of the terror in Sacra Obscurum, the debut novel from Todd Allen. Set in coastal Canada, and more specifically the haunted Saint Michael’s mental health hospital, it’s a novel of fathers and sons, small towns and how secrets pass down through generations.
Matt Dawson is a well realized character, a doctor with principles and a man with demons. He comes across very realistic as do many of the supporting players. The newly graduated Darcy, the new doctor hired to take over the operation is idealistic and motivated by very honest emotions regarding a dark family past. The orderlies and nurses compliment these characters and come off in a likewise three dimensional way. Some of the townsfolk are real enough that the reader is actually able to make inferences about their histories and see those inferences become true.
Sacra Obscurum is very entertaining novel from a great new voice in horror. As one of the best first novels of the year it establishes Todd Allen as a writer to watch.
Full review: www.hellnotes.com/sacra-obscurum-book-review
“Wonderful imagery and setting”
By jeremy on March 25, 2015
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Such a solid production, hard to believe it is his first published work. Wonderful imagery and setting. But it was the characters that got me. Familiar right away and I only cared more and more for them as the pages passed. Scary in effective and deep ways that left me spinning days later. Great storyline and concepts that kept reaching further into the dark, dragging the characters with it. Highly recommend it and can’t wait for the next one from Mr Allen.
“Fantastic first effort from this new voice in horror”
By JD on April 10, 2015
Todd Allen adeptly paints a detailed picture of small town life, populates it with well developed characters you can actually care about and then unleashes the hellhounds on them. Reminiscent of early Koontz, the story has a definable brooding quality as the main character comes to grips with a childhood trauma and a strained relationship with his deceased father. Through this storyline, Allen carries the book’s main theme, that some secrets are dangerous and no matter how well you hide them, they can come back to haunt you. Allen unfolds the plot gradually making for some excellent suspense as his characters struggle with demons both real and imagined. …All in all, Allen’s first book was a wonderful surprise and I’ll be looking forward to his next.
“A very well written book”
By Damnetha Jules for Horrorpalace.com on April 17, 2015
Sacra Obscurum is the debut novel by Todd Allen. He has a very comfortable style that really captures the imagination of the reader. Beyond a somewhat slow start, Sacra Obscurum has some very compelling elements.
…Allen shows great control and flow over the story. Even though the story is told from a third person point-of-view the reader always feels connected to the main character in some way. Another great thing about Allen’s style is the clarity of the tone and progression. He doesn’t leave any room for the reader to be confused or unsure and he didn’t forget to include the tiny details that make the characters human.
…does a good job for a debut novel. He manages to keep the interest of his readers and he induces a manner of curiosity towards how the story is going to unfold. For readers in search of a horror novel that isn’t filled with graphic scenes and foul language then this book is perfect.
Overall it’s a very well written book and many readers will appreciate the approach Allen used.
Full review: www.horrorpalace.com/sacra-obscurum-book-review