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Hear the Branches Rattle by Fredrick Niles
Hear the Branches Rattle by Fredrick Niles
Hear the Branches Rattle by Fredrick Niles
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Hear the Branches Rattle by Fredrick Niles

Fredrick Niles

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It’s been decades since the vampiric old gods turned on their worshippers. Driven by starvation, they came with the setting of the sun and turned a nameless, isolated village into a killing ground. Only two of the residents remain now: a hermit named Walter and his undead daughter, Alexis, who he sacrificed nearly twenty years ago.

Every night, Alexis shows up at Walter's window to try and lure him out. And every night, he indulges her in conversation but never steps past the safe threshold of his front door.

But when four hikers stumble upon the town one evening, everything changes. Will Alexis finally flush out the father that left her for dead? Will Walter find some absolution for his crime? Or will the morning sun rise over a desolate wilderness strewn with mutilated bodies?

Hear the Branches Rattle is a quick and brutal exploration of guilt, what we sacrifice, and who we sacrifice to.
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Filter Reviews:
KM
12/31/2023
Kate M.
Canada Canada
I recommend this product

Great vampiric story

“I look up at the sky and can’t see the sun anymore. I cry for papa again. Papa isn’t here, but something is.” An isolated village worships the “Old Gods” who require blood sacrifices. Years later, Walter is the last man alive in the area and has a lifetime or guilt and trauma hounding him nightly. 4 strangers arrive at his door and he has to decide if he will help them survive, or give them up to the darkness. The story is told in present time and flashbacks, keeping the reader in the dark on & off throughout the story. I’d love to know more about this strange little town and its “guardians”. I loved the ending as well!

CH
12/11/2023
Chris H.
I recommend this product

A Fresh Take

For a novella, Niles packs a lot in. First, he takes an overdone sub genre of horror and does something fresh. This is a tale of a secluded town’s “old gods”, the monsters in the woods, creatures of the night that are slowly bleeding this tiny town dry. It all but ends in one night, details of which are sparse, leaving the reader to make fill in the details and events, which is a strength of the story in this case. Our main character, Walter, leads a lonely and melancholy existence, trapped in the past, forced to relive it nightly. Then one night his little world is once again forever changed, setting the stage for the story’s climax. This is a at times touching story, at others horrific, speaking to the fallacy of blind devotion to powers you cannot understand, and true loneliness even when being together. This is a smart, well paced tale that can be devoured in a sitting, and should be experienced for anyone looking for a new take on the old vampire story.

CH
12/11/2023
Christopher H.
United States United States
I recommend this product

A Fresh Take

For a novella, Niles packs a lot in. First, he takes an overdone sub genre of horror and does something fresh. This is a tale of a secluded town’s “old gods”, the monsters in the woods, creatures of the night that are slowly bleeding this tiny town dry. It all but ends in one night, details of which are sparse, leaving the reader to make fill in the details and events, which is a strength of the story in this case. Our main character, Walter, leads a lonely and melancholy existence, trapped in the past, forced to relive it nightly. Then one night his little world is once again forever changed, setting the stage for the story’s climax. This is a at times touching story, at others horrific, speaking to the fallacy of blind devotion to powers you cannot understand, and true loneliness even when being together. This is a smart, well paced tale that can be devoured in a sitting, and should be experienced for anyone looking for a new take on the old vampire story.