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Tali's Horror Road Trip: Kentucky

“This Wretched Valley”

State: Kentucky


A story about an evil forest that feasts!! Umm… please lol. “This Wretched Valley", by Jenny Kiefer, was hauntingly delightful. The first two lines of the book hooked me immediately. “What baffled them was the skeleton. The other bodies were weird, but they couldn’t figure out the fucking skeleton.” Suspense and danger are introduced. While the immediate danger is obvious from the first page, there is still building of suspense.

A group of friends find a new rock to climb in the Kentucky Wilderness. Each character has their own reason from embarking on this journey. They enter the haunted forest then spiral into madness. Keifer introduces the reader to each character but I would have liked them to be more fleshed out. Several things happen in this forest really solidifying a sense of dread and confusion.

“This Wretched Valley” starts slowly building atmosphere. A lot of care was put into the forest and its surroundings. The various plants caught my attention. I was instantly sucked into a google black hole looking up Carrion plant and Dead Man ‘s Toe. The setting was well researched and developed. Midway through, the story picks up speed until the end. There is enough gore to satisfy any horror reader.

Who doesn’t like a good story with hysteria and ghosts. Kiefer goes all in with the horror. A delightful story of survival in the wilderness. “This Wretched Valley” left me with some questions that I would have liked answered but overall, it was an enjoyable debut about a forest that is festering with malice.

Other horror books set in Kentucky:

“Scanlines”, Todd Keisling

“Satanic Summer”, Anderson Prunty

“Devil’s Creek”, by Todd Keisling

Haley also reviewed this book here!

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