Cover Image: The Broken Places

The Broken Places

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Member Reviews

You could feel the emotion and trauma coming off the pages. Eerie and a bit jarring, this book is very well written and full of atmosphere.  The story is a slow burn that gradually picks up the pace. It will definitely stick with you after you have finished the final chapter.

Great debut book.  Looking forward to more from this author!

I want to thank NetGalley, Blaine Daigle and Wicked House Publishing for the e-ARC of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are honest, my own and left voluntarily.
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I'm going to say first and foremost I'm not a fan of stomp and chomp horror or blood and gore so while this book wasn't to my taste, I appreciate how well done it was. It was a slow burn which I love and there was lots of creeping dread and a huge build up. Great read if you like a little splatter with your horror!
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In the last year, Ryne Burdette lost his unborn son, his wife left him, and now his dad and uncle die in a fiery car crash. Now he’s inherited the family hunting cabin in the remote woods of Canada. So Ryne packs up the SUV with his two closest friends and they make the trek to the great white north. The northern Yukon makes for a mighty fine setting to isolate some characters and subject them to unspeakable terrors. But right off the bat, the trip doesn’t make much sense. Ryne’s friends, Noah and Shawn, are under the impression this is going to be a hunting trip, a chance to get away from all the tragedies that each has recently faced. Speaking of hunting, they also notice the woodland animals they encounter along the way are acting weird. Hmm… 

Soon after arriving at the cabin, Ryne informs them he won’t be leaving. He plans on being a hermit far away from everyone for who knows how long. Of course, the other two don’t take the news lightly and try to figure how to change Ryne’s mind. Meanwhile, the storm of all winter storms starts hitting the cabin with all its fury, cutting off any means of exit. 

This is where you’d expect all hell to start breaking loose. And the action to ratchet up. Well… yes, and no. The Broken Places is a slow burn, which I’m quite fond of, if done right. Unfortunately, the story suffers from a lack of editing. My copy was riddled with grammatical errors. And the plot holes and pacing really needed tightened up. The characters differentiated little from each other and there was a lot of repetitiveness that bogged the story down. There were so many instances where the characters’ behaviors went against the grain of logic that it kept pulling me out of the story. It would take 100 pages for them to ask out loud the obvious questions that they should have been asking from the start. 

Now, if it sounds like I’m crapping all over Daigle and his writing, that’s not my intention. I think he has the makings of an excellent writer. He simply suffered from the lack of good editing. 

2.5 Crucified Road Kills out of 5
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I loved this book.  It is so suspenseful and dark.   I love the nature kind of horror vibe.  This story leaves you at the edge of your seat.
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4 Stars!

I was not quite sure what to expect from The Broken Places by Blaine Daigle.  I was not familiar with the author at all.  But the cover was sufficiently creepy and it has animals in it, which is a plus in my mind, so I decided to give it a try to see what it was about. 


Ryne Burdette really did not want anything to do with his family’s hunting cabin. When he inherited it, he did his best to just put it out of mind. The cabin had nothing but strange and dark memories from his childhood that were more disturbing than comforting. A year later, though, life has taken its own path as it often does, and the cabin begins to seem like a refuge. Joined by his childhood friends, Noah and Shawn, Ryne travels to the cabin for what he says is a weekend retreat to reset from the stress of everyday life. 


It turns out that Ryne has more in store than just a weekend retreat.  Ryne is planning on retreating from the world. Before his friends can even begin to try to talk him out of this, everything changes when a blizzard shuts them off from the rest of the world and they discover they are not alone in the cabin. This was no ordinary hunting cabin. It was the center of the Burdette family and a dark, secret pact the family made long ago with something that lives in the woods. Ryne’s father had tried to protect him from the family legacy, but the time has come for Ryne to pay just as every man in his family had done for generations. The cabin is no longer a refuge.  It is a coffin. 


I was not sure what to expect when I started The Broken Places, but what I found was an intriguing story full of horror and even a sort of mysticism.  A remote cabin in a snowstorm is the perfect setting for horror, especially of the psychological sort, as it isolates through the elements as well as presents the chance for physical terror if the characters attempt to venture out. Daigle brings both into play in this tale as the presence in the woods attempts to draw the characters out and then, when that does not work for all of them, attempts to come in. There are all the elements one would expect from this type of story, including some uber-creepy deer, but there is more here.  Much more, and for that Daigle brings us down into the basement. 


What made the story stand out for me was the way in which Daigle tied the events at the cabin in with the history of Ryne’s family right up to the death of his father. There is a lot of emotion in the family history that gives The Broken Places a lot more weight than if it had been a simple horror story. That is not to say the novel does not work on a surface level of thrills and chills.  It does, and there are some very good sequences of physical horror, most involving deer. But there is also something deeper into the novel. Once Daigle begins to explore the past and the Burdette family’s history, the novel turns from an entertaining book to one that haunts the reader even after it is finished. I had never read anything by Blaine Daigle before, but after reading The Broken Places, I look forward to reading more in the future. 


I would like to thank Wicked House Publishing and NetGalley for this review copy. The Broken Places is available now.
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Actual Rating 3.5

Ryne’s life has been exceedingly difficult in the last year, so when he inherits the family’s old hunting cabin in the Yukon wilderness, he decides to take a hunting trip with his two best friends. But he has an alternative motive for this trip, one that his friends are unlikely to approve of. And as they make their way to the cabin, they realize that something seems off about the land. With a huge storm moving in and wildlife acting unusually, the three friends begin to think that they may have stumbled into something much larger and more dangerous than they could have ever thought possible. 

One of the things I enjoyed about this work was the setting. I do love it when the setting is isolated, and the real-life dangers of the wilderness are utilized throughout the plot. The author did an excellent job with this aspect. Similarly, strange occurrences began quite early on, which started the suspense building and added to the overall atmosphere of the work. However, this work did start slowly, but I personally quite enjoyed that buildup and anticipation. 

The characters were decently written with fleshed-out backstories, but I never felt a real emotional connection to them despite the tragedies in their histories. This did detract some from my enjoyment. Their voices also didn’t feel as unique as they should, which made it difficult to tell whose POV I was reading at times. 

With some supernatural horror reads, the buildup and suspense are great, then when the “monster” or driving force is revealed I can’t help but feel disappointed. I really liked how the author handled the reveal in this one as well as the history and explanations provided. It wasn’t an info-dump at the end but was spread out throughout the last quarter of the book, which kept the tension from being lost. 

I do regret that I read this when it was 98 degrees outside rather than in the colder months. If you like supernatural (and natural) horror, incorporated with some folklore and gore, then you’ll probably enjoy this one. My thanks to NetGalley and Wicked House Publishing for allowing me to read this work. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are my own.
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The family hunting cabin has been empty for years, ever since Ryne’s dad and uncle had a falling out. Now Ryne and his friends, Noah and Shawn, are staying there. All three have had tragic, life-altering experiences, and they are hoping that a hunting trip with lifelong friends will help them all heal. Spoilers: that’s super not going to happen.
First, Shawn kills some kind of sentient buck and Noah eats it. Mistake. They split up. Mistake. Shawn doesn’t get bitten by a dog but his leg starts rotting off anyway, so they split up again. Mistake. Then Ryne discovers his family had been keeping a secret from him his whole life about the woods, the animals, and their ancestors. There’s a lot of pain and a lot of well-deserved vomiting. The family secret is super fun, from a horror fan perspective; I have never seen this story from the point of view of a descendant who has no clue what is happening.
The Broken Places evokes a proper sense of dread which stems from the feeling that from page one everyone is doomed. It’s also just dark in a way that I didn’t need today. Another commenter used the word “bleak”. This story starts off bleak and only gets more painful from there. Luckily there’s a tiny bit of hope in the last chapter which allows me to give this book a decent rating, but damn would I have liked a survivor or two.
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Do yourself a favor and don't read this alone, at night, while watching a scary movie, trust me.  This book reminded me a lot of The Ritual by Adam Neville.  Guy friends going out into the woods and crazy things begin to happen.  Books set in wilderness, especially during a snow storm, already freak me out but this book REALLY freaked me out.  The author did a fantastic job of setting up the atmosphere perfectly to where I was actually cold while reading this.  And the animals!  *Insert horrified book here*.  It takes a lot for a horror book to actually freak me out and this book made me never want to go camping in the woods, ever.  The ending even made me a little sad which I wasn't expecting.
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Ryne Burdette and his two friends —  Shawn and Noah are going to Ryne’s cabin that he inherited.  It’s been in the Burdette family for a lon time.  It’s been a bad year or all three of them so Ryan thought that a weekend trip to the cabin could give them a chance to start over.  Something strange is happening in the woods.  When a winter storm  moves in the animals start acting strangely.  Soft voices are being heard.  The storm is getting stronger causing the wood to be darker.  The three friends start looking into the Burdette family lineage.  The horrible truth that is discover is something no one wants to see.

A suspenseful story that is folk horror.  The feeling of dread sets in.  It doesn’t stop until the end.  It’s a novel that I won’t forget.  It’s a very well written novel even though it seemed a little slow to me in the beginning.  I’m glad that I got to read it!
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A cold cabin, a group of boys now men come back to spend one last week in the midst of their crumbling lives. I liked getting to know the guys on this trip, their log friendship and their recent struggles.

I found the first creepy moment, the deer just starting at them, well-written to really raise the hairs on your neck. But somewhere in the midst of their daily struggle, it kept getting bogged down with details that felt repetitive. At times it was hard to tell the men apart, each voice was pretty similar and I kept having to remind myself of which history was which.

But the atmosphere and cold were well written and kept the suspense up and I did like the final conclusion even if I didn't find it surprising.

A huge thank you to the author and publisher for providing an e-ARC via Netgalley. This does not affect my opinion regarding the book.
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The Broken Places is an amazing horror achievement. i was astounded to discover this was Blaine Daigle's first novel. the prose is crisp, stark and left me breathless as to what would happen next. The Broken Places is folk horror at it's finest. i've seen many comparisons made to Adam Nevill's The Ritual and i would agree with this. yes, The Broken Places is that good.
there's not much more for me to say, except don't miss the experience of reading this book. after 50 years of reading horror, i rarely get chills anymore, but Blaine Daigle got to me. i can't wait to see what this author does next.
to sum up:
highly recommended.
5 stars out of 5.
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Wow! Each chapter would end with a gasp for me. Whether it was the description of the cold or wind… you could feel it.  The transition of the present and past was smooth and not confusing. 
What a family keeps close and what friends do for others no matter what was shocking and amazing.
Not sure about the ending though~why would she go look in that area after everything.
Great page turner!
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[ Huge thanks to NetGalley, the publisher, and the author for this ARC! ]

~ 3.5 stars rounded to 3 stars ~

This was an absolutely wild ride! There were some great moments that literally gave me goosebumps, and the end was devastating in the best way. I requested this read because of the vibe I got from the cover and the description, and honestly, it completely delivered. There were many terrifying scenes, and the sense of dread was just immaculate. I was also pleased that, even though I had some ideas about where the story was going, it still blew me away at parts. Definitely recommend this one to fans of folk horror.

All of that said, I did have some issues with the writing, mostly involving the characters. I wasn't a fan of the POV changes throughout the story. I felt like the author was really bad about telling instead of showing so there were a lot of repetitive passages telling us the thoughts, opinions, and ailments of the characters. I think that aspect could've been been handled better. However, this is a debut novel so I'm more willing to forgive this, especially because the plot itself was so much fun. I know I'll be keeping my eye out for the author's next release!
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"The Broken Places" by Blaine Daigle is a haunting tale that immersed me in a chilling and atmospheric exploration of a twisted family legacy set in the Yukon wilderness. I felt the descriptions and slow burn (it did move along quite slowly overall considering the short length of the book) steadily built up the suspense - the book delivers a satisfying horror experience that, while flawed, left me chilled. 

From the very beginning, the allure and unease of the woods are palpable, which captivated me. The old hunting cabin in the Yukon wilderness becomes a character in itself, housing secrets and horrors waiting to be discovered.

I mentioned earlier the very slow vburn - "The Broken Places" has a very slow burn which I assume is to allow readers to become acquainted with the complex dynamics between the main characters, Ryne, Shawn, and Noah and to slowly build that tension. I just feel it could have done more with less. 

I really enjoyed the author's descriptions of environments and characters that helped me become immersed despite the pace of the book, so I can't fault pacing issue that too much (I know I've said itma few times' and I apologise', but read it and you'll see). To his credit, Blaine is certainly a skilled horror writer who understands the genre and uses horror themes and tropes successfully throughout. 

The ending of "The Broken Places" is satisfying. It ties together the narrative threads. Without revealing spoilers, it can be said that the conclusion feels organic and fitting.

Special thanks to Blaine Daigle, Wicked House Publishing, and NetGalley for providing a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review
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The woods are lovely, dark, and deep. But I have promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep.

I really need to lay off horror novels for a while and go read something nice and fluffy and light instead, perhaps involving tiny kittens or frolicking unicorns. Because, man, I have read some really bleak books lately, and The Broken Places is right up there with the bleakest of them. I mean, I suppose most people don't read horror expecting sunshine and rainbows, but this one was particularly dark. The characters are broken people with broken lives, and the woods at the heart of this story are filled with broken creatures.

That's not to say that this novel wasn't riveting – I finished it in under twenty-four hours. But at the same time, I can't say that I exactly enjoyed it. It was engrossing, for sure, but also depressing and more than a little bit repetitive. Did you know that Noah died in a grain silo? Well, you're going to because it's going to be beat into your head for the entire book. I don't know what it was about the grain silo incident either, but it ripped me out of the story every time it was mentioned. I think because drowning in grain is such an unlikely thing to have happen?

Despite my criticisms, however, this novel also had its strong points. The setting , for one, was fantastic. How many books have you read that are set in the wilds of the Yukon? And the descriptive writing was great – I felt as if I were right there with the characters in the cold with the snow swirling around me. Also, the plot, while not entirely original (it was very reminiscent of The Ritual), was certainly captivating. Finally, as a big fan of Robert Frost, the inclusion of “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” was a welcome bonus.

And now the TL;DR summary for those of you that skipped over my novella above: it was entertaining but bleak and somewhat repetitive. There was poetry.

Thanks to NetGalley and Wicked House Publishing for providing me with a copy of this book to review!
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thank you to netgalley for the advanced reading copy of the broken places. this was an interesting horror book, i dont usually go for horror but i was not let down.
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A little bit of a slower pace than what I typically like, but once it got going, I was invested. Part horror, part folk-tale, this was a bleak story of tremendous loss.
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Ryne inherits a cabin deep in the Yukon wilderness. At first, he wants nothing to do with the cabin. But, after having a tough year, Ryne decides to venture up to the cabin with his two best friends, Noah and Shawn.  Just as the men settle into the cabin, a viscous winter storm moves in. Strange things start happening - the animals in the woods are behaving in an unnatural manner and whispers echo through the woods and cabin. By this point, it is too late to leave the cabin. The storm is unrelenting. The three men have to figure out what or who is behind all the creepy occurrences. 

This book was just okay for me. It was a slow burner and a bit dry at times. For being a horror novel, I did not find the creepy. I think the book would have been much more effective had it been shorter. The writing was somewhat weak. The premise itself is interesting, but it just felt a bit long-winded and receptive. And most importantly, lacked a lot of the horror elements. 

Thank you Wicked House Publishing and NetGalley for the copy in exchange for an honest review.
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An isolated cabin in the woods with three friends trying to recuperate from their lives? What could go wrong? This title delivers a story that is simultaneously menacing, claustrophobic, and compelling.
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The Broken Place was amazing. It’s wilderness, folk, generational curse, and everything you want to be scared by. 

When Ryne and his two best friends make a last trip to the cabin he inherited from his uncle, they discover he’s inherited far more than he bargained for. 

Absolutely loved it, easy five stars, and impatiently waiting for his next book.
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