Cover Image: The Broken Places

The Broken Places

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Member Reviews

The woods have always fascinated me and yet thoroughly creeped me out, so when I read the description of The Broken Places and saw that it takes place in an old hunting cabin in the Yukon wilderness, I was keen to read it. Coupled with that chilling cover, I was completely sold. 

It's a bit of a slow burn to begin with as we learn more about Ryne, Shawn, and Noah and the brotherly but somewhat strained dynamic between them. But when our characters reach Ryne's family cabin just outside the town of Wolf's Bone, things slowly begin to go very, <i>very<i> wrong, and the sense of dread grows with each page. Piece by piece, we begin to learn more about the strange-behaving animals and wilderness surrounding the cabin and the history of Ryne's twisted family legacy there. There was some great classic horror blood and gore in this book (but not too over the top) and some body horror sprinkled in for good measure!

A real strength of The Broken Places was Daigle's use of descriptions, particularly for the various environments and settings - it really helped me imagine each scene as I read. As an Australian, my experience with the bitter Yukon cold detailed in this book is extremely limited, so I especially appreciated Daigle's use of imagery and descriptions for the ominous, snowy winter storm outside the cabin.   

Finally, I won't discuss the ending here because I really think it should be experienced first-hand, but I will say that I was satisfied. To me, it felt like we had been building towards that conclusion throughout the course of the story, and so I finished the book feeling somewhat saddened that it was over but glad that I had read it. 

Thank you to Blaine Daigle, Wicked House Publishing, and NetGalley for my copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
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<a href="" style="float: left; padding-right: 20px"><img border="0" alt="The Broken Places" src="" /></a><a href="">The Broken Places</a> by <a href="">Blaine Daigle</a><br/>
My rating: <a href="">5 of 5 stars</a><br /><br />
The Broken Places was…just wow. I’m in awe of this book, from the cover to the last page, I didn’t expect it to be this good.<br />First, you have the set up, and this particularly one will always suck me in: a remote hunting lodge in a remote part of the world with snow and storms and some friends and oh no! there’s something weird in the woods. I immediately thought of The Ritual by Adam Neville, and because I love both that book and movie, I was pretty jazzed.<br />The story opens with Ryne in a cabin with his dad and uncle. He wakes up at night and can’t find his uncle, but finds the front door open. Outside, he sees his uncle, naked in the snow, and something with antlers. His father immediately intervenes and puts him back to bed, explaining that his uncle had been out there investigating an animal in a trap or something like that, and he must have been dreaming the rest of it. As Ryne is going back to sleep, he can hear his father and uncle arguing about whether or not the “time is right” for Ryne, with his father vehemently against whatever is happening, and the uncle for it. <br />We then jump forward to a weekend getaway. There are three friends in this story: Ryne, Noah, and Shawn. They’ve been friends since they were kids, and Ryne recently inherited his family’s cabin after his father and uncle died. All the friends have had a very hard time recently, almost to the point of unbelievability, as if they were somehow cursed. We know something terrible besides his father’s death has happened to Ryne, as he thinks about it often, his friends dance around it, and a terrible police officer in the remote village near the cabin remarks on it, but we don’t have the full story.<br />The story weaves in and out of various timelines and character POVs, but it never felt too confusing to me. We get more of a backstory on the three men and on the village. We find out a Robert Frost poem can be insanely creepy. We find out that you should never eat meat you killed in the forest. We know that the villagers look at Ryne and his friends strangely, and that there’s something up with the church. And we know the animals are acting…very weird.<br />The animal behavior is one of the starting events in the book, and I don’t remember ever reading such a long passage about an animal, particularly its eyes, and being terrified the entire time. It was at this point that I thought, “Reading this in bed on my phone in the dark alone was probably not THE BEST idea,” but it’s rare that a book just viscerally creeps me out the way this one did. More and more events start happening as the men realize they are becoming trapped in the cabin due to the storm and other forces, and more and more strange events are happening. Reading it is like being in a fever dream.<br />I honestly couldn’t believe that this was the author’s debut novel. It’s simply fantastic. It’s creepy, well written, it has a good ending, and it leaves some things unexplained, but in the best way – you don’t always need everything spelled out, especially in a horror novel. I can’t wait for the next book from this author!<br />
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After finishing this novel, I read it has been described as The Ritual meets The Terror.  To me, this story felt like The Ritual meets The Only Good Indians by Stephen Graham Jones in some ways. In saying that, it definitely stands on its own without need for comparisons.  The author did a great job making the setting feel like its own character and the cold and despair are palpable at times. 

One of the better horror reads for me in a while!
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This is under 300 pages and yet it felt more like 500 or something because it was extremely slow-paced. With the horror genre, if it’s slow-paced, I’m more inclined to like it if it’s a movie than a book. Nothing really against the book or its author – just my personal preference.

The book focuses on 3 friends who travel to a secluded cabin – it’s in the family of one of the men. I very much could not tell the friends apart, whoops, so I can’t really tell you anything about them? I remember things that happened to them before the book – leg injury, something about drowning or ice? But I can’t tell you their names or which name belongs to which character (and who had which incident happened to whom). Which, this book is like 98% solely these three men; so I should’ve known their names before the 50% mark or something. That’s half on me and half on the book, in my opinion? Like, of course you should make an effort to remember their names (even if your memory is bad like mine) and differentiating the characters and such. But also it’s up to the writer to make sure no two (or three) characters are the same.

The horror was well-written, I’ll give it that. It’s a very slow one but it has all the elements of “spooky things start to happen and we start to notice them”. That’s something I like a lot. It’s fun to see the weird things happen – often before the characters do, because of course, they don’t know they’re in a horror book so they often don’t think xyz is weird until the weirdness increases/an actual injury occurs.

There was a big Indigenous/folk tale subplot but unfortunately it happened in the second half of the book – when I was already bored of most things – so I didn’t pay as much attention as I should’ve. I did like what I read – most of what I can remember – I liked. It tied in a lot with the main character’s family, but as I said, I don’t remember much so I think it made it all the more confusing to try to remember anything.

I am sad that I didn’t enjoy this as much as I thought I would because when I saw the comps I thought “oh wow yup I’ll love this extremely”. And it let me down because I didn’t really care about the characters much. I forgot most of the plot and basically everything that happened but the other books I read around the same time as The Broken Places I remember much better.
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A bit of a slow burn for a plot that is not hard to figure out but well written and the characters are fleshed out well. I would have liked more back story on the family and the forces in the town. It almost felt like "why are they doing this again?" Seemed to gain very little but I read this fairly fast and give it a 3.5. Thanks to NetGalley for the ARC!
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Books like this are the reason I get freaked out when booking a cabin in the woods kind of holiday.

After inheriting an old cabin deep in the Yukon woods, Ryne and his two friends, Shawn & Noah, travel  the cabin on a hunting trip, and end up spiralling into a dark place of isolation and creepy folk-horror.

I'd heard a lot of people comparing The Broken Places to Adam Nevil's The Ritual, and whilst the stories may share similarities, I can say for sure that they are both their own. Each possesses its unique essence, setting them apart in a league of their own. Personally, I found The Broken Places to be extremely unnerving, and enjoyed it much more than The Ritual.

Daigle does an ace job at character development and world-building. The dialect all feels so real, and it really felt as though I were in the room with them. 

I'm definitely looking forwards to picking up more by this author!
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The Broken Places by Blaine Daigle is a horror novel that takes readers on a thrilling journey into the depths of the Yukon wilderness.

Ryne Burdette inherits his family’s old hunting cabin and decides to go on a weekend hunting trip with his two best friends. However, there is something eerie about the woods, particularly as a winter storm approaches. The animals start behaving strangely and the natural laws of the wilderness seem to unravel. Whispers suggest that something is watching them.

As the storm intensifies and darkness envelops the woods, the trio must confront the dark secrets of the Burdette family lineage. The horrifying truth lies in shadowed places that have never been explored.

So I just finished reading The Broken Places by Blaine Daigle, and let me tell you, it was a wild ride! First things first, can we talk about that cover? It’s absolutely perfect. I’m obsessed with it.

Now, here’s the thing. This is Blaine Daigle’s debut horror novel, and I seriously couldn’t believe it. It was mind-blowing. The whole story just oozed this creepy atmosphere that had me on the edge of my seat. And let’s not forget about the setting - remote, bleak, and totally unforgiving. It was like a character in itself; that’s how well it was described.

The writing style was top-notch too. The pacing was spot-on, keeping me hooked from start to finish. And the characters? They were so intriguing and well-developed. I loved getting to know them throughout the book.

If I had one tiny nitpick, it would be that I wished there was a bit more exploration into the backstory of both the town and the Burdette family. But hey, considering this is Blaine Daigle’s first novel, it was still pretty darn impressive.

I seriously can’t wait to see what this author has in store for us next. Keep an eye out for this author because he has got some serious talent!

**ARC Via NetGalley**
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Talk about a book full of creepy atmosphere. I was absolutely taken by the story and writing from page one. The Broken Places is a story that will definitely stay with you after you finish reading it.

Ryne Burdette inherits his family's hunting cabin, located in the Yukon wilderness. He has second thoughts. The last year was extremely hard on Ryne, and a weekend with his two best friends is just what he needs. Unfortunately, old forgotten memories start to resurface, and of course, there's the issue of the unsettling wilderness. Not only do they have to worry about the upcoming snowstorm, but the group starts to hear eerie and mysterious voices deep within the forest.

This story will definitely stick around with me for a long time. It is the perfect book to read in summer and in a cold winter's night. You will not be ready for that ending and make sure you never get caught face to face with true evil.
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What an incredible debut novel!

As someone who has lived my entire life in a tropical country, one of my ultimate dreams is to see and experience snow. Yet after reading The Broken Places by Blaine Daigle, I fear that I may have developed an irrational fear of snow or wintry weather. The setting of an isolated, small town in the middle of the winter made the story believably creepy. As if that was not chilling enough, Daigle added random stares from the townspeople and strange behaviors from the wild animals.

Through his lyrical writing, Daigle created characters with such depth and complexity; they felt like real human beings. Ryne Burdette and his two friends have gone through life-altering events in their life. How they tried to cope with grief, loss, and trauma were also well-depicted in the story. I found myself empathizing with them and hoped that they would overcome the horrible ordeal they faced.

The story started slow, but when the feeling of dread set in, it was relentless until the very end. I’m at a loss for a better word to describe the ending, but it sure did break my heart a little bit more.

I highly recommend this book!

Thank you Netgalley and Wicked House Publishing for the ARC.
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An engaging fusion of supernatural horror and raw human emotion. While the narrative occasionally stumbles in its pacing, the book skillfully uses its isolated Yukon setting to build a sense of creeping dread, punctuated by eerie phenomena and whispers in the wilderness. Despite its chilling premise, Daigle's exploration of  secrets and personal healing provides a potent undercurrent to the haunting tale, making it an intriguing read for those unafraid to delve into the shadowy corners of human experience.
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Ryne has inherited a family cabin in the Yukon where he has memories of his childhood. Ryne takes his lifelong friends Noah and Shawn with him for a hunting trip, but the timing isn't great with the winter solstice and an impending winter storm. All three are reeling/processing their own grief, loss, and trauma as they go on this trip together. 

There are alternating POVs and nonlinear timelines. The storyline starts off eerie and becomes more dire as the winter storm rages on and reality becomes more unhinged for the characters. 

The pacing in the beginning of the book felt a little sluggish while Daigle set the atmosphere and character development, although both were done very well. Ryne, Noah, and Shawn were all likeable and I was rooting for them. The second half was faster paced, great visualizations and overall I loved this story. 

Horror tropes you will find in this novel: an isolated place, nightmares that may have been real, splitting up, inclement weather, alone in the dark, feeling of being watched, "I'll be right back"
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First a thank you to NetGalley and wicked house publishing for giving me an early copy of the book to read. 

This book kept me guessing up until the end, not knowing what was going on, struggling to come up with theories and I love that in a book. 

The relationship between the three men at the heart of story was really beautiful and not really something I’ve read about before, each character felt unique and yet I could feel the shared history. 

The setting was wild and creepy from the beginning, all the side characters added to its very off atmosphere. And though certain aspect felt similar to other stories it’s twists and turns made it very unique. 

The writing was well done, the dialogue felt natural and the descriptions were great balancing between painting a picture and the other over done description I find in some other books. 

A great book overall, with a compelling narrative and an exciting mystery, mixed with dread and terror in a perfect way. A book I didn’t want to put down and couldn’t wait to pick up.
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This title is atmospheric and creepy. The victorian-esk language adds to the Gothic feel.
Mid-paced, intriguing from the first page and with interesting MC's, this title is perfect for you if you are looking for a atmospheric thriller.
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What do you do when your life is falling apart and you need a short getaway? We go to the small town or even better isolated cabin. This is the story of 3 bestfriends who each shared trauma of their own is desperately need to escape from their life just for the few nights at Ryne's family cabin that he inherited where he has sweet memories of his childhood. What they didn't know is, something is waiting for them.

OHMYGOD? This book is so good, like terrifyingly GOOD. I can't believe that this is the author's debut novel, and to be my 3rd 5 stars read of the month is insane. This book is real scary, horrified me. Its start off slow with the friends conversation, slight memory of the past, but it slowly building up the tension and quickly escalates to unsettling & non-stop creepy. Such a page turner book, I feel like I can't stop to devour this book. Isolated cabin in a weird small town, with weird people staring at them, surrounded by a creepy dark forest that seems like something always lurking around, with animals acting weirdly. A deer staring blankly at you with their black eyes, didn't even move, didn't flinch even if you were about to shoot it, with a wolf lurking around and sometimes vanish when you thought it about to attack you. What is up with the cabin? Is there any secrets behind the occurrence? Who is the child that keep singing at odd hours?

"𝙏𝙝𝙚 𝙬𝙤𝙤𝙙𝙨 𝙖𝙧𝙚 𝙡𝙤𝙫𝙚𝙡𝙮 𝙙𝙖𝙧𝙠 𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝙙𝙚𝙚𝙥 𝙗𝙪𝙩 𝙄 𝙝𝙖𝙫𝙚 𝙥𝙧𝙤𝙢𝙞𝙨𝙚𝙨 𝙩𝙤 𝙠𝙚𝙚𝙥 𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝙢𝙞𝙡𝙚𝙨 𝙩𝙤 𝙜𝙤 𝙗𝙚𝙛𝙤𝙧𝙚 𝙄 𝙨𝙡𝙚𝙚𝙥"

I think there's quite a lot of strong points of this book . Firstly on how it didn't follow the cliché of horror movie, You see or heard somethings weird? Instead of going out to check out on them, they just stay together and frozen (Not that its a bad thing to do, cause I would too). Not only that the characters is very likeable (I rooting for them seriously), their emotions are raw, it feels like they were a real people. Each characters struggles and their past are describe in clear manner, making them appealing.

The writing are descriptive but not too wordy, certain parts is so beautifully lyrical. And it helps for the book's atmosphere, which is very imagery. It makes me anxious to imagine about the lake, the weird behavior of the animals, the cabin, the forest, also the cold and snow were well described. The author's writing style also help to created an immensely weird, creepy vibe that stays with you throughout the book which also increase the tension. You can almost feel the agony, terrify, despair and how helpless the characters felt. It flows smoothly despite it have multiples POVs and sometimes goes back and forth between the past and the present (I love how it didn't make me feel disengaged with the story at all). The suspense is also great, as the mystery, the horror and the creepy folk story make you to keep wanting more, but never giving you the full answer right away.

There were a lot of nasty, disturbing, twisted stuff happening and a little bit gore. Its actually perfect for a horror lover like me. Overall, such a gripping story. I'm glad I pick this up and huge thanks to Netgalley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review. I highly recommend this to horror lover especially for those who want a family secrets, spooky folk story, engaging plot, amazing characters, supernatural creature in deep forest, heartbreaking read, this is for you!!

Cw: Animal cruelty
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Where do you go when your life is falling apart?

For Ryne, he’s decided to take his two best friends (each with their own share of trauma) to his family’s old hunting cabin.  The Yukon territory is vast & the drive is a long one; the friends stop in the last town possible to pick up supplies & get a weird vibe from the locals - they definitely don’t feel welcome.  The last leg of the journey between the unfriendly town & their destination turns out to be stranger still, as nature isn’t acting as it normally would when confronted with people in a loud vehicle with bright lights.

Upon arriving at the cabin, the three men realize that the spookiness has just begun - trapped in the small space as a winter storm rages, they’ll have to figure out what exactly Ryne’s ancestors were up to in these terrifying woods…

This is a debut novel from a very talented horror writer - I was happy to be reading it on a warm summer’s day, because I definitely had chills & would’ve been even more freaked out in the dead of winter.  I don’t know that I liked how the story ended, but it was a wild ride with detailed supernatural elements & a haunting setting - definitely going to keep an eye out for more work in the future.

Thank you to NetGalley & Wicked House for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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In many horror novels our protagonists trapse off to the woods to discover themselves, mourn a loss, or the classic house inheritance trope. Ryne, here does just these things, with his best friends, to the frozen Yukon, in a cabin here he used to travel as a kid, oh and there may be a strange entity in the woods his uncle used to pray to. Ok, creepy cabin in the snow covered woods with an eerie entity lurking around? Yes, delivered. However, while this book was eerie, it wasn't only an eerie read. The story was so much sadder than I had anticipated. The characters' traumas bleed into every aspect of this story. If Adam Neville wrote The Ritual with Blaine Daigle here, we'd have one of the best deep woods thrillers known to man. Daigle delivers sympathetic characters in way I never felt toward Neville's so I found myself instead not focused on the same parts of the plot as I did in The Ritual. The main character, Ryne, in this novel was indeed endearing, I found myself rooting for him and his friends for sure but the horror side of the plot was unsurprising and at times even bordering on dull and because of that, I was half into the "horror" part of the novel. The idea is great but it felt secondary to the emotions of the main characters. However, as far as creating a sympathetic character in a bad situation that the reader can connect with and root for, Daigle knows exactly how to deliver one to us on a silver platter. I think the ambience could have been played into more as well as a deeper detailing overall regarding the present horrors the characters face rather than so much of their pasts. But all in all, I gave it a 3 because I did enjoy it, it's worth the read and as far as character creation goes, Daigle's provide a fresh take on those that find themselves in a horror novel. But it wasn't the type to keep me on the edge of my seat in anticipation of what comes next as far as the overall plot is concerned. 
I'd like to thank NetGalley and Wicked House Publishing for allowing me the chance to read this and provide my own opinions on it.
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I enjoyed this book. Instead of being an otherworldly and fantastical beast, there were indigenous beliefs incorporated in a way that made the story more believable. It’s very unique and I appreciated that. It’s creepy, unsettling, sad, and lights a little fire of anger in some instances. Easy read. Well done.
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You and 2 friends are heading to the Canadian Yukon for a few days of hunting to a solitary cabin that’s been in your family for generations. You’ve been there many times throughout your life, generally around the same time each year: the start of the winter solstice. However, this year is different. The people in the village and the animals are acting strange, and there’s a blizzard that seems to be stalled right over the cabin. You’ve never seen anything like it, and your friends are freaking out because nothing seems right. The CB radio doesn’t work, and the nearest town is 15 miles away on unpassable roads. Something is definitely not right, but there’s nothing you can do until the storm moves on, right? Nothing except delve into your family’s past and the past of the cabin itself in order to figure out it’s mysteries so that your friends can leave the cabin safely behind. But that is easier said than done.

That’s the gist of the debut novel “The Broken Places” by Blaine Daigle (who’s website, by the way, says “Dark Fiction for Dark Nights”, which gives you a good idea where this novel is headed). It is as delightfully creepy as it is claustrophobic. The novel explores what friendship means, to what extent a family should keep their dark secrets secret, and when to stop blindly following a family’s beliefs. 

The protagonist of the novel is Ryne Burdette, and he is making the sojourn to his family’s cabin in the middle of the wilderness to ostensibly remain there, unbeknownst to his friends. His family has fallen apart, and his father died several months ago, leaving the cabin to Ryne. His family is not the only one good at keeping secrets. Ryne is bringing along 2 other lifelong friends of his who has no idea he plans on not returning with them when their trip ends.

What begins as a hunting trip unravels when the villagers in the town outside of the cabin act strange toward Ryne and his friends, and then the animals also take on behaviors not like their species. For instance, on the way to the cabin, Ryne and his friends are stopped on the road by a deer, but the deer does not respond to flashing lights or their vehicle’s horn to remove it from the road. Nor does it flee when one of the friends takes a shotgun and puts it to its head; it just stares at the friend until the trigger is pulled. Another disturbing scene has animals gathering outside the cabin looking in at the three friends, including animals that should be in hibernation like bears. In addition, what leads to feelings of claustrophobia for both the characters and the reader is the persistent snowstorm that appears just as the friends make their way towards the cabin. Both scenes will send tingles up your spine. Not only are the characters trying to figure out what’s going on, but so is the reader.

There are so many twists and turns in this novel, that once you think you’ve figured it out, the author pulls the rug out from under you and takes you in another direction that you won’t see coming. Things are definitely not as they seem, and the author delicately weaves you along the path through to the final page.

I highly recommend picking up this debut novel by Diagle and reading it during a cold winter’s night, perhaps while there’s a snowstorm going on outside your door, if you dare.
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I loved the beginning of this book. I love the legends of the Appalachian mountains and the beginning was giving the best eerie mountain vibes. Due to time constraints I was unable to complete the story. I will be looking for this title in the shelves!
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OMG! and WOW! I am not a true horror reader, but boy did this one grab my attention from the get-go! While I personally wouldn't call it a page-turner in the sense of action going on, it was because of all the creep factors! I just had to know what in the world was going on!

Ryne and his two best buddies to to a cabin that his uncle left him, but it was clear from the start that something very wrong was happening...but what? All 3 boys had something awful happen to them. They came across an animal that seemed defiant and acted nothing like an animal would under those circumstances. A snow storm was threatening them to be stuck and their firewood/warmth was running out so they had to figure a way to get out of their. But one boy was severely injured so the other went for "help" but there was so much creep factor going on that I was truly on the edge of my seat and dying to get to the bottom of it.

Brilliantly written and I highly recommend it even if you (like me) are not in the horror genre. But please stick with it because it comes together in the end.
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