Cover Image: The Broken Places

The Broken Places

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Member Reviews

I absolutely adored this book. And it filled in for Yellowjackets quite nicely! After all, the book features people who become trapped in a remote cabin in the dead of winter. There’s also lots of deer antlers, a wolf, and the belief that something strange has been following them for years. 

It was really cool to see a depiction of male friendship that included some care. These guys didn’t hide their feelings — for the most part — and this was refreshing. 

I also loved the way the author used language. Many passages evoked imagery — much more than usual. I highly recommend this book to horror fans and fans of shows like Yellowjackets!
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I received an ARC of The Broken Places from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I really enjoyed this one, as it had some seriously breathtaking atmosphere similar to The Ritual. It follows three men, Ryne, Noah, and Shawn, as they venture into the remote Yukon to a family cabin left to Ryne by his dead uncle. Immediately, discomfort sets in as we meet Wolf’s Bone and the area around the cabin, though the men are too stubborn to acknowledge something is off—at least audibly. This falls into the “traumatized men making bad decisions to appear strong, even as they’re falling apart inside” trope, and they do some frustrating things before even beginning to cope with their pasts.

The Broken Places is a folk horror that will keep you flipping pages to find out the story behind Ryne’s family cabin.
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The Broken Places was the perfect debut novel. It starts out a little bit slower, but builds to absolute terror and fear. I loved every single word of this book and hope to read more in the future from Blaine Daigle.
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This book is incredible.  The ambiance is straight from my dreams:  dark, freezing, massive snowstorm, isolated with creepy town and animals…. Check, check, and double check.  The creepiness of the animals cannot be overstated.  That to me was almost more terrifying than the source of the creepiness.  The haunting of the family line - so good.  The creepy-ass townsfolk bolstered the general sense of unease throughout the book.  You’re wondering what the heck is going on.  The characters were all so loyal and flawed.  The ending - so stinkin’ good.  I feel like there could be more to this story.  I will definitely be reading more from this author.
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The Broken Places by Blaine Daigle

Yikes! I just finished reading this brilliant horror story and as a huge fan of thrillers/ horrors, I can say in all honesty that this one was done so well it blew all of the others out of the water. Sitting here right now I feel as though I cannot try to write words that would do this book and author justice but I will certainly try. I would compare this largely to Aaron Nevill’s The Ritual. 

Three friends all will traumatic pasts decide to go hunting at a cabin that one of them inherited. Ryne Burdette and his friends Noah and Shawn are heading to the Burdette family cabin in Wolf’s Bone Yukon. Ryne is the last in his family as he just lost his father and uncle. It was the uncle who left him the cabin. Noah, after dying and brought back to life, is suffering from terrible panic attacks and Shawns dream of playing baseball in the pro’s division was halted. The three were hoping this trip would somehow take their minds off of their troubles. 
Once there the three men sense things are aberrant. A deer stares with blank eyes and never moves, a wolf follows them home, and they begin to hear strange voices. There is a storm fast approaching and the three men become isolated and unable to leave (ah the claustrophobic feeling is very strong here) but it is about this time that Ryne has flashbacks to when he was younger visiting his uncle at the cabin. He had terrible nightmares about a creature visiting him. Leaving is not an option now because of the storm. How will the three of them understand what the voices are trying to tell them? Will they figure out the history of the Burdette cabin in time? 
The Native American addition to this brings up lots of folklore that is very scary in and of itself. I found the authors writing abilities to be much better than any of my favorite authors. Daigle is an amazingly gifted writer who knew how to pace the story to keep the readers engrossed inside of a terrific horror story. I could truly feel the emotions as if I was there. The characters, oh the characters…..well developed, flawed, and eager to do what was needed to get as far away as possible.
Daigle ROCKS and this is one scary as hell book that if you love horror, you need to read this one. It will not disappoint nor is it predictable. 

5++++++ stars out of 5

Thank you to NetGalley as well as the author and publisher for giving me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for my unbiased and honest review.
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Thanks to Netgalley, Blaine Daigle, and the publisher for a free e-arc of this book so that I can review it.

"The Broken Places" follows three friends, Ryne, Noah, and Shawn, as they go on a hunting trip to the Yukon. Each has his own trauma that he is suffering from. They're staying at Ryne's family cabin, which he recently inherited from his uncle after his uncle's death in a car accident that also killed Ryne's father. Ryne has been coming to the cabin since he was eight years old, and remembers seeing some pretty freaky stuff happen, but he's not sure if he actually saw these things or just dreamt them while sleepwalking.

They arrive at the cabin on the solstice, just when a major storm is setting in that makes leaving the remote area next to impossible.

I enjoyed this book. It was well-written, and several parts of it were very disturbing in ways that were both subtle and heartbreaking. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys folk horror or cabin in the woods-type stories. If you enjoyed "The Ritual" or "Stolen Tongues" there is a good chance you will like this one.

Definitely check your triggers on this one, especially concerning children and animals.
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"The Broken Places" is a good thriller, especially for someone who is just beginning to dabble in reading the genre. It wasn't overly gory and didn't have themes that would confuse a beginner thriller reader. Blaine Daigle does a good job of using detailed imagery in their writing. There were times that I truly felt as if I was in a frigid, snowy forest right alongside the characters. This book was a pretty quick read as it kept me entertained with its different twists.

I would have loved for this book to dive further into the twisted, dark history of the main character's family and how it all related to the native people in the book, being that was the premise of all of the "spookiness" going on. A richer history would have made me as the reader feel more connected to the main character's backstory. 

Overall, "The Broken Places" is a good read and definitely worth the time. It is fast-paced and brings some new concepts to the thriller genre that have been missing for a while.
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Thank you NetGalley, Wicked House Publishing and Blaine Daigle for a copy of this book.

This is an outstanding supernatural folklore horror novel and I loved every page of it.

Ryne Burdette has just inherited his family's cabin in Wolf's Bone, Yukon, and decides to take two of his friends, Shawn and Noah, on a hunting trip to get away and try to heal from their recent tragedies.  Ryne has become the last member of his family after losing his father and uncle, Shawn has just lost his dream of being a professional baseball player and Noah is coping with anxiety and panic attacks from having died and brought back to life in a grain silo accident.  As they approach the cabin, a large buck stands in the middle of the road.  The buck is not afraid of the men and will not move for the.  Its eyes are black and seem to have no life in them.  This is just the first of many unsettling encounters with the animals in the woods.  Pacts of animals stare into the cabin, a wolf begins to follow the men and the three start to hear voices.  Ryne then has flashbacks of visiting the cabin as a young child and the horrible nightmares he used to have of a creature visiting him at night.  Ryne remembers there was great tension between his father and his uncle surrounding the cabin but why?  As the three realize it might be time to get the hell out, it is too late as a storm has moved in and there is no way out.  What if the old legends people tell each other about the woods are true?  What if your family legacy is a horror story?

This author really knows how to tell a story.  I was addicted from the first page.  The descriptions of the weather, the woods and the cabin made me feel so cold and claustrophobic.  Some sections were downright creepy and gruesome and oh so good!  I really hope this author has started on his next novel because I cannot wait to read it!  High recommendations from me!
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A bone chilling and transformative novel, The Broken Places by Blaine Daigle is an emotionally charged and riveting supernatural story of accepting loss and healing from generational trauma.

 Ryne Burdette has some fond memories of the hunting cabin he used to visit with his father but most of them are also tainted by the palpable disdain and tension between Ryne’s father Rory and his Uncle Rod. Hoping to find a way to wipe his slate clean to begin again after a traumatic year, Ryne and his best friends decide to take a weekend trip to the family cabin Ryne has now inherited. From the moment they step foot into the quiet village on their way up to the remote cabin in the wilderness of the Yukon, the atmosphere feels off. It isn’t long before the quiet beauty of the forest is filled with whispers and strange occurrences. As an encroaching storm intensifies and they each begin to share the unnerving visions from the forest, the three friends must work quickly to solve the mystery of the dark past of the Burdette family before they all succumb to the deep dark cold wilderness. 

I just want to start off by saying this has one of the best opening paragraphs I have read in a while. Vivid descriptions that evoke a sense of wonder and unease that really sets the tone for the rest of the book. I would call this a slow burn. Blaine Daigle takes his time building up the tension and creating emotional ties to each of these characters to the reader. They are wonderfully developed despite their individual traumas. Noah is a poetic soul. The more emotional one of the group of friends. His descriptions of the open land of the nature surrounding the cabin are evocative. He is described as being a hard worker, someone who does not give up prior to his trauma, but he also feels like the most empathetic of the three. Shawn is analytical, logical. He relies mainly on patterns and natural inclination. I also felt he was quick to the trigger emotionally. Ryne is reserved, but there is always something bubbling beneath the surface. His nature is kept in the shadows for a long time, much like the family history he is in the dark about.

I love the nod to Native American lore and how Europeans infringed upon Native lands and culture to twist and perverse it into something it was not meant to be.

Overall would recommend if you like dark, gripping, and terror inducing horror. 

Thank you to NetGalley, Blaine Daigle, and Wicked House Publishing for providing the opportunity to read this story.  This is my honest opinion and a voluntary submission.
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This was an excellent and creepy read. There is a lot of twists and turns within this novel that I didn't expect. Especially the setting and importance of the setting. I can't wait to read more from this author and publisher.
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This isolation horror follows Ryne Burdette after the deaths of his uncle and father.  His uncle left him the family cabin located in the Yukon wilderness and although he hasn't been back since he was a child, recent events in his life have drawn him back.  He brings along his two friends for a weekend trip to each recuperate from their own traumas.  But as a winter storm rolls in, the animals and people start acting strange.  Then when voices seem to be coming from the trees, the three men feel like they are being watched from the forest.  In order to figure out the truth behind what is happening, they must uncover the dark history of the Burdette family. 

On NetGalley, this was compared to The Ritual, which is actually a movie I've seen and 100% agree.  I'd say this is the same sort of folklore horror, medium gore, trauma/grief themes.  I absolutely loved both the movie and this book so if you like one, I really think you'd like the other.  Both are folk horrors with isolated forest settings and both follow a group of friends that have an undercurrent of tension.  The Broken Places does get to the gore more quickly than The Ritual, but overall I think the two are still very similar. 

The characters were fantastic and I loved how much we got to see of their friend dynamic as well as them as individuals.  Their backstories are gradually given to the reader as we go through the story and I enjoyed how each new detail we got felt like it became immediately relevant to the current plot.  I never felt like we were getting a lot of 'fluff' details.  Each of the men had gone through their own sort of trials recently and had their own fears to work through. The way these fears manifested during the story was really impactful and did a good job of developing the characters.

The pacing for the first 75% was perfect.  We get into the spooky parts pretty early on and the eerie dread just increases over time.  We also see the physical threats increase as the characters spend more time in this wilderness and try to escape.  There's a nice balance of backstory with all 3 characters and we get to see how these details impact the current plot. The last 25%, however, seemed to stagnate for me.  The plot was technically moving forward, but it didn't feel like the stakes were being raised any longer.  I loved the way the horror was ramping up throughout the story and I wanted that ramp up to keep happening.  

TW/CW: animal death, miscarriage, domestic violence, animal mutilation, suicide, death of a parent

Thanks to NetGalley and Wicked House Publishing for the ARC. Publication date was March 24, 2023
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TW: Graphic animal killing/descriptions, gore, unsettling creature descriptions

If I could I would give this 4 1/2 stars.

I was largely unimpressed by the first several chapters of this work. It felt bogged down, overdone and frankly, uninteresting. So, I stopped reading after a few chapters.

Last night I decided to look at the reviews for it on amazon. The first thing I noticed was that it was rated over 4 stars by a few hundred people. The second thing I noticed was that the first review said “For fans of The Shining”. That’s what made me go back to this book and give it another chance. I wasn’t disappointed.

I personally wouldn’t compare it to The Shining. For me it was a more like Adam Nevill’s work The Ritual.

A grieving man (Ryne) along with his two best friends - who each have their own set of traumas- head to Ryne’s ancestral cabin in the Yukon for a weekend hunting trip in the dead of winter. They don’t seem to be welcomed by the townspeople and they have a disturbing encounter with a deer as they drive up the long path to the cabin. That’s just the beginning of a sinister tale filled with regret, pain, uncovered secrets and horror.

I relished this book and the story it told. How the “sins” of the fathers can have very real consequences to the sons and how hard it can be to step out of a narrative it feels like you were born to continue.

I think this is the author’s debut so I’ll be following him to see what else he comes out with!

“Pain doesn’t go away—it just takes on fresh forms. Lingers like a ghost, tethered to a place irreparably familiar as it changes. And when it has starved its new form, it changes again. And it will keep changing until it has eaten through everything and left the sufferer a husk.”
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Thanks to Wicked House, NetGalley, and Blaine Daigle for providing an ARC in exchange for a fair review.

A few places need to be reworded. But this was a damn fine folk horror tale with some very good prose.

We follow Ryne, a man mourning the death of a child, a divorce, and the loss of his father in a car accident. In flashbacks, his past is fleshed out, so we see why he's pulling away from the world, in the company of his two closest friends. But, as we learn his story, we discover, along with Ryne and his friends, the dark legacy of his family in the Yukon.

There's some really good, unnerving scenes in this book. The male friendship is touching, and it's even gruesome and creepy. I look forward to more from Daigle in the future.
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This was definitely worth reading and certainly as creepy as the front cover suggested. It wasn't full on horror in the first half, but rather a slow burn, establishing the background story and dropping hints of what was to come. Not slow in a boring way though. The writing was descriptive without being too wordy and the words painted an eerie picture. I was hooked from the start and felt compelled to keep reading.

There was some nasty, twisted stuff going on and I really felt for the main character. The reader learns what he has suffered through in the past and travels with him into even darker experiences as the story moves on in the present.

There was no cliche ending but rather a mix of satisfaction and melancholy. 

This author knows how to create a dark, sinister tale and I hope to see more in this genre by Daigle in the future.

Content warning: animal cruelty

I received this arc from netgalley in exchange for my honest review.
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Definitely a weird story. Something deep, dark, and old lives in the woods. This reminded me of an old Stephen King tale. This book is not fast-paced. It is slower, and it builds up to the mystery and the murder that happens within the walls of this story being told. We are introduced to our characters, headed to the cabin that has been in Ryan's family forever. When a snowstorm hits and makes them unable to leave, things start to go crazy. Animals doing their own thing, and it is not natural. 
What we and our main character Ryan discover is far more sinister than we would have thought. 
I really liked the darkness that this book gave us; it was something the author just did a good job and building. 
Everything is not happy; it is sad and hungry and will take everything from you.
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I couldn't finish this one before the time ran out. It seemed to be moving quite slowly and the prose was not very evocative, plus I didn't really identify with the protagonists.
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Kept In the Dark Until the Darkness Takes Them

I'm in Texas and already feeling the heat, so I was looking for a chilly getaway when I found this book. It looked like the perfect choice: the characters get trapped in a winter storm of Snowmageddon-fast accumulation. I imagined gusting winds turning snowflakes into icy needles and dreadful isolation keeping them beyond outside help. I got exactly what I was looking for, though not without surprises. 

The three of them planned a hunting getaway, but the location of the Burdette family's cabin isn't like any wilderness these sportsmen have hunted before. Ryne Burdette and his best friends, Shawn and Noah, must deal with worsening driving conditions, strange encounters with locals, and weirdly-behaving wildlife just to get there. It soon became plain to me that The Broken Places is a supernatural survival thriller, even if the characters didn't know it.  So, just like that, I was hooked. 

This is Blaine Daigle's debut novel, but he writes like a seasoned horror author. Word by understated word conveyed an overwhelming sense of doom hanging over all three men. He gave them backstories that compelled my interest in their fates. I felt that they were all at the end of their ropes, that they were already broken and that the road to that cabin was inescapable for them. 

Daigle's reiterations of the title within the text, well-placed and as natural as nails in a coffin, made my hope that what was broken could be healed heartbreakingly remote. But, hope is a stubborn trait in horror lovers, so I dug in and rooted for them to make it anyway. I'm happy to say that the ending was shockingly satisfying.

Thank you to Blaine Daigle, Wicked House Publishing, and NetGalley for the free advance reader's copy. I accept no obligation or compensation for my reviews. The Broken Places was terrifying and will likely haunt me for some time. I loved it.
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This was a very atmospheric story of family and friendship, of old tales about a faceless, nameless monster. It was about tradition and what it means to sacrifice. 
If you like your horror hauntingly dark, then this is a great book to pick up. I highly recommend this one.
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It took a while for this one to get going, but ultimately it was a satisfying read. The story of three friends who get together for one last trip to one friend's family cabin in the Yukon turns into a nightmare involving ancient spirits and trapped souls. The friends fight to survive the bitter cold and an unknown force that doesn't want them to leave. The first half of the book involves too much setup and not enough actual happenings to really pique your interest. The second half, mainly the last fifty or sixty pages, kick into gear and reveal what's really going on in this cold, vast wasteland. A solid ending helped make up for the slow, dragging start. Mostly well-written, with a few repetitive and trite phrases sprinkled in here and there. I'd read more by Daigle. Thanks to Netgalley for the free ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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Beautifully written & atmospheric!

This story follows 3 friends that take a trip to a family cabin deep in the woods. The friends had all suffered deep losses and needed a getaway. They couldn't have chosen a worse place!

Absolutely recommend!
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