Cover Image: The Broken Places

The Broken Places

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

Thank you to netgalley for providing me an arc in exchange for an honest review. The opinion reflected is that of my own.

I admit I fell for the cover of this book first. I like a good chilling stag. This book was creepy but a little slow. I devoured it in one sitting though as it's only 240 pages.
Was this review helpful?
Three friends take a much needed break to an isolated family cabin but things seems off.
  Holy crap, I am in love. The Broken Places had me hooked almost instantly and didn’t let go. I read it within the day. It has a little bit of everything that one looks for in a spooky supernatural horror. Little bit of body horror, creepy animals who stare a little too much, disembodied voices. I can’t wait to have the physical copy on my bookshelf!
Was this review helpful?
The Broken Places by Blaine Daigle is a horror novel about three friends who go hunting only for weird things to start happening to them. Ryne, Shawn, and Noah head off to the cabin in the Yukon, a cabin left to Ryne after his uncle's death. With a terrible snow storm looming and creepy town folk lurking, they find themselves facing an evil that wants a sacrifice.
The isolated cabin in the woods aides in setting up a creepy atmosphere. The three friends all have faced some extraordinary obstacles prior to this trip, making them jumpy and paranoid. The strange behavior of the animals leads you to wonder what trials the friends will endure in the woods.
I thought the story had some repetitive issues as it told the friend's backstories over and over again. It also had a few plot holes in reference to Ryne's unborn son. Despite this, it was an original and interesting story that I enjoyed reading.
Thanks to Netgalley and Wicked House Publishing for the advanced copy of the book. The opinions are my own.
Was this review helpful?
Rayne and his friends, Shawn and Nate, visit the hunting lodge that Rayne inherited from his family. The author set the cabin in the middle of the Yukon woods. As a child, he would go there with his dad and uncle and experience strange things. 

“The Broken Places”, by Blaine Daigle, occurs in the dead of winter over a three-night period. It starts off as a slow burn, but tension builds around the 40 percent mark. The novel is atmospheric. Daigle uses vivid descriptions to create an ominous feeling towards the cabin, woods, and the surrounding areas. I did not mind the gradual build because I got lost in the woods and snowstorm storm 🥰. The author creates a few of isolation and dread with both strange events, howling winds and cold heavy snowstorm. 

Aside from a well-developed environment, the characters are fleshed out. Their thoughts and feelings pop off the page. The author wove their backstories and personal struggles without information dumping. These friends are broken ans so is the setting. 

The title “Broken Places” is the perfect title for this debut novel by Blaine Daigle. If you are looking for a supernatural story with somebody horror set in a cold setting, this is the book for you.
Was this review helpful?
Blaine Daigle has found a new fan, I absolutely loved this book. It was so scary at times where I just couldn’t put the book down even though I was getting a tad creeped out. 

The plot was submersives, the characters were written thoughtfully and the horror was all amazing. Will be reading more books by Blaine.
Was this review helpful?
I had a very hard time getting into this book, if I'm being honest. I am the kind of reader who gets easily bored with detailed descriptions of the scenery/setting and I felt like there was SOOOOO much of this. While I understand this was likely done on purpose, since the forest in this story is really a character in and of itself, it doesn't mean that I liked reading about it. There were large chunks of text that I skimmed  in order to get through it. 

Overall, I think the book was good. It worked as a horror story, the characters were flawed and I enjoyed them and their story. But the description-heavy writing made this a really tedious read for me and took away from my enjoyment. For those readers that love when an author paints you a detailed picture of the setting, I say pick up a copy and settle in.
Was this review helpful?
Wow! Absolutely Wow! 
I believe this is a debut and for a debut this book was written so well and kept me engaged the entire time! 

Ryne inherits his family's old hunting cabin that is in the Yukon woods. When he was there as a kid he saw weird things, but his father always explained it away. Now as the last person in his family line, Ryne and his 2 friends go to the cabin one last time and boy do they have a fun ride. 

This is totally an isolated setting supernatural horror novel and the vibes are there for sure. I really felt cold and secluded reading this! (It didn't help that I read most of this after dark!!) I enjoyed the way the characters were portrayed and how all the spooky things fell. I also love everything that was packed in such a short book! It was not dragged out at all. 

The story started off pretty slow and didnt take off til almost the 25-30% mark and while reading it still did not feel like a bore. I wanted to know and I wanted to get to the cabin myself. 

Check trigger warnings before going into this!
Was this review helpful?
One sentence review: The author has done a great job of creating an atmosphere of impending doom for the characters, and I was particularly drawn to Ryne's character because of his deeply-rooted traumas. Although the other two characters also have their share of hardships, it would have been interesting to see more diversity in their personalities and backgrounds if at least one of the three friends has had simpler life thereby he can see things more rationally. 

What works:
- Ryne's journey
- The atmosphere and the snow storm
- The legends and mythologies presented in the novel
- The horror. 

What doesn't work - 
- Other character also has equally strong traumas, thereby it sometimes feel like they're in a battle of who has the worst past. 
- Repetition of many information over and over. 
- Some places the author builds a momentum of horror, but then gets lost in over explanation of things.
Was this review helpful?
I started this book because I was intrigued by the cover and title but honestly its one of the best books I have read so far. It started a little slow but it really picked up and it kept me glued throughout.
Was this review helpful?
It’s been a long time since our protagonist Ryne Burdette last returned to Wolf’s Bone, Alaska. Yet he decides to return there one last time with two friends from his childhood. All of their lives have been irrevocably changed by personal tragedies in the last several years. Little do they know, on what is meant to be one last weekend hunting trip, their lives are about to change a hell of a lot more.

The Broken Places (Wicked House Publishing, March 2023) by Blaine Daigle is a book about ghosts. It’s about the phantoms that we all become when tragedy strikes our lives, and the ones in your own pasts that never let go of you. The book ponders over whether or not it is possible to repair that emptiness once it gets stuck within you. A difficult task, to be sure. A more difficult task still when something is stalking you deep in the Yukon wilderness.

Daigle’s protagonists have each had their life torn away from them - one more literally than the rest. Their unwillingness to discuss these catastrophic moments is mirrored by the silence that surrounds the people of Wolf’s Bone, and even Ryne’s own family’s unwillingness to discuss just what is happening in the snowy forest. Ryne doubts his own recollections - what did he see his uncle doing to the deer when he was only eight? Why isn’t he allowed to eat the meat that’s sold in town? The questions pile up like the snow from the storm as Ryne and his friends find themselves trapped in the cabin, the cold piercing through even though no one can quite discover where.

The book feels inevitable in the way that good horror always does. Whether or not the characters can escape their fates, you know they will be irrevocably changed. Daigle tells an excellent horror story, and this book is definitely one that all readers will enjoy. Mind the antlers on the cover: this book will hook you.
Was this review helpful?
While this didn't scare the pants off me, it did make me think and try and figure out what was going on.
Does the ending leave things open for a sequel?
I wish there was more back story about Ryne's family.
Was this malevolent and sinister or was this protective? In a bit confused on that.
A worthy read though. I probably would have liked it more if it had been storming outside while I was reading.
I received an advance copy from NetGalley.
All opinions are my own.
Was this review helpful?
Was intrigued and captivated from the beginning, however towards the end I lost this a little. Felt dragged out a little at parts. However, it was enjoyable and glad I took the time to read it.
Was this review helpful?
Unfortunately had to DNF this one.
Although the concept initially intrigued me at first, I just couldn't get into the storyline. May be due to the author's writing style or the breakdown of the world. There were a bit too many descriptive words that took away from the overall plot and emotional aspect of the characters. I really wanted to enjoy this one but it just ended up being not my cup of tea.
Was this review helpful?
Three friends, one cabin, epic horror. 

The charcter development.... EXCELLENT.

I loved the entire tone and pace of this book. It exceeded every single expectation I had. 

It was clever and a real page turner. I cannot recommend this horror more! 

5 stars. Take all my stars!! 

Thank you to wicked house and netgalley for my gofted copy!
Was this review helpful?
The atmosphere was eerie, the folklore was creepy, the animals were spooky - everything you’d want in a horror book! 

Thanks to #NetGallery, Wicked House Publishing, and Blaine Daigle for the chance to read and review #TheBrokenPlaces.
Was this review helpful?
Oooh don’t often get a solid spooky Yukon story! Definitely give this one a shot if you’re into solid stories and characters you actually care about? I was most impressed with Daigle’s ability to get me invested in these friends.
Was this review helpful?
This is a tight horror novel with an ever-growing sense of dread. The three main characters are all defined by different traumas, but they are distinct and relatable, or at least understandable. I enjoyed the overall story as well as the structure and pacing, and thought the flashbacks and other reveals about the characters’ histories were well done, not giving everything away in an exposition dump anywhere but filling in the pieces slowly. The folklore is an interesting twist on other isolated forest-based mythologies, and I again I appreciated that we were only revealed things bit by bit, with some questions still unanswered by the time the immediate story ended. The setting itself, the isolation of a cabin in the middle of a remote taiga during a solstice snowstorm, felt menacing and real. So, intriguing and fleshed out characters, a well-plotted and tight plot, and an overall engaging story, which succeeded in bringing dread and some horrific imagery, makes for an overall fun read, especially for anyone interested in the folk-horror subgenre exploring when modernity is in a fight with the natural world it is trying to either conquer or leave behind. 

That said, it wasn’t a perfect read for me. While the flashbacks went a long way toward it, I did wish that I actually felt the connection between the characters as much as they described their love for each other. They repeatedly referenced their deep commitment and brotherhood, and while it felt genuine in the story, I would have liked to see it a little more. There was also a clear attempt at making the forest a character in the story, and the setting did feel genuine and creepy but I never really felt it to have the kind of heft it needed to really be an active participant, except for a few moments here and there. And while I don’t think every rule of the supernatural experience needs to be explained, I enjoy when stories refuse to handfeed you everything rely on the unreliability of the narrator’s experiences, I felt like there was some hand-waving at making the supernatural legacies fit the story. It just felt like anything could have happened in the plot and it would have been fine within the fuzziness of the mythology of the story, as the rules and expectations of the supernatural elements just didn’t seem to have any real heft. I just needed a little more to anchor things, so I didn’t feel like rules were arbitrarily being made up as we went along. And, lastly, some of the actual prose was a little too purple for my taste. I really appreciate poetic prose, especially in genre stories, but here it often felt forced, with every page having far more adjectives and qualifiers than necessary and sentences that felt like they were crafted just to sound important. Overall, the writing was strong and I did enjoy some of the flourishes but some of it just felt unnatural, it was just too heavy-handed.  

I did really enjoy this story, and blew through it in just a few sittings. The chapters felt long enough to provide actual sustenance while still being able to end with some nice hooks that urged me to keep reading. It has strong plotting coupled with a good dose of ambience that makes for a compelling read. While there were some things I think could have been improved upon, I still heartily recommend it, especially for anyone terrified to find what might be buried in the frozen legacy of family history, hiding in plain sight in the middle of a cabin in the middle of nowhere. 

I want to thank the author, the publisher Wicked House Publishing, and NetGalley, who provided a complimentary eARC for review. I am leaving this review voluntarily.
Was this review helpful?
I'm so thankful to have received both a physical copy and digital access to Blaine Daigle's The Broken Places leading up to its publication date of March 24, 2023. I thought this piece of horrific literary fiction was so well done, and I can't wait to run to my feed to see what my fellow readers think of this work of art. I am so thankful to NetGalley and Wicked House Publishing additionally for the bookish love.
Was this review helpful?
This book has it all; creep factor, gore, great characters and plot, and more. Great read for anyone who loves horror, especially with a lore that is woven into the story.
Was this review helpful?
I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.   Thank you NetGalley. 

The Broken Places is a horror book featuring our main character Ryne.  Ryne and his friends take a trip up to the cabin he inherited from family to get away and destress, BUT there's something wrong in the woods near the cabin.   The animals are acting weird....  and there are whispering voices coming from the woods?

There is a bit of a folklore-ish theme to the book.    The author did an amazing job with the storyline and character development.    This isn't your typical horror book, there's multiple levels to this book.. and it seems to bypass just the typical horror genre/ trope. 

Well worth the read!!
Was this review helpful?