by S.A. Harian
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Pub Date 16 Jan 2023 | Archive Date 15 Apr 2023
For Dr. Siena Dupont and her ambitious team, the Alpenglow glacier expedition is a career-defining opportunity. But thirty miles into the desolate Deadswitch Wilderness, they discover a missing hiker dangling from a tree, and their satellite phone fails to call out.
Then the body vanishes without a trace.
The disappearance isn’t the only chilling anomaly. Siena’s map no longer aligns with the trail. The glacier they were supposed to study has inexplicably melted. Strange foliage overruns the mountainside, and a tunnel within a tree hollow lures Siena to a hidden cabin, and a stranger with a sinister message…
Holden Sharpe’s IT job offers little distraction from his wasted potential until he stumbles upon a decommissioned hard drive and an old audio file. Trapped on a mountain, Dr. Siena Dupont recounts an expedition in chaos and the bloody death of a colleague.
Entranced by the mystery, Holden searches for answers to Siena’s fate. But he is unprepared for the truth that will draw him to the outskirts of Deadswitch Wilderness—a place teeming with unfathomable nightmares and impossibilities.
A Note From the Publisher
Briardark is the first in a new cosmic horror series, perfect for fans of LOST and House of Leaves.
"Harian deftly couples odd, unexplained forest sights with horror tropes, from a cabin in the woods to shifting shadows. Despite a pileup of mysteries, the author grounds the narrative with crisp prose and well-crafted scenes even as the plot toggles between the research team and Holden at OSU. The cast is exceptional, and the novel’s illuminating latter half ultimately ties the labyrinthine forest with the parallel OSU plotline." —Kirkus Reviews
Average rating from 148 members
Insidious, relentless, creepy, mind-bending, and chilling.
I’d say these words best describe “Briardark.” The first in a new series by S.A. Harian. I’m not sure how to classify this novel. At some points it’s a horror story, at others, it seems as though it is Science Fiction, then it turns to a survival story, it’s best to say, this novel is quite unlike what I’ve read in the past. The story is gripping, intelligent, and I can’t wait for the second book as we visit Briardark…
A group of women disappear on a backing-packing trip seven years ago in Deadswitch Wilderness. One of those women was a gaming influencer. Now, a group of scientists’ led by Siena enter the wilderness to study a glacier deep in the same wilderness called Alpenglow. One of the expedition members is Cam, who was in the first search for the missing women.
As they are traversing and traveling the wilderness to their destination, they happen upon a body, which looks like one of the missing women? How can that be? The body has not aged? And it’s been seven years? Soon after discovering the body, it disappears?
The expedition team reaches the base camp near the glacier they are studying and find that it’s melted? That’s impossible, right? The team notices that nature, trees, earth, and vegetation seem and feel sentient. It’s as though time and space are altered, and reality undulates.
At the same time, Holden, , who is an IT person listening to some audio files that he came across that involve the study and the wilderness.
As you probably realized, this story jumps between the expedition, mostly Siena, and Holden telling the story. Holden is looking for the group, and Siena is trying to figure it all out and survive.
This story is so much more than a mystery and horror story, the depth of the characters, the atmospheric wilderness, the feel of an insidious element. The story is dark, very dark. However, it is so very well written. I believe this book will appeal to horror, mystery, fantasy, and sci-if fans alike. I’m not a fan of the latter two, but in this book it worked so very well.
Thanks to NetGalley and the Publisher for an eARC. All opinions are my own.
The Perfect Book for fans of the TV series 'Lost,' 'Dark,' and 'Yellowjackets,' but also of VanderMeer's Annihilation books. Frankly, however, I think this book is far, far better! Full of strong women, interesting male characters, and intriguing developments, 'Briardark' is a real page-turner, written intelligently and with a gripping story that makes no concessions to the reader. It dawned on me this is the first volume in a series, when the plot kept getting more and more complex, more and more interesting, and I was (sadly) reaching the end of the book! How am I going to wait for volume two?! Anyway, this isn't a simple survival story, since folk horror creeps in almost immediately; it's not a simple horror story, either, since, at a major point in the book, the plot goes heavily into science fiction territory; still, it's not purely sci-fi, since there are some wonderfully creepy moments that any horror fan will appreciate and yearn for. What I really liked was how expectations-defying the whole book is: there's no way to guess what'll happen, no way to make sense of the story on your own beforehand; you, as a reader, have to make do with the tidbits of information coming your way as the people in the story get to know them, bit by bit. This makes for an utterly immersive story, full of mysteries and atmosphere, with the supernatural elements right in your face! Highly, very higly recommended.
Thanks to NetGalley and the Publisher for the ARC!
Briardark by S.A. Harian is the start of an amazing new series.
An atmospheric, engrossing, riveting, page turner!
I loved the way Harian weaved together and created a complex multi-layered story.
The reader is left guessing all the way through.
The writing flows well and is a quick and easy read.
There is great tension, compelling atmosphere and unease.
A gripping, unputdownable, with plenty of creepy, spine-chilling moments.
Overall it was engaging and gripped me from the very start.
I can't wait for book two because Harian can write an amazing story.
"I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own."
Compass and Fern,
Thank You for your generosity and gifting me a copy of this eARC!
This was so good. I--I don't even quite know how to articulate how much I loved this. I love creepy forests, I love like....cosmic horror type spooks, I love expeditions (or anything with like a camera crew, or a film crew--any sort of team). Disappearing bodies?? I read this book in less than two days, and I would take the exhaustion 5 times over if I got to read this like it was the first time again. I don't want to give away too much, because I think what's in the synopsis is sufficient, but this was so good. I will be making sure that my library purchases a few copies for circulation, and I'm also most definitely buying a copy for myself!
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