by Christopher Hawkins
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Pub Date 03 Oct 2023 | Archive Date 30 Nov 2023
A sudden storm appears above an isolated farmhouse in rural Illinois, bringing with it a relentless and unnatural rain. A rain that eats away at everything it touches. A rain that turns people into monsters.
Trapped inside his crumbling home, a father must do everything he can to keep his family from falling apart. But the rain calls to them, and not everyone wants to stay inside.
Haunted by memories of his tragic childhood, he must put aside his painful past and find a way to keep them all safe. But the rain shows no signs of stopping, and time is running out.
"This book hits like a summer squall and never lets up, a real-time, one-location doom machine that earns its place beside The Mist." - Daniel Kraus, author of Whalefall
“This weatherman is forecasting nightmares coming in from the North. Not since Stephen King’s “The Mist“ has a shift in meteorology felt this terrifying, but it’s the human drama playing out under these cosmic storm conditions that truly elevates Christopher Hawkins’ novel.” - Clay McLeod Chapman, author of Ghost Eaters
“Seamlessly blending horror, speculative fiction, and urgent domestic drama, Downpour offers a fast-paced thriller fueled by themes of family discourse, childhood traumas, and a gripping and original environmental danger worthy of The Birds… This is a propulsive horror story, suspenseful throughout, and readers who enjoy genre-blending thrillers will tear through the pages.” - Booklife (Editor’s Pick)
“Christopher Hawkins’s DOWNPOUR delivers tension and dread with excellent prose, but it’s the complex dynamics of modern family structures that will ultimately haunt the reader.
“Like much of the best speculative fiction, Christopher Hawkins’s DOWNPOUR transmutes social and cultural anxieties into a compellingly-visceral conflict with forces that defy understanding.” - IndieReader (Starred Review)
"Dread descends in unrelenting sheets throughout Downpour. The moment you think the skies will clear, a roar of thunder cracks the walls of reality, and you fall into darkness." - Alan Lastufka, author of Face the Night
"Downpour hammers out a harrowing, heart-wrenching tale of loss of control. A stellar setup that absolutely delivers when the violence and chaos come to collect. A thrilling ride from start to finish." - Lauren Bolger, author of Kill Radio
“Gripping… Riveting… As the tension and violence effectively build, readers will keep anticipating how events are going to play out.” - Kirkus Reviews
Average rating from 168 members
Scott has a troubled life. His farm has failed, his wife Dana has been unfaithful, he’s haunted by memories from his troubled childhood and his successful neighbor wants to buy his land. As he stands on his slowly rotting porch on a hot, dry morning, he watches an oddly shaped, dark raincloud moving slowly toward his home. They need the rain. Not this rain. As it falls, the warm rain changes all it touches, people, animals, inanimate objects. Nothing will remain the same. Still Scott refuses to give it to the deluge and struggles to keep his family safe from an enemy he cannot understand.
True horror draws you in slowly. In Downpour, you feel Scott’s sense of failure. You see the weathered, peeling floorboards and the old, yellowed pictures hanging on the staircase wall. You see his son Jacob on the cusp of manhood and you hear his daughter Tallie crying for her mother and dog. You don’t feel the rain. That’s a good thing. 5 stars.
Thank you to NetGalley and Christopher Hawkins for this ARC.
Downpour gets to the action quickly. It all starts with a rainstorm. A normal event with an unexpected and deadly outcome. This is no ordinary rain, it eats through structures and twists minds. In the middle is a typical family, two parents and two kids. Each is facing their own stresses and personal tragedies but it all has to be forgotten because they need to survive the rain.
This book grabs and doesn’t let go. It does not protect you from pain the characters go through. At times you wish it would. Don’t expect a happy conclusion. This one stuck with me.
Thank you to Netgalley and Mr Hawkins for this ARC!
Downpour is a dark Horror/Thriller that will keep you glued to each chapter, it was impossible for me to put down so I had to finished the same day. Everything from the characters, to the setting to the pulsing creepy atmosphere and events were so well written.
I definitely recommend this book and will be on the lookout for this Author's next projects.
A creepily dark horror that slowly draws you in and although this is short it stuck with me after reading. This is pretty fast paced but the creepy atmosphere is perfectly fleshed out and everything is so creepy even though you're not 100% what is truly happening or going to happen next. I can see this being a hit for any horror lovers.
Downpour is a slow-burn horror that mixes elements from The Bird Box with Twister. Rain becomes a man and his family's worst nightmare as it drips into their homes, their, lives, and their minds. This is the perfect book to pick up on a stormy night and scare yourself silly with. I never thought that I would reconsider running out and playing in the rain with my child. Hawkins has taken something so normal and innocent and created terror with it. I was extremely impressed with the way the author fed in details that kept my heart pounding and my attention searching for more. Hawkins writing style is fantastic and the way that he is able to make me part of this story and care deeply for these characters in such a short time is impressive. At 198 pages this would be considered novella or short story length and Hawkins did an amazing job adding in just enough information to build the world without drowning in unnecessary details. I would recommend this book to people who are wanting to try out the horror genre and to people that are looking for something refreshing and new. Great Job done!
Perfectly paced slow burn. I really enjoyed this, especially during our week long thunder storms. It was wonderfully creepy. The writing was spit in, and the story felt really unique to me.
This is the most frightening book you'll read about rain. Something as simple as a rainstorm turns into a nightmare for a family because this rain isn't quite normal.
Several things stand out wonderfully in this novel. There's the family dynamic which is stressed to an almost breaking point even before the strange storm hits. This will hit home for quite a few people right off the bat, allowing the reader to become emotionally linked to the characters.
I love how the entire novel takes place at one location, the land and old farmhouse where the family resides. We do get glimpses of events happening elsewhere but through the eyes of TV newscasts and social media. But the focus here is on this family in this location. And that makes it feel almost claustrophobic throughout.
The heart breaking decisions that will need to be made in order to survive will also give you a case of the goosebumps. And trying to stay dry during a storm that is literally eating away at the structure of the house is no easy task.
No spoilers: but that ending! Some might say it's a happy ending, some might say otherwise. The author wisely leaves it up to the reader to determine and doesn't try to explain everything at the end. I think people will have a lot of opinions about it once it's released.
I loved this book and highly recommend it.
Thank you NetGalley, Coronis Publishing and Christopher Hawkins for an eARC of this book.
This book is a very addictive dark thriller/horror story and I absolutely loved it. As we are introduced to Scott, we learn everything in his life is falling apart, his marriage/family, his house/farm. He still lives in the same house, on the same farm, with the same stuff as he did with his alcoholic father and the memories of his mother running away. I can feel how depressed and doomed he feels. This is before the horrible rain starts. The rain brings with it a new set of horrors and Scott tries to do everything he can to protect his family. Protect his family from the rain and from each other. I was at the edge of my seat at the turn of every page. I had no idea what would happen next or how the story would unfold. And the ending! What an ending! I am still thinking about the ending. Is it a happy ending or sad ending? I am still not sure but I loved it!
The author did a fantastic job developing this story. Early in the novel there is a part just before the rain starts when Scott and his wife Dana are talking/arguing and during this conversation, Scott is washing his hand and watching his blood go down the drain slowing, water pooling and Dana is using a knife, rising and falling, rising and falling. I thought this was a great set up leading into the beginning of the rain and the terrors to come. This story really creeped me out. The only thing that would have made it more perfect would have been if it was raining while I was reading.
I highly recommend this book and I cannot wait to see what Christopher Hawkins has in store for us next!
I wasn't sure what to expect, but I really enjoyed this. The author painted an interesting scenario for the action, and the psychological underpinnings of a family in trouble added to the discomfort. This felt like a controlled slow burn, leading to the chilling finale.
I could see a movie being made from this.
I received a complimentary copy from the author and from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
This was a great, eerie, atmospheric read! The shivers were real! Also, I loved how short this was, I read it in one sitting! Good for a little light horror.
Thank you, NetGalley, for the digital ARC!
Downpour is one of those books you just cannot put down once you start reading them. It matches an acute sense of pacing with stunning character development and a plot that is truly terrifying.
Reading this novel, I could tell Christopher Hawkins has done his homework. The pairing of American gothic tradition and contemporary psychological horror (think Bird Box or Stephen King with an actual good ending) kept me chained to my Kobo.
It's rare to see a horror story that actually makes sense, and Downpour delivers.
I loved this book! Wild, fact paced with a chilling turn of events. I love a new take on horror and this definitely delivered!
Downpour is an unputdownable man vs. nature horror story that perfects the creepy undertone “that something isn’t quite right here.” Writer Christopher Hawkins gets us straight into the action. Our protagonist, Scott, is an Average Joe, a middle-aged father to two kids and a dog, who is still living on his late father’s farm with his wife. He seems to have marital issues at the forefront of his mind—that is until he sees the cloud.
Scott knows immediately that this isn’t just any cloud, and the reader is able to feel his tension build through Hawkins' writing. Hawkins is always one step ahead, using his prose to let the reader know something spooky is coming without overtly saying it.
Even before any news or information hits, Scott knows in his gut that this is no normal cloud, and that whatever it is, it poses a threat to himself and his family. We get to watch the battle of Scott’s family against this natural phenomenon while also seeing flashbacks into Scott’s childhood and the ever-present marital issues popping up.
The pacing in this book is very quick—I read it in several hours and simply could NOT stop reading. It is action-packed from the first page to the last. Time is not explicitly stated, but we are led to believe the events unfold over the course of a day or two—a timeline that is hard to execute, but Hawkins nails it.
This book is perfect for anyone looking for a very suspenseful horror novel that involves a natural phenomenon as a character in itself. Fans of M. Night Shyamalan’s The Happening will likely enjoy this book even more!
Overall, I very much enjoyed it and finished it very quickly. While a few flashbacks or minor plot points don’t seem to play a big role at the end, it didn't take away from the story. This novel is definitely more plot-driven than character-driven, but we are given just enough details on the characters and their backstories to be invested in them. 5 stars from this reviewer! Thank you to NetGalley and author for this ARC!
This was the horror book I've been craving!
Chilling and tense, this story does not let up until the unexpected ending. And even then, it had my brain meditating upon the psychological and physiological aspects of what I had just witnessed.
Told with a deft hand at balancing the current horrors and the main protagonists' horrors of the past, the author did a brilliant job at building depth of character while commenting upon broader domestic themes within the context of this riveting story.
There were twists and turns and an emotional depth to this story that I did not expect. The blend of horror and science fiction had a touch of Jordan Peele's type of magic blending of the genres. If you are interested in all of the above, I would recommend picking this book up and giving it a read.
This book made me uncomfortable, held me riveted to the page, and left me haunted with wanting to know more, which is just the kind of story I was craving. I look forward to seeing what this author creates from here on out.
DRC kindly provided by Christopher Hawkins via NetGalley in exchange for an honest response. All opinions are my own.
Downpour by Christopher Hawkins is a multi-layered horror novel that deftly weaves elements of a number of sub-genres into a story that REALLY gave me the creeps.
It's difficult to review this one, as I believe different readers will take different things away from the experience. It's the kind of story that you really want to talk about but don't want to risk inadvertently spoiling, if that makes sense.
I will say that Downpour had me glued from the get-go. There are some shocking scenes that may disturb some readers, but the overall sense of dread and paranoia in these pages draws one in. And, personally, I found the ending absolutely terrifying and perfect. I'm STILL thinking about it, days later. ☺
***Thanks to Christopher Hawkins and NetGalley for the digital arc.