Cover Image: The Schoharie

The Schoharie

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Member Reviews

I'm happy to say, this book was great! I love the myth, the "legends" if you will, the mystery and the fact that it's based on a true story. I love the Native American people and this author did a good job in this tale. It could easily be on TV. I'm happy I got to read it, the title wasn't attractive to me, but the premise was and it turned out great. 

My copy came from Net Galley. (Thank you!) My thoughts and opinions are my own. This review is left of my own free volition.
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I found this to be an original and well written story of a group of men in upstate New York who have been struggling with the aftereffects of a bridge built in their community thirty years earlier.  There is a good deal of Iroquois mysticism along with a happy balance of romance and fisticuffs.  The characters were realistic and I found myself hoping the story would go on longer, even though the primary problems were addressed.  I think this would make a great movie or short series on Netflix.  I strongly recommend to anyone looking for something just a tad different but really, really good.  

Many thanks to NetGalley, the publisher and the author for a review copy.  This is my honest opinion.
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During the first part of the book, I was getting lost at all the names being thrown at me, people past and present. But once I got everybody sorted out, I had no more problem remembering the characters. This is a quick read about Native American lore, small town politics, betrayal, families, and horror. Aaron, a young coach and volunteer firefighter starts experiencing things similar to what his father experienced 25-30 years ago.  His dad's life ended when he raped Aaron's mother (Aaron was conceived at that time) and then was killed by his best friend, a deputy, who is the sheriff in present times. 

People know things and they aren't talking. Rumors abound about what happened long ago and what is happening in present time. I liked Aaron and I wanted to know what was happening to him and if he would survive his trials. I do want to mention that there is animal death...the deaths play a part in the book but I always have trouble focusing during those parts of a book.  Thank you to Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA) and NetGalley for this ARC.
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Normally, I probably wouldn’t take the time to read a book like The Schoharie. However, I received an ARC from NetGalley, so I gave it a chance. I’m pleasantly surprised! I don’t know if the Indian folklore is accurate but it’s definitely intriguing. The events from 30 yrs ago are still impacting the lives of the people in a small town. Someone among them is out for revenge. I’ll admit that there were moments when I thought “What is going on with this book?!” but I kept reading & I’m glad I did. I don’t like to give away too many plot details in my reviews. You can learn plenty from just reading the back cover. But this book is worth reading. Thank you, NetGalley, Diane M. Johnson & BookBaby for the ARC!
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The Schoharie is an intriguing book full of Native American lore and a diverse group of interesting characters.  The book intertwines a current perspective with a historical one and the author does a very good job of connecting the two.

Admittedly I found the book a bit slow in the beginning and then about half-way through I was captured by the story unfolding.  Others have complained about typos and misspellings; but I didn’t have any issues as it seems most books these days have a few that I can usually overlook.  There are parts of the the book are creepy scary but that’s a good thing.  I didn’t think I was going to like this book as much as I did.  It was a very captivating book that kept my interest throughout.

I received a copy of The Schoharie through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  My thanks to Independent Book Publishers Association and Diane M. Johnson for the opportunity to read this wonderful book!
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the book was very interesting.  Plot was well developed. really enjoyed this book and the characters.
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I originally chose this book because of its location -- I lived for several years in the area. However, I found the characters more cartoon than real, the plot a bit tired, and the motivations and scenes a bit off. I wouldn't recommend this book, sorry.
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I shouldn’t be allowed to read NetGalley’s Read Now emails after a certain time of night. Because I end up requesting books that I would not read. I wake up the next day with buyer’s remorse and a bad feeling about the book. In a lot of those cases, my bad feelings and/or buyer’s remorse aren’t warranted. But in this case, my feelings were right. I could not get into this book. I wanted to but there was a disconnect. I couldn’t get into the plot or connect with any of the main characters. The only one I connected with was the villain and even then, my connection wasn’t strong.

The Schoharie is loosely based on a real-life event. On April 5th, 1987, The Schoharie Creek Bridge collapsed, killing 10 people. The author nailed it with the description of the bridge collapse and the vehicles that went over. But, my fault with the story wasn’t with that. It was with the story intertwined with the collapse and the events that happened afterward.

Aaron Bonner fell flat in my eyes. I did feel pity for him when his backstory was explained. He had to deal with what his father did. When he started having the same mental issues that his father did, I wasn’t surprised when people started whispering behind his back. The only ones that wanted to help him were Will and Barbara. They knew that more was going on than Aaron having a mental breakdown.

I didn’t like Sheriff Ben Harrigan. His dislike for Aaron was obvious. I was led to believe he didn’t like Aaron because Aaron was dating Ben’s daughter, Sara…who was still married. Instead, it was revealed, later in the book, that Ben felt guilty for Aaron’s father’s death. I wish that it had been stated clearly in the beginning. I also didn’t like him because he refused to see that his daughter was married to an abusive man. Up until the middle of the book, he kept pushing for her to stay with him. WTF? He did redeem himself slightly at the end of the book when he set things in motion to help Aaron but still. Too much harm had been done.

I did think that the author did a great job with the paranormal aspect of the book. I liked that Aaron’s being able to hear dead people (Six Sense anyone???) was used in a way that helped. I liked that Will Cuddy decided to help Aaron prepare for a battle with the Indian sorcerer/warrior.

I figured out who was controlling the Indian sorcerer pretty early in the book. I also wasn’t surprised to see that this person was responsible for what happened to Aaron’s parents. What got me, was that all this started because Aaron’s father was walking across this person’s land. Made me shake my head in disbelief.

The end of The Schoharie was pretty typical for a book like this. The author did do a great job of wrapping up all the storylines. But it was the end of the book that gave me the chills.

What I liked about The Schoharie:

A) loosely based on a real-life event.

B) paranormal aspect of the book was fantastic

C) Native American mysticism was great

What I disliked about The Schoharie:

A) Aaron Bonner’s flat character

B) Ben Harrigan. Just didn’t like him

C) The bad guy. He came across as a petty man

I would give The Schoharie an Adult rating. While there is no sex (just kissing), there is graphic violence and language. I would suggest that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

There are trigger warnings in The Schoharie. They are domestic violence and talk of rape. If you are triggered by any of these, then I suggest not to read the book.

I am on the fence about recommending The Schoharie to family and friends. If I did, I would let them know about the triggers. I am also on the fence about rereading this book. I would be willing to read other books by the author, though.

I would like to thank BookBaby, Independent Book Publisher’s Association, Member’s Titles and NetGalley for allowing me to read and review The Schoharie

All opinions stated in this review of The Schoharie are mine.

**I received a free copy of this book and volunteered to review it**
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Joe Bonner is a Native American whose trespass on private property will cause Joe to never be the same person that he was.  When Joe starts  sabatoging work on the construction of the Schoharie Bridge in Fort Hunter, he tries to tell the sheriff that he is possessed by an Indian who is making him do these things.  The sheriff doesn’t believe Joe.  Joe dies.  Joe Bonner had a so, Aaron who is now being passessed by the same Indian.  Aaron almost dies due to an accident of the bridge.  Will Aaron survive or die?

This story is based on a true event that happen near the author’s home.  The novel is not only a supernatural story but also a mystery.  It is suspenseful.  The story is creepy with its description of sorcery and what happens to Joe and others in the novel.  If you like creepy supernatural novels, you will love reading this as I did!
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Are you in need for a read-in-one-session magical realism novel about Native Americans, with a crime / thriller element thrown into the mix? Look no further, "The Schoharie" has got you covered! This novel tells the story of a community in New York and the chaos surrounding the construction and ultimate collapse of a bridge across the Schoharie river. The novel is based on a true story, which makes it so much more interesting. From the first pages, the reader is able to understand the twisted and complicated connections between the people living in the town, as well as how deeply rooted they are in history (mostly the history of the bridge construction). There is a heavy Native American magic element in the plot, which is awesome, because that is not a very common topic. And it will make you question everything: what is real, what is just hallucination, is it actually magic? I also liked that the novel went against the stereotype by featuring Native American characters that were skeptical of the sorcery, and white characters who believed and adapted it. And while I ultimately liked the notion of the repetition of history - between the construction to the collapse and possibly the future with the construction of a new bridge - I must say I did not fully understand what the motif of the bad guy was. I though it would be the (typical) Native American revenge on the whites for stealing their land, but it was not. Yet it was not fully explained. 

Another minor point of critique was that I found the names of the characters confusing. Not only was the author inconsistent in their usage: sometimes using first names, sometimes last, sometimes a nick name. I also though that most of them were not fitting the characters very well. I don't rationally know why, but a "Bob" is just not a though sheriff in my mind - so every time he was mentioned, I had a moment of "Wait, who is that?". But that is just me... Overall, I can say that this is a very innovative and thrilling novel with plenty of great character moments in it as well. And the way it is written and set up, let me tell you: it would make a pretty good movie, too.
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After reading a few of the previous reviews on this book, I wasn't sure what I was getting into. comments about the editing style where it was difficult to follow who was talking, bad spelling, etc., made me cringe. As an editor, that's a big deal for me. But I have to say, unless this copy was re-edited, I didn't think the issues were any worse than any other commercially produced book I have read.

Now for the story. Wow! I absolutely loved it! The Schoharie follows the doomed history of a highway bridge built over the Schoharie Creek, and the interrelated consequences of ancient Iroquois Indian mysticism. After 30 years, the bridge collapses after torrential rain swells the normally meager creek into a raging torrent. Aaron Bonner has a dark history. His father worked on the original bridge construction but somehow lost his mind and sabotaged the bridge, did other unimaginably evil things (don't want to give away too much) and eventually killed himself. Now, after a near-death experience, Aaron can hear the dead calling for him. Is he going crazy like his father before him? Here begins the dark history of the Schoharie. Is he really crazy? Is there some other dark power at play? 

I felt this story was  very well written. The characters were very well developed an quite likeable. You feel for Aaron, as he struggles with the notion that he is crazy like his dad. You also empathise with the backstory of Joe, Aaron's father, as he struggles with the same fears. Diane Johnson manages to explore humanity's evil, as well as show the selfless power of humanity, in the way the community pitched in to help in the rescue efforts after the bridge collapses, and the elder members of the Indian community coming together to reveal and help resolve the dark spirit issues Aaron is battling against. 

Overall, this was a very enjoyable and engaging read. I'll definitely be looking out for more of Johnson's work.
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