Cover Image: Gollitok: A Horror Novel

Gollitok: A Horror Novel

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Member Reviews

This book is amazing. Andrew Najberg has written an absolute masterpiece here and the world building has led me to want more.
The story is in a post-nuclear society, where they have essentially lost all of the “old” technology that to us right now, is just everyday technology. The way Najberg has his characters react to some of these techs and the way certain titles and words to these future people have morphed from words commonplace in our time is just genius. You can tell he is an author that has done his homework as well as thought smartly about how a future post-war society would react to things we see every day.
The island itself is spooky and there is a lot of horror going on in this story. The characters are well developed, each unique, and you root for them as the story starts to take a turn.
I really hope this book turns in to a series. Maybe not with these characters or even at this setting, but definitely within this world created.

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Just finished this upcoming book by Andrew Najberg, and just wow. A cosmic post apocalyptic adventure on an island with a horrifying past. You'll find yourself second guessing everything you've decided is right as you go page by page. Solid four stars!

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I stayed lost for most of the book, but I was still drawn to it. Totally lost, but stilled wanted to know what was next.

Good enough read. I finished it among a huge list of books I didn’t finish.

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I'm not a huge post-apocalyptic fan, but Andrew might just make me one. Gollitok is a marvel! Despite not having horrible monsters constantly chasing the characters (in the traditional sense anyway), the atmosphere is just beautiful. Andrew had me questioning myself, trying to figure out what was real and what wasn't, the whole book. Complete mind bend!

Let's talk characters. I love a book that gets me attached to a set of characters, then turns around and makes me question whether I should be or not. My heart pulled for them, even as things were revealed that made me give them a hard squint. Andrew made each character delightfully flawed, and I hated each of them even as I loved them. What a fun group of people to follow!

My only real gripe is the world building at the beginning. From the blurb, I knew that this was in post nuclear Eastern Europe, but I thought the setting itself was a bit vague in the book, almost like I was reading book 2 in a series. What happened to cause this total meltdown of society? Who is the Bureau, and how did they come to be in power? How did all these groups of people get established, and why is there so much conflict between them? Some of the answers I could guess at from things revealed later in the book, but I really wanted more detail into the world so I could fully understand the nuances in the plot.

Beautifully done book, though! I'm really excited to check out more by Andrew and see how else he can make me jump at shadows! Thank you to NetGalley and Wicked House Publishing for the early read!

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Thank you NetGalley for giving me the chance to read this book ahead of time in exchange for a review. It didn't disappoint! Must read!!

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Let me start off by showing gratitude to NetGalley and Wicked House Publishing for the opportunity to read this ARC.

This story follows a group on a survey mission to an abandoned prison isolated on an island. The world at this time has fallen into a post-nuclear society controlled by a centralized government known as ‘the bureau’.

Hammel Varka heads up our survey crew that is made up of a array of characters who have specialized occupations. Their sole mission is to voyage to the island and create a comprehensive report of their findings.

As the crew begins their voyage to Gollitok prison one crew member is critically injured, resulting in absolute panic prior to them washing ashore on the island. It becomes gradually apparent from the beginning that this venture is far more dangerous than initially anticipated by all the survey team. Morale initially is high, but as time goes on fear and tension builds resulting in strained relationships amongst strangers fighting and discovering unknown terrors. The Flora-based & Fauna-based horror provided throughout this novel were incredibly interesting and very captivating.

Hammel is very interesting to me because he is trying to find rationality in a world that appears unnatural to him. He begins the story very regimented and documentarian, but quickly realizes that he will have to drop that type of attitude in favor of cooperation to survive.

In the beginning Hammel believes that he will have full control of the survey team because ‘the bureau’ has deemed him in charge. However, as the story progresses Hammel finds out that the crew that he has been given to oversee weren’t actual ‘volunteers’ but forced into this venture. Within society these crew members have vastly different qualities of life than Hammel does.

The pacing throughout the story feels pretty good to me as it allows slow burn tension to build and gradually picks up as various events affect the group on the island and then slow down again. However, toward the later part of the novel the plot is absolutely on fire and strangles you in his grasp all the way until the conclusion.

I feel like fans of The Southern Reach Trilogy by Jeff Vandermeer will feel right at home reading this novel front to back.

In Gollitok: A Horror Novel, Andrew Najberg has crafted a structured, engaging, and horror-inducing island filled to brim with terror.

solid 4 / 5 star

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This one was alright. Not quite what I was expecting. I wasn't particularly impressed, but id give this author another try.

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Special thanks to NetGalley and Wicked House Publishing for allowing me an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

Long story short, this book is amazing and my only critique is I want MORE! Andrew Najberg has written an absolute masterpiece here and the world building has led me to want more more more!

The story is in a post-nuclear society, where they have essentially lost (but trying to regain) all of the “old” technology that to us right now, is just everyday technology. The way Najberg has his characters react to some of these techs (they’re confused or only heard rumors) and the way certain titles and words to these future people have morphed from words commonplace in our time…is just genius. You can tell he is an author that has done his homework as well as thought smartly about how a future post-war society would react to things we see every day.

The island itself is spooky and there is a lot of horror going on in this story. The characters are well developed, each unique, and you root for them as the story starts to take a turn. Like I said above, my ONLY critique would be that I want more! I want to know MORE about this post-war society as a whole, I want to know every single detail about these characters, and I wish I could have another 500 pages of lore within this setting.

I really hope this book turns in to a series. Maybe not with these characters or even at this setting, but definitely within this world created. There is so much potential and I will be waiting for ANYTHING else released about this place.

Najberg is a wonderful writer. When characters are in pain, you feel it! When they are stressed out or tired, you feel the same. You root for them and worry…I stayed up wondering if they would be okay! It is a wonderful horror novel that could EASILY be turned into a multi-million dollar budget movie.

An absolute treasure to read if you’re into Horror and up for some mysterious island type vibes. I was entranced on page one and even after finishing this book, I am eager for more! 10/10 !!

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In Gollitok, we follow Hammel Varka as he leads an expedition crew on a survey of the abandoned and dilapidated titular prison. After a perilous start to the crew’s journey, it quickly becomes apparent that they are not in for an easy trip. Things continue to grow stranger and more violent as the crew discovers that this island was way more than just a prison.

I found the pacing of this book to be quite stop-and-go. At one moment there’s plenty of action, then followed by (what for me were) too detailed descriptions of buildings on the island, which felt repetitive as they are all in various states of decay. When the action starts, however, it is really entertaining. I just wish it had been a bit more consistent.

There were parts of this book that reminded me of Jeff Vandermeer’s Southern Reach Trilogy- which is a big plus for me as he is one of my favorite authors. The moments with the crystalized fungi and the lighthouse creature were so vivid, strange and unnerving in the best way. I loved that these kinds of strange creatures/beings came back in the end as the island was collapsing. Nature can be really weird, and Najberg reminds us of that in a great way. These treacherous encounters with what would normally be harmless aspects of nature were my favorite parts of the story.

My only gripe with the plot was that the big reveal as to why the island has become so dangerous felt obvious. Varka may not have known what his piece of old tech is, but to me it felt very evident that it was some kind of Geiger counter; as a result when we get to the reveal that radiation is the cause of everything, it feels flat. I didn’t find this to be an enjoyment killer- the action surrounding this discovery is still intense.

I’d truly give this a 3.5*. It’s a good, short horror novel that builds dread efficiently and features a lot of cool nature-based horrors.

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An atmospheric, post apocalyptic tale that begins as a slow burn but finishes with a bang. The creepy descriptions of both flora and fauna really worked well to create an immersive reading experience. The writing was tight and the narrative voice was spot on. There was some violence and gore, but nothing I would consider over the top or gratuitous. A solid 4 star read.

Thank you to NetGalley and the author for providing me with the opportunity to read an advanced readers copy of this title free of charge. I'm leaving an honest review voluntarily.

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In a post-nuclear Eastern Europe, Hammel E Varka departs for a remote island to join a survey team cataloguing the abandoned Gollitok prison in the hopes that he will redeem his family’s tarnished reputation.

This was unlike the horror novels I usually read, but I did enjoy it. Very atmospheric.

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Thank you to NetGalley and Wicked House Publishing for this opportunity to read rage and review this arc which will be available October 29,2023!

Okay come here Mr Najberg! I have a bone to pick with you and therapy bills from the nightmares this book gave me! Holy mother of Pearl but sir! This book was scary as hell! Claustrophobic horror all around. I dreamt I was a member of the team sent to survey this prison island and I woke up panicked.

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A well-written, dark post-apocalyptic novel that brings to mind the novels of James Rollins. Imagery with stay with the reader long after the book is put on the shelf. Recommended.

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I stayed up late to finish this and don't regret a thing. This book has a gorgeous cover that made it an instant buy for me as soon as I saw it, and it's already pre-ordered. The nicest part? The book is just as well done as the cover. Inspired by the author's grandfather's imprisonment on an infamous island, this book goes from a creepy post apocalyptic survey mission on a menacing hunk of rock long talked about for the cruelties the prisoners there suffered to a claustrophobia inducing body horror and beyond. The characters all have their own orders and agendas, so the team leader has his work cut out for him from moment one as everyone nearly dies before they even set foot on the island. Deserted long ago and nearly barren of vegetation, the place is completely unwelcoming and it doesn't get any better once the team starts to survey the island's structures for who knows what. Things don't add up once they begin fighting and revealing what scraps of information each has for why they are there. There is a sense of impending doom and otherworldliness to the whole book, and I found the hints of how society has reformed since plagues and nuclear war ravaged the planet. The main protagonist speaks in a way that feels foreign even to him, and archaic. I would have placed him as a character from the era of Dracula based on his stilted prose, but once it became apparent that the universal language is something that was imposed on the population, it's no wonder everyone sounds so uncomfortable. When members go missing and the camp starts to come under attack, the team ventures into the island and the abandoned prison farther and find out many things are not what they were told. It gets wild. I won't spoil the last half of the book, but it was tense and crazy and I'd love a follow up to this because the world sounded fascinating.

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Want to start off by saying, a story based on history normally isn’t my go-to for reading. But the cover was gorgeous, and I loved the authors other book so I gave it a go & I’m so glad I did!!! The characters were all well developed & intriguing! The atmosphere was brimming with dread & gave me a sense of claustrophobia throughout which made me highly anxious while reading WHICH just added to the experience! It was kind of like Tomb Raider meets The Ruins meets The Thing! Very well written, great cast/plot/atmosphere! Loved it!

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