A Hunter Called Night

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Pub Date 09 May 2023 | Archive Date 16 May 2023

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Description

If you enjoyed Horrorstor by Grady Hendrix or Authority by Jeff Vandermeer, then you'll love this latest horror from the Bram Stoker winning Tim Waggoner.

A sinister being called Night and her panther-like Harriers stalk their quarry, a man known only as Arron. Arron seeks refuge within an office building, a place Night cannot go, for it’s part of the civilized world, and she’s a creature of the Wild. To flush Arron out, she creates Blight, a reality-warping field that slowly transforms the building and its occupants in horrible and deadly ways. But unknown to Night, while she waits for the Blight to do its work, a group of survivors from a previous attempt to capture Arron are coming for her. The hunter is now the hunted.

FLAME TREE PRESS is the imprint of long-standing independent Flame Tree Publishing, dedicated to full-length original fiction in the horror and suspense, science fiction & fantasy, and crime / mystery / thriller categories. The list brings together fantastic new authors and the more established; the award winners, and exciting, original voices. Learn more about Flame Tree Press at www.flametreepress.com and connect on social media @FlameTreePress

If you enjoyed Horrorstor by Grady Hendrix or Authority by Jeff Vandermeer, then you'll love this latest horror from the Bram Stoker winning Tim Waggoner.

A sinister being called Night and her...


A Note From the Publisher

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Tim Waggoner's first novel came out in 2001, and since then he's published over fifty novels and seven collections of short stories. He writes original dark fantasy and horror, as well as media tie-ins. He's written tie-in fiction based on Supernatural, Grimm, The X-Files, Alien, Doctor Who, A Nightmare on Elm Street, and Transformers, among others, and he's written novelizations for films such as Halloween Kills, Resident Evil: The Final Chapter and Kingsman: The Golden Circle. His articles on writing have appeared in Writer's Digest, The Writer, The Writer’s Chronicle. He’s the author of the acclaimed horror-writing guide Writing in the Dark, which won the Bram Stoker Award in 2021. He won another Bram Stoker Award in 2021 in the category of short nonfiction for his article “Speaking of Horror,” and in 2017 he received the Bram Stoker Award in Long Fiction for his novella The Winter Box. In addition, he's been a multiple finalist for the Shirley Jackson Award and the Scribe Award, and a one-time finalist for the Splatterpunk Award. His fiction has received numerous Honorable Mentions in volumes of Best Horror of the Year, and he’s had several stories selected for inclusion in volumes of Year’s Best Hardcore Horror. His work has been translated into Russian, Portuguese, Japanese, Spanish, French, Italian, German, Hungarian, and Turkish. In addition to writing, he's also a full-time tenured professor who teaches creative writing and composition at Sinclair College in Dayton, Ohio.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Tim Waggoner's first novel came out in 2001, and since then he's published over fifty novels and seven collections of short stories. He writes original dark fantasy and...


Advance Praise

Tim Waggoner - Awards

Winner – 2020 Bram Stoker Award for Nonfiction, Writing in the Dark

Winner – 2020 Bram Stoker Award for Short Nonfiction, “Speaking of Horror”

Winner – 2016 Bram Stoker Award for Long Fiction, The Winter Box

Winner – 2016 Southern Ohio Conference for Higher Education (SOCHE) Teaching Excellence Award

Winner – 2016 Faculty Scholar of the Year Award, Sinclair Community College

Winner – 2015 Horror Writers Association Mentor of the Year Award

Winner – 1998 Authorlink! New Author Award in Science Fiction/Fantasy/Horror, Necropolis.

Awards

– 2019 Bram Stoker Award nomination for Short Fiction, “A Touch of Madness”

– 2019 Shirley Jackson Award nomination for Short Fiction, “How to Be a Horror Writer”

– 2019 Splatterpunk Award nomination for Best Novel, They Kill

– 2018 Bram Stoker Award nomination for Fiction Collection, Dark and Distant Voices

– 2017 Bram Stoker Award nomination for Long Fiction, A Kiss of Thorns

– 2018 Scribe Award nomination for Best Adapted Novel, Resident Evil: The Final Chapter

– 2017 Scribe Award nomination for Best Speculative Original Novel, Supernatural: Mythmaker

– 2016 Scribe Award nomination for Best Short Fiction, “Foundling”

– 2015 Scribe Award nomination for Best Speculative Original Novel, Grimm: The Killing Time

– 2014 Scribe Award nomination for Best Speculative Original Novel, Supernatural: The Roads Not Taken

– 2011 Shirley Jackson Award nomination for Long Fiction, The Men Upstairs

– 2008 Scribe Award nomination for Best Gaming-Related Novel, Forge of the Mindslayers

– 1999 Darrell Award nomination for Best MidSouth Short Story, “Anubis Has Left the Building”

– 1998 Darrell Award nomination for Best MidSouth Short Story, “Hunt’s End

Tim Waggoner - Awards

Winner – 2020 Bram Stoker Award for Nonfiction, Writing in the Dark

Winner – 2020 Bram Stoker Award for Short Nonfiction, “Speaking of Horror”

Winner – 2016 Bram Stoker Award for...


Available Editions

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ISBN 9781787586314
PRICE CA$21.95 (CAD)
PAGES 256

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Average rating from 47 members


Featured Reviews

I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

***

The author of this book is what drew me in even though the blurb felt a little awkward.

I was lost almost immediately and had to restart. I'm not sure if it was hard to focus on or if the language itself was keeping me disengaged. However, the second go was helpful and I was able to get through the book.

That being said, I love the premise. It's interesting and there's a solid amount of gore too.

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Even having read the synopsis, I didn't know what to expect going into A Hunter Called Night. Enough of it sounded intriguing that I decided to give it a try, and what I found was a briskly paced, fun, "weekend movie" horror story.

The blurb on the back of the book states "a reality-warping field that slowly transforms the building and its occupants in horrible and deadly ways" and boy is that an understatement. I was fascinated, and in some cases absolutely disgusted, by the changes some of the occupants underwent. It was like reading the origin stories of my favorite Marvel mutants, except I had no desire to have any of their powers.

The writing is very clean, and the story is told from a plethora of viewpoints. You would think the sheer amount of characters would make for a muddled mess, but Waggoner did a great job of giving them each a clearly distinctive voice. Action scenes, of which there are plenty, are described well, and in gory detail. I especially liked the switching of perspectives during the same action sequence, as it segmented the fights in a way that made it very clear what was happening.

Up until about the 70% mark, I was loving the book and ready to give it 4 stars. I was rapidly approaching the culmination of the story and...it just fell flat. I really didn't like how rushed the ending felt. I remember seeing I had 20 pages left and thinking "This can't possibly wrap up well in this amount of time" and it didn't for me. Enough to knock a star off.

Don't get me wrong, I thoroughly enjoyed reading the book and I would recommend it to any fan of horror. It's a quick, fun read and I would watch the hell out of a movie, but I might turn it off a liiittle bit early.

Thank you to Flame Tree Press and NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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***NetGalley Review***

This book is a masterpiece of contained chaos and I loved every page! I was reminded of a movie where we’re introduced to a group of strangers who through a series of seriously demented and unfortunate events become intertwined in a web of weirdness.

Each chapter introduces either a new character of another piece to the fantastical puzzle from hell. You get a hint of a heist story but with werewolves, vampires, and blobs. Oh yeah, and a big a$$ bear!

The writing is straightforward and fluid making for a quick and easy read. There are several grammatical errors, not a ton, but I definitely hope an editor can fix them before the official release.

10/10 would recommend

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5/5 Stars

TL;DR - If Quentin Tarantino dropped some acid and then got into an Uber with Guillermo del Toro, who just ate a handful of magic mushrooms, and they rode to Studio Ghibli and stumbled into Hayao Miyazaki’s office for a brainstorming session, not even they could come up with anything remotely near this book. Holy shit. An absolute wild ride that I can’t even put into a neat little summary. I completely understand why this author has won so many awards, because this is next-level horror.

A big thank you to Flame Tree Press and NetGalley for providing the ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review!

‘A Hunter Called Night’ by Tim Waggoner is a horror story that also encompasses several other genres - sci-fi, a bit of fantasy, existential philosophy, psychological thriller, a bit of comedy here and there. The story is told in two timelines, one taking place in the present in a small Ohio town, and the other takes place five years ago in a small town in Illinois. Though it’s told through the POVs of like 20 people, maybe more, it all centers around a man named Arron, who is being hunted by an otherwordly woman, the titular hunter named Night. Arron, in both timelines, comes into a small town seeking shelter and help from the residents, and things get absolutely WILD from there.

**Trigger warnings for attempted rape, fatphobia, eating disorders, and extreme gore/violence.**

We’re inside the heads of maybe dozens of characters during this book, and some of them are pretty messed up. I’m going to to cover this ground first as spoiler-free as I can, just so everyone has an idea of some of the potentially triggering things before y’all dive in.

There is an attempted rape around 39% of the way through, and I was really sad to see it because it’s my policy to DNF books for my own safety as soon as an on-page rape occurs, and I was really digging this book and didn’t want to stop. But, spoiler for everyone’s peace of mind, the character doesn’t get raped, she’s okay, and in fact, the would-be rapist gets his spooky horror comeuppance almost immediately, which I’m always here to see. Bullet dodged for me, but please be aware that this all happens while we’re inside the dude’s head and he thinks some really messed up things both before and during the attempt. Please proceed with extreme caution if this is a trigger for you.

One character is incredibly fatphobic, beyond the scope one might expect from a morally-questionable dietician. She thinks some really gross jokes to herself, thinks very demeaning thoughts about the clients she’s supposed to be helping, and in general has very harmful opinions about fat people. That said, this character also deals with body dysmorphia, and potentially anorexia, so please be aware of that before you go in.

Lastly, THIS BOOK IS GORY. Like, insanely gory. Whatever you have in mind, double it, and you might come close. Not just blood, but all kinds of grotesque and horrifying bodily things involved. If you’re squeamish, this is not the book for you. I’m the kind of person who can read violence and blood without blinking, and even I was a little green around the gills from this book. Major body-horror and gratuitous violence going on here.

That out of the way, on with the review.

This book is all over the place, and I mean that as a compliment. We go from deep explorations of characters’ personalities and problems to some X-Files-level sci-fi weirdness, to inter-dimensional beings and their gods, to gory slasher horror, and round and round and round. It’s enthralling, watching how all these people’s lives are cruising along as normal, and then completely turned upside down by Arron and Night’s arrival. It all culminates into a fever-dream, gothic horror thriller that I could not make myself stop reading if I tried. I had to keep going, I had to watch this train crash, I had to know how it would end. And DAMN if the ending isn’t the juiciest twist!

This book has a LOT of POVs, and at first I found it overwhelming, but as I got into the book, I really started to appreciate it. Each character we spend time with is complex and flawed, each struggling with their own issues, and I enjoyed each little slice of life presented. As mentioned above, some of these characters are bad (or at least morally gray) people, but all of them are deeply human in an extremely realistic way, so it was fascinating to see how they each interacted with the absolute batshit insanity erupting around them.

If I had to find fault with this book, the only thing that comes to mind is that sometimes, the descriptions can feel superfluous and boring. We’re told everything every character is wearing, every detail about the surroundings, and it’s a bit much at times. We also get told every little detail about the “main” characters daily routines (except for Arron and Night, of course), and the beginning felt really bogged down by it, at least for me. In hindsight, I can sort of see an argument for contrasting the boring minutia of everyday life for humans and the cosmic-level chaos that descends and messes that up, but for me, it really just dragged for a while. I’m here for spooky, not mundane! However, I'm so glad I stuck it out because it picked up speed and did not slow down until the end.

Final Thoughts:

Did I come into this expecting to love this book as much as I did? No, I really didn’t. I was here for a weird, paranormal romp (and expecting some violence based on brief review perusal) and didn’t really expect to be wowed, but man, I am GLAD at how wrong I was proven. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and I will be purchasing a physical copy when its published!

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I really enjoyed this story by Tim Waggoner. It gets off to an immediate, exciting start, with someone being hunted by Night and it immedately throws you into this strange world, with certain rules to it, that make you sit up and take notice. The characterisation is on point and the story moves along at quite a pace!

Tim Waggoner is a writer at the height of his powers with this one. Having read his Writing in the Dark blog posts and his Writitng in the Dark book, I know how much work Tim puts into constructing a story and thinking about character, pace, plot and atmosphere.

A Hunter Called Night is an excellent horror thriller and I hope it does really well.

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I had mixed views on this one but I have to say that I did find it very original and I kept wanting to see how it ended, so it was worth it!

Without any explanation we're brought into the action from page 1 where a powerful and beautiful woman called Night and her panthers pets are hunting down a man called Arron. Meanwhile he's hiding into a building where Night and her panthers can't go in as they can't step into a "civilised" place.

As Night starts spreading a Blight, a moldy looking stuff that transforms everything artificial into wilderness again so that she can gain access, at this point it's where things become really crazy and everyone in the building starts changing without understanding what's happening. Meanwhile the hunter Night is also hunted down by a group of people with incredible powers that want their revenge!

I found this read very interesting and unique as I've never read anything like it, a mix of horror and fantasy very well written. Throughout the story the book goes back and forth present and future and although it made sense in the end, I struggled to understand why at times. Also in the first part of the book we are introduced to lots of people one after another without giving time to the reader to digest all the information.

Having said that, the revelation and the twists at the end made all of the downsides really worth it and I would really encourage you to read it!

One of my favourite quotes was: "This is a place of illusion. In the Wild, there is nothing that is unreal - things either are or they aren't. But humans are geniuses when it comes to deception, especially when they are deceiving themselves".

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4 Stars!

Tim Waggoner knows how to craft a scary, and often brutal, story. He likes to take readers on tours along the more extreme side of horror and often leave them cringing yet captivated by his imagination. When I saw A Hunter Called Night and its wicked cover, I knew this was a book for me.



When Arron stumbles into the office building at the edge of the woods in Ohio, no ones life is going to be the same again. Arron is on the run from Night, a supernatural hunter aided by four panther-like creatures called harriers. Night is a creature of the Wild and cannot enter places ruled by civilization, so Arron is safe for a little while. But Night creates a type of rot called the Blight that will slowly erode the manmade structure to a more primitive state and allow her to continue her hunt. Even worse, some of those within the blight will become her mindless servants to hunt down Arron. It is only a matter of time until he must face Night. It is time to get prepared.



Arron is not without his defenses, though, and a group of those around him find themselves mutating into guardians of the mysterious man. Other monsters seem to be popping up as well until the building becomes a living hell in which the only rule is kill or be killed. Night is slowly closing in, though, and even though Arron has a quartet of friends on the outside hunting Night as well, it may not be enough to stop her from finally reaching Arron and attaining her greatest goal of ending his life. Or maybe there is an even more sinister goal here than just Arron’s death, for even the King of the Wild has taken an interest in the hunt.



A Hunter Called Night opens with a bang and then checks all the boxes for what I expect in a Waggoner story. There is a lot of violence, some very bizarre occurrences, and a strong story setup that is intriguing and intricate enough to keep the reader guessing. The action starts quickly and really does not let up throughout the course of the book. Waggoner does bring it down a little after the opening sequence, but then things ramp up quickly. Not only does the novel get action-packed and violent, it gets weird as well. The story is somewhat disjointed by design as it goes back and forth between the present and a confrontation between Night and Arron five years earlier which makes it a little difficult to follow at times. This method of storytelling, however, is necessary for the way in which the novel ends when Waggoner pulls everything together. . .and pulls the rug from under the reader’s feet.



That ending is a little shocking and completely changes the feel of the story, but it also feels a bit rushed and a little forced. It carries some shock value but it comes to a head way too quickly to that point that it does not feel real. The other drawback to the story is that there really are no characters in the story to really sympathize with. The reader comes to hate Night from the outset but there is no character to set up as a direct counterpoint to her evil. Arron could easily fit that bill, but he remains enigmatic and a kind of non-entity throughout most of the story. He is the center of the story, but not really a part of it. That being said, the novel is still a very fun read and the pages seem to fly by. There is a lot of action and gore. Waggoner keeps things fresh by throwing in new curves in almost every chapter. A Hunter Called Night is gloriously weird and violent while keeping a central theme of the darkness that is humanity. Fans of Waggoner’s last novel from Flame Tree Press, We Will Rise, as there are many similarities both in the events and the way in which the story is told through several overlapping viewpoints. I wish the story had a more thorough ending and wonder if the story may have been told more effectively as two separate books, even if they were novella length, but it still comes together to form an entertaining work as a whole. Waggoner is a master of the weird and the violent, and A Hunter Called Night is a prime example of a master working in his element.



I would like to thank Flame Tree Press and NetGalley for this review copy. A Hunter Called Night is scheduled to be released on May 9, 2023.

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This read was a trip! Total mayhem! It made me think I playing a horror/fantasy video game.
I thought it would’ve made for a good series too!
Great fun! I definitely recommend.

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When I read the summary for this book I could not wait to read it and I must say it lived up to all my expectations a hunter call Night is hunting a man name Aaron but the hunter and her four cats which are called herras cannot go where civilization is but she can send a blight to ruin the civilization wherever the blight goes the hunter and her cats can then walk over it but if humans walk over it it changes them either into warriors for the night or people that are willing to help Aaron.Little does the Night know back in Bullock Ohio she left four people alive who were helping Aaron but now they are hunting her. There is way more to the story than my brief summary there was the reason why Night is hunting Aaron in the first place which OMG what a twist was not expecting that! We get to meet the king of the wild and he is scary on his own. Is this was just a book about how people become superheroes it would’ve been awesome because there’s that… But OMG the storyline grabs you at the beginning and does not let you go until it’s over and when it’s over just a fair warning you will totally contemplate what you read. I read this book yesterday and woke up thinking about it it’s a totally immersive read in one you will not want to put down. I have never read a book by this author but signed me up because I definitely am going to read more from him in the near future. I received this book from NetGalley and Flame Tree press but I am leaving this review voluntarily please forgive any mistakes as I am blind and dictate my review.

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Summary:

A wild looking man named Aaron is being hunted by an otherworldly woman named Night. Aaron's only hope of escape lies in civilization, because Night can only stand on wild land. When Aaron stumbles across an office park he seeks refuge within its confines. The only problem for the people of the office park is, that his presence has a way of.... altering them. Changing them into oddball warriors to help fight his battle against Night. And time is short, because Night has started the process of reclaiming the office building for the wild. Will Arron and his new band of misfits be able to stave Night off? Or will Night and her harriers end this game of cat an mouse once and for all?

Thoughts:

In the words of The Grateful Dead: "What a long strange trip it's been."

But that doesn't mean it was a bad trip!

This book is only my second read from Tim, the first being the novelization of Halloween Kills, which means this is my first original content book. One thing I can definitively say is that between these two reads it is abundantly clear that Tim is a good writer.

He paints colorful word pictures, sets tone and knows pacing.

And the creativity of this book... WOW! The imaginative effort here is fantastic. The storyline is wildly complex but presented clearly. The characters and their abilities range from fun and quirky to downright terrifying.

My one complaint is that there wasn't a fully threshed out character lead. There are a few characters who could qualify, and one that seems to be more in focus, but overall it's more of a collection of characters. In general, I tend to like stories that have characters you can sink your teeth into and root for.

Conclusion:

If you're looking for a light, quicker, fun read, this one could be for you. I found it enjoyable and a whole lot of fun. I found myself reading it in spurts between other books and then all of the sudden this one took over and took my full attention.

Perhaps the biggest compliment I can give any author is that because I've read their book I've already gotten another one of their books. That's happened with Tim as I've recently acquired We Will Rise!

This tale was engaging, well told and a juggernaut of creativity!

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A Horrifying and Entertaining Trip Into the Seriously Demented Mind Of Tim Waggoner!

Arron is running as if his life depended on not stopping because that is what he continues to tell himself. He might very well die today! He must get out of the wild before she catches him but he must first reach civilized society first. He has been running from her for five years and now she almost has him unless be can find some people who are willing to help him stay alive.

The day begins like any other as the usual customers flock into the coffee house for their morning kick-start of caffeine to get them through the first half of their workday. Most of the patrons work in the same building so it makes life easier getting their coffee here. Suddenly many of the customers wrinkle their noses in disgust at a pungent, earthy, animal smell belonging to a strange man in unusual clothing who just ran through the doors of the cafe and he seemed to be uncomfortable and nervous while he got in line for his beverage because he reallly didn't seem to need an adrenaline boost.

Within a short time Arron locks eyes with several people that he thinks will help him but as the minutes fly by, do any of these people have a choice in their new destiny? If they knew what the day held for all of them could they have done things differently?

Where did Aaron come from? Who is the woman that is after him and what are those monstrous feline pets she keeps at her side willing to maim and kill anyone who tries to hurt their mistress. Many people will die today just as they did five years ago when the woman called Night almost captured Arron but he was able to hide and elude Night up until today!

This was quite an imaginative and shocking, gore-fest of a horror book. There were quite a few main characters that carried the story and I'm surprised that I didn't get lost with all the different bylines, but the book was written so well that it was easy to keep track of everyone and their different situations. The story was a lot of fun with many ghastly surprises (no ghosts) although there were monsters and creatures that were so repulsive but wonderfully creative that sometimes made my stomach a little queasy.

Please be forewarned this is not an innocent or cutesy horror book. The violence and bloodshed is downright nasty at times but for the readers who like blood, gore and horrific violence then this book is for you. The enjoyable perks of humor thrown in with the nasties made this a vicious, unique and tantalizing story that was also the perfect length and not long and drawn out.

Read at your own risk! Highly recommend to horror lovers only!

I want to thank the publisher "Flame Tree Press" and Netgalley for the opportunity to read this digital copy and any thoughts or opinions expressed are unbiased and mine alone!

I have given this book a rating of 4 VIOLENT AND GORE-FILLED 🌟🌟🌟🌟 STARS!!

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