When it comes to choosing a book to read, nothing more needs to be said other than DarkFuse and Michael McBride. That is why I wasted no time in starting “Ancient Enemy” by McBride, which is scheduled to be released by DarkFuse in April.
Sani Natonaba is a teenage who basically has to take care of his alcoholic mother and invalid grandfather. Sani is a Ute/Navajo mix and has grown up steeped in the tradition of his ancestors and tending to the family farm. When something begins to slaughter the family’s livestock, which is the main source of food, Sani knows that he must take action. When he begins to suspect that there is something more than just a wild animal preying on the livestock, Sani believes that he must look to the past for an answer and wishes that his grandfather would be able to help him with his wisdom.
Sani has uncovered a secret that his ancestors had tried to keep buried, literally, for generations. Now it is free in the world and Sani’s only hope is to meet it face to face. He must travel into the depths of the Earth and time and overcome the ancient enemy of his ancestors before it is too late.
“Ancient Enemy” is a very well thought-out story and it appears the McBride did his homework before writing the novel. The novel is based upon real legend and real location in the American Southwest (which the author then explains further in notes after the story). It is apparent that McBride is familiar with what he is writing about and that makes the narrative that much stronger. I have read several of McBride’s works in the past and have enjoyed all of them and this novel is no exception. McBride has a wide range of writing styles that he can change to best fit the narrative. Whether it is the in-your-face action and horror of his fairly brutal “The Infected” or the more subtle and atmospheric tale of this novel, McBride has a natural sense for the style that best suits the story and that is what makes “Ancient Enemy” all the more stronger. The reader has little choice but to slide into the world that McBride creates and become immersed in the story as the terrors grows and almost seems to make the reader a part of the story.
“Ancient Enemy” is not so much a horror novel but rather a good novel that is horrifying. There are many layers to the story that make it more than just a horror novel but also a coming of age novel as well as a novel about connecting with your past in order to understand who you are and where you are going. In order to protect his family, Sani must face down an evil that has plagued his family and his people for centuries and overcome it to not only save his family and livelihood but to also understand who he is in the world. McBride handles this with a deftness that is a testament to his talent and which leave the reader honored to have shared in the experience with him through this novel.
I would like to give a special thank you to DarkFuse and NetGalley for this advance review copy. “Ancient Enemy” is scheduled to be released by DarkFuse in April 2014.