"The Cursed Earth" Book Review

Written by Zach Rosenberg

Published by Nosetouch Press

the cursed earth d t neal poster large

Written by D.T. Neal
2022, 480 pages, Fiction
Released on October 4th, 2022

Review:

D.T. Neal knows folk horror well. He knows how small towns guard their secrets. Like tightly sealed oysters concealing pearls, they must be pried open to expose the treasure within. So too is it with The Cursed Earth, maybe his best work to date. An absolute psychedelic mix of horror and thriller that pulls no punches and leaves no stone unturned in a cosmic and folk horror mashup.

Welcome to Lynchburg, Pennsylvania. Inside the rolling hills and dark forests is a town ruled by the mysterious La Signora Grigia. The novel starts off strong, setting the tone for what’s to come, depicting a rural setting where anything can happen. Gangsters, cults, an evil clown, and black magic collide with the power of mushrooms and an emotional core that keeps the pages turning.

At the 50th anniversary of the annual Fungus Festival, a veritable cornucopia of characters all bring their unique plotlines to intersect in Lynchburg. There are a lot of characters in this novel and it can sometimes feel a touch cramped. But Neal is a skilled enough storyteller that he is able to deftly balance a variety of different people and keep the story exciting.

The prose is smooth, with Neal getting into different heads and storylines with ease. Each character is well crafted and three-dimensional, whether they are rowdy young adults looking for fun or corporate spies out to steal fungi secrets for their masters.

The reader will be impressed by how much The Cursed Earth feels like an absolute, mushroom-induced trip. Neal paints vivid, sometimes bizarre pictures of the scenery, showcasing a land that is to be respected. Violating that is at the peril of the interlopers, and figuring out just what will happen to everyone involved is a joy.

Grades:

Overall: 4 Star Rating Cover
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Zach Rosenberg
Staff Reviewer
Zach Rosenberg is a fantasy and horror writer living in Florida. He appreciates the ocean, wildlife and his love of literature was constantly nurtured growing up where he practically lived in the libraries, reading every horror and fantasy book he could get his hands on. His print debut short story "The Teeth Of the Deeps" is featured in the fifth short story collection from Dead Sea Press.
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