2019 has been an unforgettable year for me, in many ways. While it has been clouded with sorrow, there have been some sunny moments as well. One bright spot this year is my discovery of even MORE talented authors. My bookshelves are bursting with new found favorites, and Matt Hayward’s work is among them.
I feel like I showed up a bit late to the party, but then I claimed a quiet spot in a dark corner and never left. Now I’ve been sitting here with a stack of Matt’s books, trying to pace myself so that I don’t run out of reading material before something new is released.
Unfortunately, I did not succeed at this plan, as just last night I finished reading the new short story collection. (Prepare yourselves—that review is coming in the next couple days). Apologies for the long-winded intro, but I felt it was necessary. Now, I’m ready to discuss THE FAITHFUL.
Like all of Matt’s writing, this novel contains an unforgettable cast of characters. They are all lovable but flawed, making them relatable and realistic to the reader. The character development is one of my favorite aspects of this story. I especially enjoyed Jonesy and the budding relationships he had with both Leo and Caleb, each unique, with a mix of tough and tender moments along the way.
I was drawn into the story from the start, and as always, I enjoyed that there was a well balanced a mix of horror, heart, and humor. Once things got going, there was a continued sense of dread and I really wanted to see these characters make it through their ordeal safely. There’s a healthy dose of gore and creepiness in this tale—it’s not easy to forget the terrifying townsfolk of Elswich or the horrors that ensue. An overall great story, and another recommended read—you should add it to your shelf soon, if you haven’t already grabbed a copy.