Bulwark

A Bulwark Anthology

Fiction - Anthology
146 Pages
Reviewed on 04/08/2019
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite

Sheriff Clay Finnes wasn’t sure what was happening in the normally sleepy community of Bulwark, Georgia. Outside of town, a foul-smelling green lake had appeared seemingly overnight and covered the road near J.B. Stratton’s cabin. Travelers in a Ford Fusion had attempted to drive through it, and the car now sat stuck in the green water’s deepest area. The husband and his wife were currently sheltering in J.B.’s cabin. He had received a nasty and copiously bleeding head wound, but the sheriff was somewhat more concerned at the appearance of the man’s wife. Her face was blanched and contorted by fear. She was able to calm down enough to inform Clay that they were from Atlanta. Then she gazed at a photograph on the mantel and stated that the woman in the picture was the witch who stole her children. J.B. didn’t know what to say to that. She had pointed to a picture of his wife, and she had been dead for five years now.

Brit Lunden’s dark paranormal fantasy novel, Bulwark: A Bulwark Anthology, is a taut and suspenseful story that combines elements of the horror, fantasy, and fairy tale genres. Lunden’s characters are well defined and credible, and the tension that plays out between Clay, his estranged wife, and the sultry and aggressive reporter, Dayna, adds dimension to the underlying story. I loved learning the history behind the mysterious Linden Lane house and the Bavmorda family. Lunden’s plot is suitably twisty and dark, and her story is very well told indeed. Bulwark: A Bulwark Anthology is most highly recommended.

Joel R. Dennstedt

Bulwark by Brit Lunden is described as A Paranormal Thriller … and it is … sort of. One might be tempted to think of it as things you’ve read before. However the concise readability of Ms. Lunden’s supersonic prose means this book is not merely derivative of its precursors in the horror genre. For a start, there is that compelling pace, punchy prose, and accelerating plot that so easily hooks a reader and keeps him going. After all, who would not be sucked in, so to speak, by this: '“Something sucked the blood from that man.” Swenson pointed to the corpse in the next room. “I’m talking vampires and werewolves.”'

The effectiveness of Brit Lunden’s contribution to the horror genre, Bulwark, comes from its suggestive but basically grounded start: a couple passing through a small town is bogged down in a soon to be evolving mid-road puddle, telling tales of supernatural things like witches. With the burgeoning of wolf howls and inexplicable attacks, you’ve got the ingredients for a paranormal thriller. Except, the town sheriff isn’t having it. Not right away. And it is his grounded nature coming to terms with increasingly unnatural stuff that lends interest to this story. We know he’ll soon have to reach an understanding about inexplicable terrors in this world. Too bad he also has to deal with his own gone-missing child, a disenchanted wife, and really badly timed interactions with a lustful stalker. Yes, the kitchen sink is here – namely, a water-challenged witch. Still, have fun. It’s over all too soon.

K.C. Finn

Bulwark is a short and fast-paced work of thriller fiction penned by author Brit Lunden. The small town of Bulwark, Georgia plays host to a collection of events in this novel, which focuses on the already tragic life of its hero, Sheriff Clay Finnes. Clay is only hanging on by a thread after the abduction of his daughter, which led to the breakdown of his marriage, and now things are about to get a whole lot weirder and worse for him. The mysteries of Bulwark keep appearing, as if from nowhere, taking Clay on a bizarre journey through hauntingly familiar fables until the truth of the mystery and his own heart are truly laid bare.

If you’re looking for dark, mysterious fiction that touches on the world of fairy tales, then this short, sharp read is sure to please you. Brit Lunden writes with great atmosphere, making a highly readable experience that continued throughout. Clay was a well-developed and likeable hero, one whose befuddlement at the strange goings-on gives you, as a reader, a kind of superior feeling, enabling you to figure out the mystery one step ahead of him sometimes. I loved the connection to fairy tales from the likes of the Brothers Grimm, retaining their dark qualities and translating them into modern day incidents with some new twists that surprised me. Overall, Bulwark is a collection of excellent thrilling mysteries which build to an overall story based around their central hero, and it was a highly enjoyable read.

Kris Moger

Bulwark by Brit Lunden is a paranormal mystery about a town with a secret and a police officer with a missing child. Clay Finnes is the sheriff of what he thinks is a normal small town. Though his days are usually fairly quiet, he is called out to a car accident involving a couple of tourists. As he goes through his duties, he is plagued by the disappearance of his baby girl, and the separation from his wife. Then his day gets more and more twisted as unexpected connections are made. Will Clay be able to solve this mess or will he lose everything and become part of it?

I enjoyed Bulwark by Brit Lunden. It is a wonderful mix of old tales and new situations. Though it may seem like the story is going along a predictable path, Lunden throws in a refreshing twist that kept me reading. The book runs along at a good pace, building up to a terrific ending that made me want to read more tales with these characters. The writing is vivid and the dialogue is realistic. As well, there is romance, betrayal, monsters, magic, interesting characters and more, creating a satisfying paranormal story for the shadow side of me that likes a little creepy and a lot of mystery. My only major frustration was how short the story was. As it is part of an anthology, it would be wonderful to have the collection all in one book. An enjoyable read.

Caitlin Lyle Farley

Clay Finnes, sheriff of the small town of Bulwark in Georgia, USA, struggles to cope with the loss of his daughter and the breakdown of his marriage when strange incidents begin occurring around town. It begins with the sudden appearance of a green and smelly pond, and the strangers whose car became stuck inside it. The couple rambles on about a witch and a gingerbread house, where their children are now being held captive. Then there’s the reports about wolves roaming through town and the assault victim who was stabbed in the neck with a fork and bled dry. All the peculiar crimes and occurrences in Bulwark appear to be linked to a similar spate of bizarre crimes that were wiped from the town’s official records, and nobody who remembers that period wants to talk about it.

Bulwark’s American South setting and author Brit Lunden’s chilling take on fairy tales and paranormal creatures make for entertaining reading. Sheriff Clay’s forceful, even bullying attitude towards female characters makes it difficult to relate to him or see him as a hero, despite Lunden’s efforts to depict him as one. However, the gripping mystery of the missing children and the gingerbread house adequately distracts from the main character’s flawed personality as intriguing clues unfold. Lunden’s pacing is excellent, as are the eerie, yet understated descriptions throughout. A nice plot twist at the end brings Bulwark to an interesting close, made more so by Lunden’s inclusion of an alternate ending that will make readers' jaws drop. Bulwark is a quick and entertaining supernatural mystery read.