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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
Totem Book 1: Scars is a supernatural horror story written by C. Michael Lorion. The story is set during a wintry February in 1978 in Old Wachusett, a rural New England town. Josh blasts music in his room as he gets ready for an awkward day with his ex-girlfriend, Abby. He's promised to drive her to Albany to visit her mother's grave. First, he must face the family: a stop in his brother Julian's room lined with books and filled with memories, and then downstairs where an increasingly hostile and irascible mathematician father waits. Abby rushes out into the cold after giving her father one last chance to honor his promise to take her to visit her mother for her 16th birthday. Meanwhile, a late winter storm looms and will shortly blanket the town in snow, making all travel impossible.
I was pleasantly surprised when I settled down and began reading C. Michael Lorion's supernatural horror story, Totem. Lorion masterfully presents the stories of his characters and quickly has the reader involved and invested in Old Wachusett, a town whose ancient roots seem to be gathering for an assault on its modern-day inhabitants. His characters are flawed and human and their stories are the tapestry in which his tale of ancient horror is woven. There's a tantalizing mythological thread that begins with the first page and runs throughout the tale, lending an otherworldly air to this small town and its inhabitants. Totem is beautifully written and a joy to read.