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Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite
Ungeheuer is a work of fiction in the horror and suspense subgenres. It is suitable for the general adult reading audience and was penned by Scott A. Johnson. The book follows recent widower Richard Sundstrum and his son when a camping trip intended to be a chance to take a break and reconnect turns into a fight for their very lives. The pair are hunted by an ancient and terrible evil that has been released by a group of careless cavers. Stalked through the forests of Texas by creatures with an insatiable hunger for flesh and blood, Richard must lead the local rangers in trying to stop the monsters before more lives are lost.
The secret ingredient to this high-tension story of survival in the face of evil is its excellent pacing, with the constantly evolving situation that refuses to let the heroes rest and recover too long between escalations. This turns the narrative into a pressure cooker in which the characters are trapped, causing them to reveal their true selves. Scott A. Johnson uses this pressure to drive characters and readers alike into the deadly mystery at the heart of the monster attacks. The puzzle seems insoluble at first but as Richard and his allies use increasingly dangerous tactics to obtain information, the promise of an eventual solution emerges. Ungeheuer is a hair-raising horror tale that never lets the reader forget the danger that the characters are exposed to, with a roller coaster of a narrative that keeps finding new ways of plunging into deeper levels of horror and mystery.