Halcyon is the answer for anyone who wants to escape, but paradise isn’t what it seems.
A self-sustaining community on a breathtakingly beautiful island, Halcyon is run for people who want to live without fear, crime or greed. Its leader has dedicated her life to the pursuit of Glam Moon, a place of eternal beauty and healing, and believes the pathway there can only be found at the end of pleasure.
On the heels of tragedy, Martin Lovegrove moves his family to Halcyon. A couple of months, he tells himself, to retreat from the chaos and grind. Yet he soon begins to suspect there is something beneath Halcyon’s perfect veneer. As the founder captivates his young family, Martin sets out to discover the truth of the island, however terrible it might be, where something so perfect hides unimaginable darkness beneath…
Halcyon by Rio Youers is a raw, real-world horror story with a paranormal edge. It will intrigue you, hook you and thoroughly thrill you! Youers creates incredible characters who will have you on their side and loathing them at the same time. He is a brilliant storyteller who knows how to create a different universe with ties to the real world. Halcyon by Rio Youers is available to buy now from Titan Press.
Set in modern day America, Halcyon follows the Lovegrove family, who are in need of some time away from the harsh realities of the real world. The story begins by providing a solid background and context for the family, especially Martin Lovegrove. Following a tragedy, Martin moves his family to Halcyon, which is a self-sustaining island where there is no crime, and the atmosphere is one of a protective community. Martin soon realises that there is something not quite right about the island, especially its leader, Valerie Kemp, or Mother Moon, and stays longer to see what he can uncover about this place and its leader. But will he be able to survive the terrors within?
Why I liked this book…
Halcyon by Rio Youers is a horrifying novel which will chill you to the bone. Because of the complex overview Youers gives into the lives of the characters, they are well-developed and likeable. In particular, Mother Moon is a very complex character who came across not as a psychopathic leader, but a person who you could relate to, even though you’re hating her at the same time. This is a difficult skill as an author and displays Youers’ talent, as he manages to make you care for even the most reprehensible of characters within a tense plot. Edith is another excellent character, showing just how much and little a child can understand at the same time. Youers handled this character in a way that not many other authors could.
Within the Lovegrove family, there is also this portrayal of individual characters as real people and not just plot devices; they each have individual battles and narratives alongside their fight for survival in Halcyon. The place itself is almost written as a character, it’s that complex. The multiple layers of this island make it seem like an alternate reality, which will appease fantasy lovers greatly and the potential for stories hidden within it appears endless. I will definitely be picking up future books by Youers. He has a sense for description, world and character building like no other.
Overall, this is a good solid horror novel. It is not your typical cult-thriller, and it will definitely surprise you in many ways. I would recommend this book to lovers of all things fantasy and horror, as well as those that like a touch of real-world terrors in their reading. Thank you to Philippa Ward from Titan Press for this book and my stop on the blog tour!