To calculate the overall star rating and percentage breakdown by star, we don’t use a simple average. Instead, our system considers things like how recent a review is and if the reviewer bought the item on Amazon. It also analyses reviews to verify trustworthiness.
Despite a rhyme about a river man being quoted at the beginning of the book, I was expecting an association with Gary Ridgway, aka, The Green River Killer of Washington. After all, there was Edmund Cox in the blurb too, a convicted serial killer with whom Lori is obsessed. However, this book is beyond mundane stuff like jailed serial killers and their fandom (it's Kristopher Triana writing it after all). It's more about freely roaming people who live amongst us as our near and dear ones and do worse things than ripping someone apart. They give in to their jealousy and insecurity and rip apart souls with weapons that you can't see. They destroy lives and even send their unsuspecting victims to lifelong incarceration in the prison-cell of their bodies, thus making instant death a much better proposition. That's our Lori, the fan girl, the uncaught, unidentified slasher and destroyer of lives who sets out on a journey to deliver a key to the mysterious River Man, her child-brained sister Abby tagging along with the aid of her crutches.
There isn't a dull moment in the book. When the story isn't moving, it's the beautiful prose that keeps you engaged, shrouding the girl travellers in the charged and ominous setting of a trail along a river where every character they meet could be a devil in disguise. There are flashes from Lori's past that first flesh her out, then dissect her, often hitting you in the face with a handful of guts. The story segues from the hellbound journey to a maelstrom of surrealism, leaving you breathless and awed as you near the end. Great stuff.
I wasnt sure what to expect from this as the synopsis only tells part of the story...but wow, just wow. This is truly a dark tale of someone who will do anything for their own greed. I feel it also shows the reader a bigger story of how hatred can eat you up and burn people around you (not literally!).
Excellently written. Very visual but not overly so, i had a clear image in my head of the happenings (where's that MiB pen to erase my memory!) but they didnt bog down or hamper the story being told.
Do yourself a favour and dive into the river that is this tale. But don't look to hard, you may see The River Man.
Just this second finished reading and oh my god I absolutely loved it! It was the perfect mix between disturbing themes, horror, vivid unsettling imagery and an incredibly interesting story. I read it over two sittings and when I wasn’t reading it, I found myself thinking about it! Kept me guessing throughout, enjoyed every second of this read. Reminded me a lot of the series The Haunting of Hill House in terms of imagery and descriptions. The story made me think I was experiencing a nightmare and I couldn’t have loved it more.
Wow! What a ride! I read it in 2 sittings, but only because I had to go to bed not long after starting it! Atmospheric, creepy and brutal, this kept me hooked from the word go and gave me goosebumps throughout! Triana is for sure one of my fave new authors.....on to the next 🖤
Although this was so well written it's tone is a bit depressing and I didn't enjoy it as much as I wanted too maybe it was my frame of mind. I'm not a big fan of metaphors in books if that was what was intended with this but it is a solid read my score is 3 1/2 but not enough to score a 4 IMO.
Not impressed- started off really well and I did like Lori’s back story however I began to find her annoying with her fantasies about serial killers. Book ran out of steam as it felt repetitive and not suspenseful at all. Only gave one star because the first few chapters were interesting
Truthfully, when this book was released, I completely missed it. It wasn’t until a few weeks after release date that the amazing Tony Jones suggested it as something I’d enjoy in a reply on Facebook or Twitter. Huh? Mr. Jones has never steered me wrong, so I marked it as ‘to-buy.’ Then Tracy Robinson raved about it. And Jamie Goeker. Well then. Three reviewers, who have very similar tastes as I, all raving about the same book?
Purchased and moved to the head of the line!
What I liked: Triana is a Splatterpunk Award winner writing, so you know immediately that things will not be pretty. And while there are moments of beauty, sentences showing true love between characters, ‘Gone to See the River Man’ is at its core a story covered in rust and rot.
Lori is our MC. Selfish and narcissistic, searching for love. She’s found it, or so she believes, in the incarcerated arms of a notorious serial killer. Edmund eviscerates women, but after becoming penpals, Lori believes they’re connected. She’s willing to do anything, even travel into the woods near where Edmund lived, to find the River Man and deliver a key.
Triana never once holds back the tension or the sheer revulsion of the landscape. Lori is forced to bring her sister along, a sister who has suffered a catastrophic brain injury in the past, leaving her with the mental capacity of a young child.
It’s this specific relationship that Triana exploits to the fullest. Both to try and make the reader like Lori, who herself is a vile, repugnant human, which comes out even more with the family back story, but also to see just how selfish and horrible Lori is. Singularly focused on finding the ‘River Man’ she longs for her sister to be out of her life.
The main scene with the ‘River Man’ is pin-drop perfect. Triana delivered such a stunning character awaiting in that cabin, that each sentence held weight. I was grinning from ear-to-ear as it was described and when the ‘River Man’ had a meeting with both Lori and her sister, I knew the ending was going to be vicious.
What I didn’t like: Not much really. I found one scene early on a bit odd. When Lori has to retrieve the key, it is stored somewhere horrific. She struggled to do it, but when we learn more about her backstory and her lack of moral limitations, I felt it was a bit off overall. Minor really.
Why you should buy this: At one point, in our review group chat, fellow reviewer Ben asked what I would rate it and I replied that it would depend on if Triana stuck the landing. He did.
From start to finish this novella is a horrific piece that hands you a shovel on page one and tells you to start digging. It’s violent, brutal, frustrating and emotional. It packs everything into a dirt crusted box and carries you into the woods, where the sun will never find you.
I loved every second of it, and think you would too.
This novel centers around the story of Lori, and her infatuation with an infamous Serial Killer by the name of Edmond Cox. Lori has been exchanging letters and making visits to the Prison to see Edmond now for a while. She wants to prove to him that she is his number one fan and is worthy of his love. So when he asks her to perform a task for him, she is more than willing to do so. This task consists of visiting the Cox Family Cabin in the small town of Killen, retrieve a key from a chest, and bring said key up the River to a Legend known only as The River Man.
The underlying story centers on Lori's relationship with her family. Exactly how does somebody grow into the kind of person that would want to form an intimate relationship with a Serial Killer? What exactly could go wrong in their upbringing to want to associate depraved acts of violence with love? Or to believe that somebody that has slaughtered almost two dozen women is capable of love?
This is a different tale from Triana than what I'm used to since there's only one or two scenes of out right gore and violence. However, the story that he tells within it's pages is one that is going to make your blood run cold and will haunt you. Triana is quickly becoming one of my favorite Horror Authors and this is another gem in his collection.