Review: Hellbender by Jason Jack Miller

With HELLBENDER Jason Jack Miller gives us a multi-generation blood feud between two Appalachian clans steeped in superstition and mountain magic. At its center is Henry Collins, a restless young writer having enough trouble finding his place in the world without the added burden of friction with the neighboring Lewis family. However, he’s forced into action when his sister drowns in a supposed accident that bears the marks of supernatural influence.

Miller presents a vivid backdrop of southwestern Pennsylvania and north-central West Virginia and populates with a well-rounded cast that manages to be true to the region without falling prey to the usual sterotypes. The tension builds beautifully as Henry struggles to settle the conflict between the two families, leading to an action-packed climax bursting with old-time magic and stunning imagery.

A great example of regional storytelling.

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