The Turning is a complex story of fantasy, horror, and the supernatural combined. Phil Price has developed a book about another world, reached by a mysterious opening or doorway. Once someone steps through that opening he is confronted by a world inhabited by vampires, monsters, and all sorts of folk. Some of these creatures are good while others are terrifying.
Jake is a young man who has married and had a baby with a woman from that world. This is the second book in the series, but Price is wise enough to fill in the backstory so The Turning can be read as a stand-alone book. Jake’s wife, Katherine, is still adjusting to the differences in her new world. She has left behind a family. Fearing she might be pursued through the magical opening between worlds, Jake takes her to a distant town in Cornwall so they will be safe. Soon, his parents join them and buy a home nearby.
The families seem to be settling in nicely until evil forces from beyond come through the magic portal in search of Katherine. On the other side of that portal are forests so thick you can’t see past the trees, inhabited by cannibals, vampires, and monsters, as well as simple folk who are preyed upon but these creatures. Angered by Jake’s past interactions with the leaders of these groups that resulted in some of them being killed, two of the vampires decide to get revenge. Their goal is to locate the family and kidnap Katherine, bringing her back to the other world. Discovering she has given birth to Jake’s baby, Alicia, they plan to take her as well. Knowing this will lure Jake through the portal, they plan to kill him and turn his wife and baby into vampires.
Along with Jake, his father Doug, a family friend who is also a priest Stephen, and Katherine’s uncle Wilf he sets out to rescue his wife and daughter from the vampires Guzman and Elias and the vampire slaves they have created.
This is a character filled book and it is sometimes difficult to keep up with all of them. The central characters are easy to remember, but secondary characters are sometimes easily forgotten.
Price does a great job of laying out locations with vivid descriptions of the various landscapes. It’s apparent this is a large and constantly changing world. Price uses the upheaval of the land to reinforce the upheaval in Jake’s and Katherine’s lives. Even the use of vampires is indicative of dramatic change.
The additional theme of good versus evil runs throughout the book. Perhaps the conflict within Stephen, the priest, is the most apparent of all internal battles each character experiences. There is good and bad within each of them, and the core battles all people experience are portrayed with skill.
There are some misspellings of words and the conclusion of the book is disturbing. There is no finality, although I suspect this is the second book in a series. Hopefully, there will be a third book where everything is finalized.
I did enjoy this book and found the variety of characters and the complex relationships fascinating. I would recommend reading the series in order to better understand what is happening. I think anyone who enjoys a fantasy with supernatural overtones would enjoy reading The Turning.
*** I recommend reading the first book in the series “Unknown” prior to reading this one. ***
This review can also be found on Readers Review Room