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A Gathering of Crows
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A Gathering of Crows

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3.96 of 5 stars 3.96  ·  rating details  ·  947 ratings  ·  63 reviews
Brinkley Springs is a quiet little town. Some say the town is dying. They don't know how right they are. Five mysterious figures are about to pay a visit to Brinkley Springs. They have existed for centuries, emerging from the shadows only to destroy. To kill. To feed. They bring terror and carnage, and leave blood and death in their wake. The only person that can prevent t ...more
Hardcover, signed limited to 260 numbered copies, 302 pages
Published October 1st 2010 by Maelstrom (an imprint of Thunderstorm Books) (first published January 1st 2010)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,701)
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Pia Veleno
Two hundred plus pages of crow-men murdering a small town, and less than a hundred of resolution/fighting back against the Big Bad Evil.

I would've liked to see more character development, even if only Donny and Marsha (whose relationship I didn't buy into much at all) or Randy who never did much of anything.

I liked the concept behind both the crow-men and the resolution resolution, but the info dumps by Levi were more lecture than storytelling, and not all of it applied to the situation at hand
...more
Scott Johnson
Originally posted at Dread Central.

Brian Keene has been called a lot of things. From a virtuoso writer to the next Stephen King, the man's stories keep the majority of people shivering in their seats. His latest offering, A Gathering of Crows, is no exception.

The story begins in a quiet little one-road town out in the country, when five crows land and transform into murderous men in black. From there, readers are treated to one horrific death after another, narrated with reptilian glee with ever
...more
DJMikeG
Brian Keene at his best. The return of the Levi Stoltzfus character from "Ghost Walk" is great, and I enjoyed this book even more than that one. Levi is a such a cool, unconventional hero. He's like nothing else I've ever come across in fiction. Keene's description of a struggling rural town in West Virginia resonates with a clear, honest and rough hewn voice. Its like the literary equivalent of a Johnny Cash song. Except with way more gore (lets not forget that classic country music is full of ...more
VanHalen
Since the 1970's, I have seen news report after news report on the predicted damage that the closing of X major production-plant or distribution center will mean for this or that town. The doomsayers have been crying-out for every American small town for a while. Since getting my license in the mid-80's, I have even driven though a few small towns which clearly have seen the impact of industry packing up and leaving. The natural life cycle for towns and economies. I have seen it.

I have never see
...more
Jeff O'Brien
I usually rely on Brian Keene for a good, old fashioned, gory-spooky fun fest. I felt that he went above and beyond the call of duty this time. Levi Stoltzfus, the former Amish man who still dresses like he's Amish and is a master of powwow and dark magic and knows how to go to other dimensions, is by far one of the most interesting protagonists of this day and age.

The story was a lovely tale of potential apocalypse (reminding me a little bit of his novel Darkness on the Edge of Town- my favorit
...more
Scott Emerson
The idyllic town of Brinkley Springs is suffering a slow death. The local economy has all but dried up, leaving its residents disillusioned and desperate or looking for a way out. Yet this little burg's demise is quickly hastened when five mysterious entities arrive in the night on a soul-consuming mission of bloodshed.

In the hands of a lesser writer this scenario could easily crumble into a cliched mess, but Brian Keene keeps a firm handle on the material. He gives us a cast of credible, sympat
...more
Richard Wright
When five strangers literally swoop into the dying town of Brinkley Springs, their goal is nothing short of the slaughter of every living thing within the town limits. The townsfolk go head to head with the preternatural visitors, and they have an unlikely secret weapon - a stranger called Levi Stoltzfus, who most assume to be Amish, but who is much more. One of the most enjoyable books Keene has written, the very simple town-under-siege plotline rockets along, bodies mount up, and the survivors ...more
Patrick
I read his new novel and find his prose addicitive. He writes with a simple direct style that makes this book easy readin'. It seems to me that the premise is same as his other books, the same ole it was a quiet town before EVIL CAME!.

However it seems that he is drawing some connections between his novels in the form of a former Amish ready to do battle with demonic creatures from another dimensions and from all possible worlds.

He also entertains a secular view that God is not alone in the uni
...more
Edward
Not Keenes best. There's a lot of filler in this one. It could have easily been shorter without losing anything important to the story. Another issue was that he introduced a character with the same power as fan favorite Levi Stolfutz, who seemed like he was going to be detrimental to the outcome of the story, but ultimately did nothing with him.

On the plus side there is a lot of Keenes Labyrinth Mythos at work in this book. Which is always interesting and really saves this book from being compl
...more
Joshtafari
Not a bad setup for a horror book, and I like Keene's portrayal of small town Appalachia. The metaphor he presents of small town America dying out is possibly a little ham-handed, but apt. This is the second book featuring lapsed Amish and powwow magus Levi. Levi seems to be there to provide lengthy info dumps on Keene's Labyrinth mythos, a lot of which is a repeat from the last book Levi was in, Ghost Walk. I like the idea of a mythos tying all of his books together, but it would be better in s ...more
Frank
I've been meaning to read Keene for awhile as he is always at the top of the list of new horror writers. Unfortunately, I was underwhelmed by this book. The set-up is solid, but it reads like King lite. I found the dialogue stilted and the main character (who has appeared in previous titles) uninspiring. Maybe there was just too much reliance on magic as a plot device (okay, the whole plot) and that's not really a favorite of mine. Too bad.
Michael
After a very, very slow start--about 100 pages that nearly made me quit the book entirely--A Gathering of Crows turns out to be a good read.

Those early chapters get bogged down in far too many scenes of slaughter and mayhem; we can only watch so many characters we've just met die grisly deaths before it becomes tedious. Once the novel's focus lands on ex-Amish magus Levi Stoltzfus, the story picks up momentum. By the end, I had trouble putting it down.

Most notable about the novel is Keene's ab
...more
Jammies
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Barry
Everything about this book is excellent: the way Keen's writes Levi in a way that you don't have to be familiar with the other books featuring the character, the build-up to the final battle, the small town vibe...everything. I was particularly impressed with (SPOILERS) the way he made these ancient sort of beings the primary bad guys ad was able to make them sort of cool without resorting to lame over-used "we're ancient and all powerful" devices.

This was one of the first Keene books I ever rea
...more
Steve
It's OK. Maybe a little less than that.
Daniel Russell
More Keenedom. Getting through the Keene backlist is easy enough, with the pace being what they are. I was going for a weekend away to Busselton and just grabbed a book on the way out. In hindsight, I would have chosen another Keene book, perhaps Ghost Walk or Dead Hollow, as there is a chronological progression with one of the main characters of Gathering, which I would have liked to have followed.

But nothing I could have done about that, right?

A Gathering of Crows has a very simple premise. Th
...more
Paulo "paper books always" Carvalho
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
T.L. Barrett
Here is another terrifying jaunt into the twisted mind of Brian Keene and his mysterious 13 (the otherworldly beings which are older than our universe and hate it with a cruel and undying passion). This time a small dying Pennsylvanian town falls prey to five crows which are so much more five crows. The real terror begins rather quickly as everyone in this small town are killed in horrific and awful ways, shut off from escape and all technology.

Thankfully, Brian Keene's supernatural warrior-her
...more
Jack
This is a good supernatural splatterpunk story, as Keene continues to show his ability to write literary hardcore horror. Keene's influences shine through this book with allusions to potential literary and cinematic horror sources. Keene does not shy away from the violence, as you see men, women, children, and pets meet violent ends. The only offstage death was the killing of a baby. Characters are set up, with backstories and personalities, and then immediately killed in gruesome, horrifying wa ...more
Monster
Small and quiet, Brinkley Springs, West Virginia is a dying town. People move out and no one ever moves in. Houses go up for sale, but no one comes along and buys them. Tonight five strangers will pay a visit to Brinkley Springs, and they will commit atrocities the people of this town have never seen. Will anyone be left in the morning to tell what happened?
Five crows come to the mountain above Brinkley Springs and turn into human-like figures clad in black. Everything they touch on their way d
...more
Dan C.
We've all seen them - those rural small towns that seem to be hanging on by a thread (and likely a prayer.) Western Iowa, in particular, is littered with them. But what makes a a struggling town a ghost town? If you believe horror writer Brian Keene and his latest release, A Gathering of Crows, it's five otherworldly creatures that can shapeshift between a human-like form and that of a crow. They gut (both literally and figuratively) those small towns that have been completely forgotten. And ton ...more
Guillermo
I don't think I'm going to grow tired of Brian Keene. In fact, because this is the third book featuring the character Levi Stoltzfus, I'm now on the hunt for the other two -Ghost Walk and Dark Hollow.

Now I've read a few things by Keene, including Dead Sea, Darkness on the Edge of Town and a zombie short story from The New Dead, still I can tell you that the man is a genius. On the back cover of A Gathering of Crows, his latest, The Horror Review calls him "the next Stephen King," which might be
...more
Allison
This isn't my usual type of book, but I really enjoyed it. I prefer Keene's short stories, but the concept of this book was interesting. A small town is visited by five mysterious crows, who can turn into mystical men when they feel the need. These crows close the town off from everything, making it impossible to leave. Then they start killing citizens, one by one. But they didn't count on Levi, another mystical man, passing through town at just the right moment to try and fight back.
John
always a great time when Brian Keene is behind the journey. I love Levi and it was great to follow his adventures again and cant wait to see him in action again. I loved the deeper connections than normal(or so it sseemed) to the rest of the Keene universe. The dark people no doubt had their creepy moments and the visual world Brian made in my head freaked me out as well as saddened me. but as always I loved every bit of it.
Sarah
A slash and hack gore-fest by Brian Keene. Five dark figures descend on a small town and begin murdering the inhabitants in extremely gruesome ways. A magus named Levi is the only one who can stop the slaughter. Lots of gratuitous violence for its own sake (which, depending on the reader, can be a good or bad thing). The character of Levi is intriguing and this is the second novel of Keene's that he appears in (the first one is Ghost Walk). The plot is quite simple (even though the magical aspec ...more
Vicki G
It didn't get better and I have no idea why, b/c the first two books were nothing short of riveting.
It probably has to do with what's going on in my life right now that testifies to my inability to handle fictionalized mindless killings.
Someone almost killed ME for no reason, but I never really thought of that until recently. I always told myself that there was a reason for it, at least from HIS viewpoint. Such as it is, and is still the same today as it was 20 years ago when they first put him
...more
Craig
Evil, creepy crow-people in a small West Virginia town faced by an ex-Amish magician... Perhaps not Keene's greatest plot, but the characters are great and I thought he absolutely nailed the desperation of the dismal setting. A good late-night read!
Dwayne Baird
I always enjoy Brian Keene's books and this one is no exception. Demons...apocalyptic killing...magick! Everything I love in fantasy horror. This is a very good read. Cant wait to read the next Keene book!
Samuel Richards-hastings
300 pages of crow-people murdering a small West Virginia town.

Pro: Amish warlock. Much murder. Some cool background on Pennsylvanian powwow magic.

Con: Pretty much the same story as every other Brian Keene novel. Pretty much the same characters. Nothing really happening besides crow people murdering folks.
Seth Tucker
Keene provides a phenomenal follow up to Ghost Walk with this story focusing entirely on his ex-Amish magus Levi. Levi finds himself trapped in a small town with five unknown supernatural foes. Little does he know that these beings serve one of the Thirteen and have been plaguing mankind for centuries. Even though this book is a sequel, you do not have to have read Ghost Walk to enjoy this book or understand what is going on. If you enjoy horror and interesting protagonists then this book is def ...more
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BRIAN KEENE writes novels, comic books, short fiction, and occasional journalism for money. He is the author of over forty books, mostly in the horror, crime, and dark fantasy genres. His 2003 novel, The Rising, is often credited (along with Robert Kirkman’s The Walking Dead comic and Danny Boyle’s 28 Days Later film) with inspiring pop culture’s current interest in zombies. Keene’s novels have be ...more
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“Jesus Christ-"
"Is Not here right now," the man in black replied,"and even if he were, he could not save you.”
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“They want to control humankind through what they call selective breeding. The Nazis started it, but now the nwo are continuing it. See, the only way to control population is to first get it back down to manageable size. They're culling the herd, same way the game commission does when deer population gets out of control. That's why we've got diseases like cancer and aids. You telling me that we can put a little goddamn skateboard-looking robot on Mars and have it send pictures back, but we can't find a cure for cancer? There's a cure. You can bet on that, boys. There's a goddamn cure. They just won't release it because cancer helps cut down the population.” 2 likes
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