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Shadow Animals

3.48  ·  Rating Details ·  62 Ratings  ·  26 Reviews
Saul, who has lived his entire life on the edge of the Copperton Forest—known for its strange and unusual wildlife—knows little about what stalks him. He knows only that it is dark, and powerful, and unnamable—and that it has stolen his nine-year-old son, Ezzy, from him.

Now he must travel into those ethereal woods, further upriver than he’s ever gone, into a wondrous, yet
Kindle Edition, 102 pages
Published June 22nd 2014 by Codex Meridian Books
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Jul 23, 2014 Char rated it really liked it
Shadow Animals is a novella of dark fantasy. It's quite different from anything I've read from this author before.

Imaginatively written world building sets us deep into the woods of New Mexico in the Copperton forest. An area not fully mapped to this very day. There, our protagonist, Saul, is searching for his lost son Ephraim. During his journey, Saul encounters beings never before heard or thought of, a town unreachable by any normal means, and help from an unexpected source. That's all I will
Adam Light
Dec 09, 2014 Adam Light rated it really liked it
I won a copy of this novella from Horror After Dark!

Glad I did. I might not have taken notice of Keith Deininger, had this not been the case. The author blew me away with this imaginatively written piece about a secret forest no one has ever mapped. As I read about Saul's quest to find Ezzy, his son, who had wandered off in the forest and never returned, I was put in mind of Clive Barker right away. This is horror, science fiction and fantasy all rolled up into one. The characters were believabl
Jun 24, 2014 Kimberly rated it it was amazing
When I read my first novella by Keith Deininger, FEVERED HILLS, the story became so embedded in my mind that I thought about it for weeks afterwards. His latest novella, SHADOW ANIMALS, has those same elements that make a story stand out among so many others, and actually STAY in your mind to haunt you long after you've finished reading it.

SHADOW ANIMALS is the story of Saul, a father who must traverse a woodlands filled with unidentified dangers, in order to retrieve his nine-year-old son, Ezz
Dec 01, 2015 Steve rated it really liked it
Another short story set in the Meridian/Marrow world of Keith Deininger.

Good stuff!
ᴥ Irena ᴥ
Jan 01, 2015 ᴥ Irena ᴥ rated it liked it
Shelves: horror, fantasy
A pretty good dark fantasy told through the third person narrative and the first person journal-like entries from the main character, who is searching for his son.

Someone or something has taken Saul's son Ezzy and he braves the Copperton Forest and whatever is waiting there to get him back. He is also running from something that is never fully described nor explained (not necessarily a bad thing). Along the way he gets help from colourful characters and he has to fight weird creatures. The wo
Jul 20, 2014 Jason rated it it was amazing
When I began reading Keith Deininger’s new book, Shadow Animals, I thought, “Wow, this reads a lot like Neil Gaiman. By the time I was finished the story I wondered if perhaps Neil took a trip into the ninth circle of hell and met Clive Barker there where, together, they spawned off the demon baby that is Shadow Animals.

Shadow Animals is hard to describe or review. One reason for this is that it’s so short I don’t want to go into the plot too much in fear of ruining what happens to potential rea
Sep 29, 2014 Kasia rated it it was ok
The best thing about this story was how quickly it reads, or rather how short it is. The style being very juvenile wasn’t helped by paper thin characters, other than the unexplained unnecessary gore ( and I enjoy that stuff) this had no soul. Everything here felt compressed for space yet it had no heft. This felt like a short story that could have been told in twenty four pages, not in a novella form for some possible tightness, but it fell flat for me personally. Saul, the main guy on the ...more
Jul 03, 2016 Kaisersoze rated it liked it
Shelves: dark-fantasy
This is a short novella showcasing an incredible imagination with some beautifully written scenes, that nevertheless undoes some of its good work by being a little too obscure and leaving too much for the reader to interpret toward the conclusion.

Regardless, Deininger has won himself a new fan, not least of all because of the intriguing Author's Note included at the end of Shadow Animals which tells of a mysterious origin to this work that has involved translating the long lost writings of some
Jul 28, 2014 Bill rated it really liked it
Ezzy is lost. Saul will do anything to find him and bring him back home, but he will have to get some help crossing over into the forest and…beyond. Along the way he will meet some interesting friends and even more colorful foes, all the while, by being stalked by a dark entity – the same entity that has stolen his Ezzy.

A well written dark fantasy from Keith Deininger. I would be lying if I said that it did not irk me a little bit that the last 20% was an excerpt from an upcoming work, but that
Anthony Hains
Jul 17, 2014 Anthony Hains rated it it was amazing
Shadow Animals by Keith Deininger introduces a new genre: New Mexico Gothic.
Saul’s nine-year old son, Ezzy, goes missing in the Copperton Forest near where the family lives. Saul fears that “missing” isn’t accurate, however. Rather, Saul suspects that the boy has been abducted by something strange and unworldly. Therefore, Saul must leave his despondent wife and trek on foot through the New Mexico wilderness to pursue the captors before Ezzy is lost forever in a world of shadows that does not ex
Jan 15, 2016 Mommacat rated it it was amazing
Shelves: dark-fantasy
Do you like Dark fantasy? Then you'll love SHADOW ANIMALS. This novella really reminded me a lot of Neil Gaiman's Stardust or Neverwhere. SHADOW ANIMALS is a bit of a departure for Keith - whom I've read from his very first book - it's much more fantasy driven than his other books. And where I normally say in my reviews of his books that you need to 'think', not here. Just sit back and enjoy the read.
When Ezzy, Saul's 9 year old son, goes missing from the forest, it's up to Saul to try to find him before it's too late. He must navigate the terrain while trying to follow the abductors and stay ahead of something tracking HIM. While this may sound like a run of the mill story, Deininger takes it in a very different and very unique direction from what I expected. With a strange and fascinating set of unique characters (especially Ji and Ja!) and a very unique city hidden in the woods of New ...more
Kari Sanders
Dec 19, 2014 Kari Sanders rated it it was amazing
Shadow Animals is a brilliant work of dark fiction. I have put off reviewing this piece not because it doesn’t deserve a great review but because I felt humbled by how affected I was by this book and needed to try and give it a review that may speak to the readers as much as this book spoke to me. As always, I will try to leave out spoilers.

The Copperton Forest of New Mexico is home to unusual wildlife, furious and savage. A yearly rain washes out from it mysterious items that our main character
Kim (Wistfulskimmies Book Reviews)
This is the story of Saul. He lives on the edge of Copperton Forest with his wife and son. The forest is a strange place full of sinister secrets and strange animals. Now Saul's son Ezzy has failed to come home, and fearing the worst he must make the journey into the Forest and beyond to rescue him...

I enjoyed this, the story belted along, full of tension and drama. Saul's plight is one any parent dreads, and as a mother of two sons myself I identified with him totally. I have read and enjoyed m
David Bernstein
Nov 18, 2014 David Bernstein rated it really liked it
This was a really fun adventure. Part mystery, part dark fantasy, part horror, this novella was wonderfully engaging. This is the third book I've read by Mr. Deininger and I've been delighted with each one. Pick up one of his books and you'll know it's him. I love how he combines genres and always manages to give the reader the feeling he/she is on a ride, an adventure. I love the magical, dark world he created, fairytale-like, a crack in the wall that leads to wondrous things. A great book for ...more
Tina Marie
May 30, 2015 Tina Marie rated it it was amazing
Spooky quick read.

A son goes missing. A father overcomes his fears and tries to find him and bring his son home. Enjoyed this book a lot. The chapters are not numbered, so it felt like I was watching a movie. A movie I couldn't stop watching. My first book by Keith and it won't be my last. Awesomeness.
Jeanine Spencer
Aug 14, 2014 Jeanine Spencer rated it really liked it


quite an unusual read. his writing is similar to allen dean foster. foster light if you will. with a more juvenile writing style. I will probably read more as his writing progresses. he has potential. shorter stories are great for limited reading time. he is writing a full length as well. unusual yes, worth the read yes. four stars for originality and weirdness
Naomi Lam
Aug 15, 2014 Naomi Lam rated it it was ok
I knew it was a novella. I didn't expect to finish the last page with triple the confusion I'd had at the start. While this is an interesting universe, the bare-bones plot and odd menagerie of brief characters kept the book from reaching any ultimate end. The writer is a master of the grotesque, but has little idea how to knit bizarre ideas into something cohesive.
Adrian ( Shotbolt
Dark fantasy

Great novella from Keith Deininger. I am new to his works but decided to check this one out after reading the synopsis. Parts of this had a Stephen king Dark Tower feel to them, particularly the characters Ji and Ja. Dark but very good. 4 stars.
Aug 24, 2015 Christa rated it really liked it
Unique, interesting read!
Aug 18, 2015 Cmoore rated it it was ok
This author paints a dark gritty macabre unforgettable story. And I love the cover. Unfortunately I had several problems with this storystory... To me the characters were very stiff and I didn't like switching back and forth from third to first in the narrative... Because of this I will probably not be reading any other works by Keith Deininger...
Saul has to go into the Copperton Forest in search of his son who has been taken from him by an unknown but frightening...Something...

In the forest, he meets strange people and frightening beings which are beautifully described by Deininger. The story is dark and odd and leaves you wanting more of this world
Nov 16, 2015 Karen rated it liked it
Shelves: b-good
This was entertaining to read, but didn't leave much of an impression. There's a weird setting, and scary and unsettling things happen. It's enough to keep me interested to the end of the story, but it wasn't enough to make me want to know more -- it gave off the vibe of "these things are too weird to even try to explain them to you" to which I say "OK, I'll go read something else then".
Jun 12, 2015 Courtney rated it did not like it
Please. Please, for the love of God, get yourself a decent editor. There were so many errors, embarrassing errors. When an author makes such errors, my respect for their story diminishes quickly. And SHOW, don't TELL.
I cannot say I enjoyed this book.
Lisa Cleveland
Jan 05, 2015 Lisa Cleveland rated it it was ok
This short story was thankfully very short. It was pointless and I had no clue just what the heck it was all about. This is my second story by this author, and I can finally say I'm done. I'll never read another story from him again.
May 12, 2016 Kathy rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery, didn-t-like
This was a very strange story that I almost quit reading. There were a few parts that got a little interesting, but then it would veer in another direction, and then it just ended abruptly. Disturbing.
Patrick J Dalton
Patrick J Dalton rated it really liked it
Feb 22, 2015
Stephen rated it it was amazing
May 04, 2015
Barth rated it liked it
Jul 26, 2014
Rick Toothman
Rick Toothman rated it really liked it
Aug 16, 2015
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An award-winning writer of fantastic and disturbing fiction, Keith Deininger is the author of several novels and novellas, including WITHIN, GHOSTS OF EDEN and MARROW'S PIT. He was raised in the American Southwest and currently resides in Albuquerque, New Mexico with his wife, baby daughter, and four dogs.
More about Keith Deininger...

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