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3.87  ·  Rating details ·  378 ratings  ·  58 reviews
When the police of Hobbs County, Missouri find a mutilated man's body on the side of the road, they figure a bear attacked him, except that bears aren't indigenous to their area. The local Indian tribe offers another explanation: Crota, a great beast of legend, has reawakened. As the body count increases, a hand-picked group of hunters stalk the mythical creature through ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 320 pages
Published December 1st 1998 by Signet (first published April 17th 1996)
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Average rating 3.87  · 
Rating details
 ·  378 ratings  ·  58 reviews

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Glenn Rolfe
Sep 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
What a fantastic story! I can certainly see why it won the Stoker. CROTA is the kind of book that inspired me to write horror. Great characters, great monster, excellent storytelling.
If you've never read this one, check it out.
Highly recommended.
Dirk Grobbelaar
Mar 21, 2013 rated it really liked it
I got this novel off the list of Bram Stoker Award winners. It won in the category for best first novel.

It starts off with a murder or two three four Theyre gruesome too, and the general consensus is that its either the work of a very deranged individual or a bear (to be fair, most of the action does take place in the wilds). Surprise, surprise then that its neither.

OK. So there are some well worn horror conventions on display here, but Crota does at least smack of authenticity. If the back page
Empress Reece (Hooked on Books)
4.5 stars...

Another good creature feature- this one is based on Native American folklore which was interesting. The hunt for the Crota also leads through subterranean caverns which I think always makes for a nice atmospheric background.
Originally posted on the book blog Creature From the Book Lagoon.

"When the police of Hobbs County, Missouri find a mutilated mans body on the side of the road, they figure a bear attacked him, except that bears arent indigenous to their area. The local Indian tribe offers another explanation: Crota, a great beast of legend, has reawakened. As the body count increases, a hand-picked group of hunters stalk the mythical creature through an underground labyrinth where they will discover a horror
Duncan Ralston
Jun 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Terrific book. Started off as a pretty standard horror thriller but when John Little Hawk showed up it got really interesting, adding an interesting twist to the... well, standard horror thriller. Some really great characterization and cinematic moments. Definitely recommend.
Feb 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
A tremendous creature story infused with Native folklore and beliefs. Such a fantastic read. I loved every second of it.
Craig Wall
Apr 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
I had a lot of fun with this one. Solid writing, an original monster, and convincing lore. A great read if you're in the mood for some violent, pulpy creature action.
Joe Piccoli
Feb 06, 2020 rated it liked it
3.25 Stars. Audible. A fun, fast-paced, monster book.
Feb 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: horror
An exciting horror novel. Although published in 1998, it took me back to some of that awesome 80s horror that I so much enjoyed. The Crota is a monster from the dim and distant past. An earthquake frees it from the deep world where it was imprisoned once before by an alliance of shamans. But now there are few who follow the old ways and have any knowledge of how to stop this creature, who can't be killed by bullets. Well written and full of interesting lore. Highly recommended.
Nov 24, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks, ownvoices
TWs: descriptive gore and violence, description of mutilation and dismemberment, death of animals and pets, reference to outdated racial epithets
Douglas Castagna
Feb 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Bram Stoker winning debut from Mr. Goingback. There is a nice blend of horror and cultural mythology that is blended in, lending a verisimilitude to the story as a whole. I have no idea why I had not read this book before but glad I finally got around to it.

The story starts out with a couple of murders, it could be a bear, or another creature, or rather that is what they hope it is until they discover there is something far more sinister. Regular weapons wont work on this creature; a Crota. The
May 25, 2014 rated it really liked it
I like this book. It's rare to find a genre writer with such impeccable grammar, but Goingback executed some rather nice sentences and deserves to have that mentioned. Truly, the mechanics in this book are outstanding.

Attention to this detail is not harming the flow of the story at all. When it is appropriate, the language becomes less correct, as when a character is speaking or thinking, and the usage matches the vocal persona perfectly.

This is a good, fun, yucky, fast read. I especially like
May 08, 2011 rated it liked it
This is a freaky freaky book! Scary, less in a monster sort of way as much as in a prehistoric, we-don't-know-what-else-is-out-there-that-shares-our-world kinda way. Every day ancient creatures once considered long lost are refound, almost as often as creatures today disappear forever. Who's to say there aren't things that cross supernatural and religious understanding? A good book to read at night with a flashlight. Seriously.

Characters confront an ancient evil and are forced to re-evaluate
Nov 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What happens if you take an old-school monster story and throw in plenty of Native American culture and history with a dash of police procedural? In the wrong hands you'd likely end up with a paint-by-numbers novel which would be a boring read. Give those same ingredients to Owl Goingback, though, and you end with a great tale of a massive beast hell-bent on eating humans and terrorizing a community when it's released from an ancient, underground system of caves following an earthquake.
Mar 25, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Yes, finally an audiobook that I really enjoyed! This novel definitely gave me Stephen King vibes, but better! It didn't include the unnecessary vulgarity and exposition which is typical of King's works. I also really loved the Native American folklore and representation in this novel.
Dec 30, 2009 rated it really liked it
This is something of a B-movie monster movie story, but with with an interesting multi-cultural background. It's fast-paced, well-written, and a lot of fun.
Sep 11, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: spooks
This was a fun and quick read. Native American legends and cryptozoology (did I spell that right?) are the elements that make this book a terror or a page-turner.
Vel Veeter
Apr 10, 2018 rated it it was ok
Crota! Crota!

So this is a horror novel that reads like a straight-to-video supernatural/creature feature movie. When I was a kid my dad used to rent procedural crime movies from Kroger all the time. One he would get every so often, watching and rewatching, was the Lou Diamond Phillips and Val Kilmer movie Thunderheart. This is book is like a blend of that and the movie Ravenous and a more monstery book. Theres a monster here.

Theres a monster here and its killing people. Its big red-headed hairy
Jan 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An almost perfect blend of mystery and horror. Owl Goingback really has a good grasp on storytelling and manages to elicit sympathy, terror, and amusement on every page. The scares come quick and the monster establishes itself as a terrifying and we'll thought out villain.

I'm a sucker for Native American mythology and legend, so this book was exciting for me going in. However, more than just relying on the weight of the legend and monster itself, Owl Goingback used it to weave a terrifying and
Mar 16, 2020 rated it it was ok
I really went into this novel wanting to like it, and, for what it's worth, I did at least somewhat enjoy my experience with it. It was a fun ride, and I do want to express that it wasn't bad in any major way, just underwhelming.

The plot plays very by the numbers, the suspense is paper thin for most of the story due to a lot of the rules of the horror being over explained from the very start. The story only goes to a few key locations, the monster has an extremely distinct tell, so you always
Aug 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 04, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's not long. It's not complex. It's not scary.
The plot is very predictable, even down to the weather. Maybe that's why this novel won an award for best first novel. Perhaps Goingback's later books are more sophisticated.
This novel is a bit racist, but that's somewhat more forgivable when it's not from a Euro-American. In Crota, all the good guys are Indians; all the dead guys are white. Indians are calm, thoughtful, wise and close to nature. White men are shallow, naive and too reliant on
Jun 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
A good, old-fashioned "monster on the loose" novel, with tons of action and suspense. What sets this one apart is the quality of writing, which -- overall -- is very high, and the connections to American Indian legends.

There were a few clunky sections, but it moved along at a great pace and made me want to keep turning the pages until I was done.

Recommended for fans of "monster" books, and people who want something a little different in their horror novels.

I'm definitely going to check out more
DNF at 30%--moreso because it's not for me than because it's outright bad: procedural supernatural horror isn't my vibe, even when distinctly removed from modern urban fantasy, and the writing is workmanlike (probably exacerbated by audio), burdened with headhopping and infodumps, not especially evocative despite the gore. Under that, it's probably fine as a horror pulp, but I'm the wrong reader.
Oct 05, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a nice monster novel with a nasty monster and plenty of gory deaths to be had. The characters weren't the best but they were interesting enough that I didn't want any of them to get killed even when it was obvious that they would.

(view spoiler)
Bobby Bermea
Not a great book but a solid, entertaining one. Goingback writes about Native culture like he knows what he's talking about. What richness there is in the book stems from that. It is an exciting read, and often brutal and gory. I don't run into too many books that are straight up monster books but that's what Crota is. This is a perfect airplane book.
David Veith
Mar 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
(4.75) Great read, well done. Fun story of an ancient being, that gets set free in a small town. Starts off fast and keeps going, right up to the end. Fun little quirks of humor here and there, good descriptions, easy to follow and keeps you interested. Also love the native american side to it as well, very enjoyable overall and defiantly recommend it.
Mar 02, 2018 rated it liked it
A pretty straight-forward monster book but it is enhanced and made unusual and more special by knowledgeable use of the author's Native heritage combined with a surprisingly sound base of investigative police procedure.
Feb 09, 2019 rated it liked it
Pretty good if you're looking for a cozy, old school pulp horror. There are a few surprises, some hokey dialogue and at least one use of a cliche that made me sigh angrily, but overall it's pretty charming.
Lucinda Rose
Aug 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is amazing novel that doesn't get the recognition that it deserves. I loved it from beginning to end.
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