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Kind Nepenthe

3.69  ·  Rating details ·  722 ratings  ·  177 reviews

Rebecca thought she’d find a hippie paradise when she moved to the desolate back hills of Humboldt County. A place to commune with nature and teach her five-year-old daughter how to live off the land. Instead she discovered a nightmare.

Coyote is a washed-up pot grower. Strung out on pills and dealing with dropping prices and looming legalization, he wonders if it’s even w

Kindle Edition, 243 pages
Published August 1st 2017 by Black Rose Writing (first published July 27th 2017)
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Average rating 3.69  · 
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Aug 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
Nepenthe:     a potion used by the ancients to induce forgetfulness of pain or sorrow
         something capable of causing oblivion of grief or suffering


Rebecca Hawthorne couldn’t deny it anymore.  Her little girl had grown  strange since they’d moved to Coyote’s compound.  And it wasn’t just her obsession with ghosts and her refusal to use the outhouse.  Or her compulsion to find all the dead ravens in the forest and play with them like th
Maxine (Booklover Catlady)
It's taken me a while to do this review after finishing this astonishing novel. This is one of those books that has stayed with me ever since I read it and I keep thinking back to it a lot. Unforgettable. Incredibly unique.

Kind Nepenthe is like nothing else I have ever read. It blends so many fantastic genres; horror, paranormal, contemporary fiction, mystery fiction, crime fiction and is just one of a kind in my humble opinion.

The plot slinks around your mind slowly, infests your brain until
Aug 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Something haunts Homicide Hill in Humboldt County, California – something that doesn’t want anyone to leave. Brockmeyer has a real gift for description and creates a bucolic landscape with ominous undertones. Each berry, leaf or hen threatens a thorn or piercing beak.

Brockmeyer crafted sympathetic characters from some pretty raw and gritty materials: ex-convicts, meth-heads, a pot king – and then drops in earnest Rebecca and her sweet daughter as two bright lights in this dark mixture. I sank ri
Dec 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was sent to me by the author in exchange for an honest review.

How am I getting so lucky with my book selection lately? Actually, this one is all my friend Emily. She wanted to read it before the end of the year, so I've been buddy reading it with her and our friend Karlee. Yesterday afternoon I was about 20% into it. Last night I picked it up in bed, and finished the rest of it with a burning desire to know the fate of the characters. And that's definitely the strongest part of this no
Oct 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Holly Torres
DISCLOSURE: I received a copy from the author, in exchange for an honest review. My opinions are my own.

Beneath the surface was a subtle and malignant threat that was haunting and potentially catastrophic.

Going into Matthew Brockmeyer's Kind Nepenthe, I only had a vague sense of expectation. As with most stories, that's usually best. Within the first thirty pages, he'd achieved the nearly unachievable: he'd gotten a firm grip on his characters, in ways which were admirable and binding. In t
Dec 11, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I want to say up front that I don't think I'm the right reader for Kind Nepenthe. This is not a bad book at all, but it just didn't work for my personal tastes. Matthew Brockmeyer can tell a story, and this is a well-written novel. It's perfect for the right readers - I read it with my friend Mindi, and she adored it. I just had a hard time maintaining interest.

It takes a bit for the story to get going, and I was expecting the horror aspect to go a bit deeper. The cover of the book refers to if
Keith Chawgo
Jul 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Matthew V Brockmeyer’s debut novel looks at life through an alternative lifestyle lens and has accomplished an ultramodern horror thriller that has something for everyone.

Lending itself to new fiction genre, Brockmeyer has done something within his novel that seldom new writers do today.  He lets his characters breathe, live and be nurtured within the confines of the story.  His characters are fully realised within their settings but never fall into the stereotypes that most new writers fall int
Tracy Robinson
Oct 07, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Full review to come for Sci-Fi and Scary - stay tuned :)

From the Sci-Fi and Scary review:

Matthew V. Brockmeyer’s debut novel is a gripping thriller, sometimes billed as a country noir. Thrillers aren’t usually something focused on here for Sci-Fi & Scary, but I think there is enough of the supernatural to also consider this, at times, a piece that fits within the horror genre.

I waited until the end to look up possible meanings for the title; nepenthe is defined as “a drug or drink, or the plant
 Reading Reindeer 2021 On Proxima Centauri
by Matthew V. Brockmeyer

Beautifully scenic, but humanity renders it depressing: Southern Humboldt County in Northern California. KIND NEPENTHE is a literate horror novel (I loved the epigrams the author's chosen), but I prefer to categorize it as Northern California drug culture noir. Populated by an almost completely sorry cast of lowlifes, KIND NEPENTHE only allows some to surface briefly, to try to be “somebody” with purpose, and then submerges them again. Rebecca want
I received this from Netgalley quite a long time ago in exchange for an honest review. Don't judge me. ;)

This was a very long slow burn of a story, and it was a struggle to keep reading; it really didn't hold my attention. Most of the characters were unlikable, and I really had a hard time caring much for any of them.

I think if the author had chosen either horror or hick-noir, one or the other, the entire book might have been more cohesive story. As written, it felt like to me that it couldn't
Aug 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
What do you get if you combine the parts of Bates Motel that didn’t involve Norma and Norman with Stanley Kubrick’s version of The Shining, with a little bit of Charles Manson mixed in? You get this incredible and incredibly disturbing supernatural drug noir novel.

Rebecca, her boyfriend Calendula, and her daughter Megan live in a pot-growing commune in Northern California, working for a man known only as The Coyote. Nearby, Diesel and his son D. J. work fixing cars, waiting for the birth of D.
May 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
Wow, what a wild ride. The story of a cast of sad-sack characters trying to find their own version of success in the Northern California marijuana growing country starts off tame but moves in its own sneaky way towards a fateful conclusion filled with anger, loss, regret and desperation. Don't want to give away any spoilers but be assured that it earns its horror moniker. The less you know going in, the better. A bit too short to be on a heavier 5-star level but that's a minor quibble. A grippin ...more
Daniel Barnett
Feb 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A graceful slow burn that boils over with a righteous series of twists and turns, Kind Nepenthe builds intrigue into dread and dread into some seriously delicious shocks. Not a tale for readers who need a silver lining in their stories or their characters—this one sticks its hands into the guts of the human underbelly and makes a great bloody mess.

I’ll definitely be reading more Matthew Brockmeyer, who, for transparency’s sake, I’ve had a few conversations with on Facebook and consider to be a n
Scott Urquhart
Jul 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I live in Humboldt County and this guy nailed it. The crazy rednecks and clueless hippies. It was a great story with one wicked ending. Definitely scary and creepy.
Morgan Tanner
Jul 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Kind Nepenthe had been on my Kindle for a while. I’d bought it after reading a review which piqued my interest enough for me to click ye olde ‘purchase’ button. But like happens so much with me, when I got round to reading it I’d completely forgotten anything about it.

I was expecting a full-on horror novel, I think. And although this would definitely be wedged in the horror genre, it was so much more.

Calendula and Rebecca are a couple of dreadlocked hippies living and working in a secluded weed
Jul 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Kind Nepenthe is the first published novel by emerging horror author Matthew V. Brockmeyer and its publication portends even greater horrors to come. Brockmeyer has written a suspenseful mashup of the crime and supernatural horror genres that deserves the label “page turner.”

The novel starts with a careful and interesting introduction to the ensemble of characters. The author takes care to develop each of them as realistic people with developed pasts, motivations, and world views. Most of these
Oct 31, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I grew up not too far from where this book takes place. Maybe that's what drew me to this story... or maybe it was that the title is interesting. Not sure. It was ok. The weed descriptions might have been the best part of the book. The characters kept my interest. All (but one) were very flawed in some way, but strangely, some sympathy was to be found with most of them. However, some of the events toward the end were just not believable to me. The actions of certain characters didn't fit. The bu ...more
Tara Blaine
Jul 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a fantastic book. A bit shocking and disturbing at times, but a great read.

The characters were very well realized. I really felt for the plight of Rebecca and her daughter Megan. Even the sleazy bad guys like Coyote and Diesel were so vividly displayed that I found myself liking them despite their awful ways. Especially Diesel. By the end I couldn't help but sympathize and root for him.

It builds up slowly but about a quarter in really takes off and turns into a total page turner.
The endi
Alex Thorne
Nov 14, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Kind Nepenthe is one of those books I looked at on NetGalley for a while but couldn't bring myself to request for the longest time. It just didn't seem like something I'd over enjoy, honestly. If you frequent NetGalley though, you'll notice the horror section of their available titles has been dwindling over the past few months. As a result, I finally ended up with Matthew V. Brockmeyer's title and I can admit I am pleasantly surprised.

Aside from a single graphically sexual scene, Kind Nepenthe
Julie Smith
Rebecca thought she’d find a hippy paradise when she moved to the desolate back hills of Humboldt County. A place to commune with nature and teach her five-year-old daughter how to live off the land. Instead she discovered a nightmare.

Coyote is a washed-up pot grower. Strung out on pills and dealing with dropping prices and looming legalization, he wonders if it’s even worth it anymore.

Diesel Dan abandoned his son for a life of methamphetamine and prison. Now he wants to make amends. He’s going
Diana C
Apr 15, 2018 rated it it was ok
If you want horror with unlikeable characters & hopelessness, this is the book for you. It is a well written book. I just don’t like my horror completely ugly. Some people do. If so, it has all the ugly you need
Aiden Merchant
Nov 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fantasic Crime Story with Ghosts

My full review will appear on Kendall Reviews. For here and now, I would just like to say Brockmeyer has created something special with Kind Nepenthe, something I tore through greedily. More comments to come soon...
Thomas O.
Jul 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In this debut novel by Matthew Brockmeyer, hippy idealists Rebecca and Calendula move to the hills of Humboldt County to run Coyote’s pot growing operation, hoping to earn enough money to buy a plot of land for themselves. The only problem is, the land itself has a long history of death and malevolence, and it doesn’t take too long before they start to feel its influence. This book has a slow build; however, Mr. Brockmeyer is talented enough so that it never gets boring or dull. One can almost e ...more
Sep 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
This is an amazing book. The writing is astonishingly good. I'm not usually a huge fan of modern horror and I fully intend to keep my eyes out for other work by this author. The story arc ratchets up the tension from the beginning and it just keeps getting more and more creepy (and scary) .... the ending had me turning the lights on because reading in the dark was too darned much for me.

Even though the characters were not particularly likeable, they were all understandable and sympathetic to a d
Oct 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: edelweiss-arc-s
This book seems to be classified in the horror genre but this gave me a huge grit-lit vibe more than horror and I LOVE grit-lit. You've got meth heads, pot growers, thieves, and plenty of murder all to be had in the atmospheric backdrop of Humbolt County. Yes, there are some ghosts and, I assume, they are the reason that drives everyone mad but these ghosts are never front and center. It's more subtle than that. It's the human horrors that take your breath away. This book started slowly for me a ...more
Josef Alton
Dec 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is terrifying and largely because of its initial slow burn. Brockmeyer doesn’t force his narrative forward, but gradually speeds it up with the natural development of the characters and story. What you get is a fully developed world by the time everything goes into chaos. It will leave you suffocating and afraid. A damn fine story from an author destined for great success.
Travis Kuhlman
“Kind Nepenthe” by Matthew Brockmeyer, known to most of us as HumboldtLycanthrope is an engaging and provocative piece. The novel examines the lives of Rebecca and Megan, a mother and daughter, looking to commune with nature and learn to live off the land, Coyote, a sedentary pot-producer, who’s out-sourcing his work to the local hippies and tweakers while trying to keep afloat with the changing cannabis climate, and Diesel Dan, an ex-addict looking to repair burnt bridges with his son, DJ, and ...more
Kristin Peterson
Matthew Brockmeyer’s debut novel, Kind Nepenthe, may surprise his longtime admirers and will undoubtedly expand his audience. Many are familiar with his dark, twisted short stories like “Blind Clown Chaos” ( and “The Pet,” but we also know that he is capable of more ephemeral tales like “Underground Fire” ( Extending his storytelling technique to the novel format brings fresh, interesting insight into a writer com ...more
Dec 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Slow burn with great character-building that gradually crescendoes in a flaming fireball. I enjoyed it a lot for a horror book that did not contain a lot of "horror" in the traditional sense. [Final rating: 4.5*] ...more
Nov 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: horror
Kind Nepenthe may have one of the most interesting settings of any recent novel of the supernatural. It is placed in the Humboldt County marijuana fields where matrijuana farming is sill a questionable occupation that is uncomfortably shared by the outcasts and the marginal hippie entrepreneurs. Pot farming is still illegal in California but the Washington and Oregon legal market promises a profit. This is a story about struggling for that second chance, elusive dreams and ghosts. While the ghos ...more
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Matthew Brockmeyer lives in an off-grid cabin deep in the forest of Northern California with his wife and two children. In his off time he enjoys howling at the moon and bathing his fangs in human blood.

He is the author of the novel KIND NEPENTHE: A Savage Tale of Terror Set in the Heart of California's Marijuana Country.


“Thoroughly suspenseful and haunting”—Kirkus Review

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