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The Moor

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'There's a delightful bit of sleight-of-hand at the heart of the novel that I particularly enjoyed.' – Owen King, co-author of Sleeping Beauties

It begins with a ghost story around a campfire. Teenagers out on a walking trip, trying to act brave in front of each other.

But as the walk gets underway and the boys begin to fall out, odd things start to happen.

Noises in the night. A severed rabbit’s foot outside someone’s tent.

Soon, the boys begin to disappear.

As panic sets in and a storm approaches, the remaining boys must band together to face a darkness not even the local ghost stories could help them predict.

224 pages, Kindle Edition

First published May 8, 2018

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Sam Haysom

2 books64 followers

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 179 reviews
Profile Image for megs_bookrack.
1,464 reviews9,337 followers
June 9, 2022

This creepy, campy tale incorporates many aspects I love in a Horror story.

It all begins with chilling stories around a campfire, then follows multiple POVs over different timelines, piecing together a story of local lore and distress.

Haysom uses mixed media sources throughout.

To me this plot device enhanced the narrative by bringing a delightful, 'is it supernatural, is it not supernatural feel.

Once I started The Moor, I couldn't put it down and actually ended up completing it in under 24-hours.

I was drawn in right away, thanks to the lore of the Moors, and the clever use of newspaper articles describing missing persons and bodies found in the area.

Haysom definitely created a compulsively readable story here. However, as intrigued as I was, it still felt very surface level.

I wanted MORE

All puns aside, it felt like an abridged version of what the story could have been.

With this being said, I know not everyone enjoys 500-page tomes as much as I do, so for a lot of people this book will tickle that horror spot just as they want it to.

If you like creepy, outdoorsy stories you should definitely check this one out.

It reminded me a lot of Nick Cutter's, The Troop, mixed cleverly with a creature feature of the 80s. In case it's not clear, those are both great things.

I also liked the alternating timelines between the characters as adults versus them as kids.

Overall, I think this is a good Horror novella. I see a lot of potential in his writing and would definitely pick up more works by Sam Haysom!

Thank you so much to the publisher, Unbound Digital, for providing me with a copy to read and review. I appreciate it very much.

Profile Image for Debra .
2,191 reviews34.9k followers
June 4, 2018
Camping and survival go hand in hand...don't they? You are sleeping in a tent, preparing your own meals, hiking miles and miles each day over tough and unforgiving terrain. Pushing yourself, seeing what you can accomplish, the feeling of joy when you reach the top! There's the campfire, the comradely of being with your peers, telling ghost stories around the fire. This should have been a rite of passage for these boys - it should have been! Shouldn't excursions such as this one be one of the things that an individual looks back on later in life with a sense of nostalgia and happiness?

Unfortunately, this was not a trip that will ever be looked back upon with a sense of nostalgia. Things started out well. They had their supplies, they were feeling brave, cocky and energetic. But not everything goes as planned. There are squabbles and bad feelings which are enhanced by not sleeping well after hearing ghost stories before bedtime. But they will tough it out and complete the walk. Won’t they?

But then there is that scream in the night and strange things being to happen. A rabbit's foot is found outside of a tent. Could the rabbit have been attacked by another animal? Could those stories told around the campfire be true? Is their imagination working overtime? Is the Moor a safe place to be?

From the description, it is clear that something is going to happen on this camping trip. Boys begin to disappear, but why? How? Throughout the book there is a feeling of dread. Going in, I knew something would happen and the Author did a great job of having me wonder just what that "something" could be. From his vivid descriptions, I could see the young teens looking around their campsite for their missing peer. Whispering about what they should do, voicing their concerns, trying to be brave. Their concern and fear jumping off the page as they continued their walk/hike.

I would consider this a light horror-ish book. Nothing is too graphic nor scary. There is more of a sense of foreboding and anticipation. The waiting - the dread- you know something is going to happen - but WHAT!?! You heart may beat a little faster as you read, because like the teens, you have no idea what is going to happen next!

This is a well written fast paced little book! I enjoyed the teens on this trip. Even the one who wasn't so like-able, I felt for once I knew his backstory. This is a book which quietly sneaks up on the reader. I hope people who normally don't like horror give this book a chance. I don't believe this book will keep anyone up at night or give them nightmares, but it may make you think twice about camping! This book was enjoyable and delivered a solid story.

Thank you to Unbound digital and NetGalley who provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Read more of my reviews at www.openbookpost.com
Profile Image for LIsa Noell "Rocking the Chutzpah!.
561 reviews137 followers
June 8, 2022
This isn't a book that I would normally rave about, so.....yeah, I'm not about to start here. Truth is that I've read this story many times in all its different incarnations. Yet, I was glued to the pages! Mr. Haysom did an excellent job of keeping me curious. The big bad in this story is something that I wish he'd spent a bit more time on, but again...The strangulation scenes were just freaking scary as hell. I would like to come back to this author and see how he develops. Like I said the story had me "by the throat." But, I'd like to let a few books build up, and then see how it goes. The man has potential. I wasn't quite sure if he was going for Y.A., or scare the bejeezum outta me, adult. I do like clear delineation. All in all, it was a great story. My thanks to Unbound publishing and Netgalley.
Profile Image for Helga.
841 reviews122 followers
June 4, 2018
Evil is lurking in the moors.
There have been reports of disappearances and animal mutilations over the years. Are these just ghost stories recounted around the camp fires to scare and entertain or is there a sinister being made of flesh and blood. A genuine evil, lying in wait to take innocent lives.
A group of teenagers are about to find out, as they set off hiking across the moors guided by charismatic and amiable Mr. Stevens. What they encounter is anything but fun and they soon realize that appearances can be deceiving.

Sam Haysom’s debut novel The Moor is full of suspense and the right amount of creepiness. I often found myself holding my breath during reading this marvelously well-written horror story.
Profile Image for Jan.
423 reviews249 followers
May 30, 2018
Wow! I don't even know if I can describe what the heck it is I just read!

It's reminiscent of a really good ghost story, with enough creepiness and horror mixed in that it will keep you up at night.

The length puts this more in lines of a novella, (my ebook came in at 171 pages) but there isn't a word wasted. Told from multiple POV's with jumps from past to present, The Moor sucked me from the start and never let go. Based on the subject matter, there was a lot of potential for this story to go sideways, but its so well written that I didn't have one single eye roll!

The first half of the book creeps along nice and slow, building up the tension at just the right pace until BAM! now you are right in the thick of it, and there is no looking back. While I am not a fan of books that portray animals getting hurt, for some reason I was able to overlook it here. Maybe because more of it was talked about versus having to read how it happened. Another reason I think is because it had a purpose, as sick as that sounds.

If you aren't a fan of creepy campfire stories, this probably isn't for you. There is a solid mystery here, but it's intricately woven in with the stuff good old horror stories are made of.

I do hope there is more on the way from this new author--I'm a big fan and want more!!!

ARC provided by NetGalley
Profile Image for Michelle .
860 reviews1,219 followers
May 16, 2018
A weekend camping trip for five boys all goes terribly wrong in The Moor.

Strange disappearances, animal mutilations, tales of witches haunting the woods. What is truly happening? Is it really the ghost of Emily Brown or something far more sinister?

We have Before chapters, After chapters, and sprinkled throughout are news paper clippings which is something I always love.

The ending, for me, delivered!

A lovely combination of mystery and horror. Not too graphic but spooky and suspenseful in all the right ways. Sam Haysom is definitely an author I'll keep my eye on. 4.5 stars!

Thank you to NetGalley, Unbound Digital, and Sam Haysom for providing me with a digital ARC in exchange for my honest review.
Profile Image for Kendall.
633 reviews632 followers
June 11, 2018
Paranormal sightings and boys disappearing on a camping trip?! I was totally in!!

I am a huge huge horror fan... would consider this more on the horror side then mystery/thriller. I haven't read a great horror novel in awhile... so I had my hopes held high for this one including the 4-5 star reviews from other friends. BUT, unfortunately... I just thought this was pretty lame and fell extremely flat for me.

I have seen many excellent horror films.. including fantastic ghost stories and this one I would have to say was comical/goofy. Once the plot was revealed.... I literally was thinking... "this is joke right?" This just reminded me a little of a child's horror story.. if that makes any sense? I was rolling my eyes frequently... and that's never good in my eyes haha.

I was holding on to the ending finishing the story off with a bang... but I felt it was just even more disappointing.

This was definitely an easy book to read and I read this fairly quickly over a day and a half. I think the author does a great job engaging his readers!

Overall, 2.75 stars rounded down on this one.

Thank you to Netgalley and Unbound Digital for the advanced arc in exchange for my honest review.

Published to GR: 6/10/18
Publication date: 5/8/18

Profile Image for Carol.
1,370 reviews2,119 followers
June 13, 2018
THE MOOR had such great potential beginning and alternating with newspaper clippings of young teen disappearances from a National Park with a dark history, but unfortunately fell flat and short of my expectations.

The evil presence was easy to depict early on in this teen field trip....really would have liked more on ITS history, and segments of the storyline were just too similar to others of its kind.

Great setting though and this short easy read did keep me interested enough to find out how it all played out, but a bit too hokey and not much scary here for this horror lover.

2.5 Stars with a round up to 3.0 for the unexpected _ _ _ _ _ _ _.

Many thanks to NetGalley and Unbound for the ARC in exchange for my honest review.

Profile Image for Johann (jobis89).
628 reviews4,255 followers
November 13, 2018
“A gust of wind blew through the campsite and caused the slowly dying fire to gutter, making their shadows dance in the orange light.”

A group of teenagers are out on a walking trip with a group leader, but pretty quickly there is tension within the group and some of them start to disappear...

I’ve never been much of a camper... I was forced to join the scouts when I was younger and I knew pretty quickly that this outdoors shit was not for me. The Moor has reinforced this aversion to camping - it’s bad enough sleeping on a cold, hard floor, and heating up a can of beans over a fire that took far too long to light... but when your camping mates start disappearing, you got a REAL problem! No matter how annoying your camping mates may be (looking at you, Gary)

This was an enjoyable, well-written creature-feature. The thirteen year old boys were very believable in their interactions, Haysom really nailed his characterisation. The setting of the moors itself was very chilling too. And I LOVED the inclusion of newspaper clippings to tell parts of the story - I’m always a fan of this when it’s done well!

The direction that the story took was a little different than what I expected - initially I thought that was pretty cool, cos I like it when I read a book and I’m surprised, but in hindsight I might have preferred if it went down the route I was expecting from the start? It was still a really great twist - this was just perhaps more of a personal preference.

It really did remind me of The Ritual and The Blair Witch at times, but The Moor really does hold its own with a distinct and unique story. I would certainly be interested in reading future books from the author!

Worth picking up if you like a little bit of gore and books set in the great outdoors. 3 stars!
Profile Image for Juli.
1,856 reviews474 followers
May 1, 2019
Since 1951, teenagers have been going missing in Rutmoor National Park. Kids on school outings, campers, hikers....gone. Usually without a trace. Matt was on a trip where two of his friends disappeared. Only he and two others know the truth about what happened that day....the horrible truth.

I enjoyed the suspense of this story. It builds slowly and then the truth jumps out. When I realized what was going on...yikes! The ending caught me by surprise. Nice touch! I will definitely be looking behind me next time I go camping or hiking in the woods. I never sleep very well when tent camping. Anything could be out there in the dark.....animals, weirdos.....anything.

Nice, quick creepy read. This is Sam Haysom's debut novel. Definitely willing to read more by this author. This first book is well-written and absolutely creepy! I found it interesting that publication of this book was financed (at least in part) by donations received through a crowdfunding site. I see this as an interesting trend, and the author listed his patrons at the front of the book. Haysom added info about the site as well. Authors share a blurb about their book and visitors to the site can donate towards its publication if they choose. When enough sponsors are received to publish the book, it is released in a special sponsors edition, plus a regular edition and ebook formats. Interesting concept. Sponsorship sites are nothing new. Patreon and similar sites have been around for awhile. I like the basic concept because it helps authors get their work published. I just hate the constant posts, DM spam, and sponsorship begging from authors (and even podcasters). But....I'm chasing rabbits a bit. This is a book review....back on track!

Great book! I hope to read more by this author!

**I voluntarily read a review copy of this book from Unbound Digital via NetGalley. All opinions expressed are entirely my own.**
Profile Image for Kimberly.
1,672 reviews2 followers
December 17, 2018
3.5 stars

THE MOOR is the debut novel from Sam Haysom. Not having read anything previous of his to become "familiar" with his style, I went into this one with no more than a look at the synopsis on NetGalley. The tale alternates mainly between two time frames, 2002, and the present. There are some short newspaper clippings referring to earlier years, but these are easily assimilated into main story.

"Small things that for some reason brought on strong memories . . . "

The crux of the story hinges upon a hiking/camping trip that five, 13 year old boys take with the newest boy to the area, Tim's, father. For the time we spend with Mr. Stevens and the boys on their trip to Rutmoor, in 2002, this could be considered a bit of a "coming-of-age" tale. Each of these young teens go through quite a bit of finding out exactly who they are, and where they stand in their circle of peers.

". . . but when you're 13 years old everything feels as though it's just about you . . . "

Haysom does a good job with showing us the introspection of at least some of the boys (we learn more about some of the characters than we do about others), as they come to realize their own inner strength, weaknesses, and honest feelings--whether they show them, or keep certain things to themselves. The point is that they learn and have to accept these inner truths.

". . . the idea of unzipping his tent flap and stepping out into the night suddenly felt like a very bad idea . . . "

The only real complaint I had with this novel is that it took about two-thirds of the book before we really start to get a glimmer of what the "main story" is going to be about. Even then, the hints and few glimpses of the far past and not-too-distant future, really don't help the reader to be able to imagine the situations properly much before the book is mostly finished.

". . . There was something about him, something in the condescending way he had of looking at people . . . "

The writing was fluid, and you know there's a mystery of some magnitude yet to come, but I think some of the action could have begun a bit earlier to get the reader's adrenaline flowing. I did enjoy learning about each boy's personality and their lives in general, but having something "concrete" happening sooner in the tale would have increased that sense of dread and unease.

". . . Lying comes easily to some people . . . "

The atmosphere of Rutmoor, the fog shrouding their hiking routes, all helped to create a palpable scene that the readers could "feel" themselves in.

". . . He could see a whole nightmare eternity . . . "

The details in the moors and surroundings in general give off the sense that you are on this journey with them. Even without a destination in mind, the area helps you get that feeling of anticipation and suspense for whatever is to come.

". . . adults didn't believe kids . . ."

Overall, I really did enjoy the writing style, especially towards the end. The one thing I would have preferred was that the author had gotten more into the horror of the novel, sooner in the story. However, once we did get there, it was definitely a unique experience.

"Now he knows better."

In my opinion, the end left us on just the perfect note. I'm looking forward to what Sam Haysom comes up with in the future.


*I received an e-copy of this book through NetGalley. All opinions expressed are uniquely my own.*
Profile Image for Liz Barnsley.
3,402 reviews988 followers
June 16, 2018
The Moor is a fast and creepy read set mostly on a weather beaten Moor where mysterious disappearances abound, a bit like a British Bermuda triangle. We follow a group of boys on a camping trip that goes horribly awry, then years later one of the surviving members returns to finally lay his ghosts to rest.
The writing is tense and atmospheric, Sam Haysom does a brilliant job of bringing the moor to vivid haunting life. The tale is dark and scary, the characters matching the setting leaving the reader with an off kilter feeling of menace.
This is a grim mythological piece of storytelling that will pull you into it’s dark heart. The kind that plays on your mind in the early hours. Sleep with the lights on!
Profile Image for Empress Reece (Hooked on Books).
915 reviews77 followers
June 25, 2018
I think camping trips make the best horror stories! : ) They'll make you think twice about going on one though. This story is about a group of boys that go on a walking/camping trip out on "The Moor" which ends up turning disastrous. And that's all I'm going to say so I don't spoil it...

The author does a really good job of making you feel the fear that the characters do and I like the use of the moor setting which always make for a nice creepy atmosphere when done right. In this case, I think the author could have exploited it just a little more.

I wish we were given a little more detail too about

I also thought the outlined structure of the story could have been organized a little better. If you look at the TOC you can see how the story jumps around quite a bit. All of the Part I, Part II, Part III designations within the chapters, weren't needed either, I didn't think. Less is More!...

Nice debut though & definitely worth reading!
Profile Image for Laurie  (barksbooks).
1,705 reviews661 followers
June 8, 2022
I requested The Moor from Netgalley in 2018 and I just now made time to read it. I’m sorry Netgalley, publisher, and author. But better late than never (I hope!).

I just reread the blurb and seeing as it does mention a severed rabbit foot, I’m thinking that’s probably why I stuck it on the back burner for so long. I probably hit the request button too soon and you can’t take that back (or at least you couldn’t in 2018). I don’t enjoy reading about animal abuse and pet dismemberment and I have accidentally read too much of it lately but here we are again (and I know that it’s totally my fault). But at least the blurb is honest and I appreciate that.

CW: animal abuse and dismemberment (ahhhh! not again!)

Anyhow, this is a creepy mystery about a group of boys who head out on a hiking trip with the local charming dad who everyone loves but doesn’t truly know (ummm, giant RED FLAG parents!). This dad decides to tell the kids a creepy ghost story around the campfire on their first night out that sets them all on edge and then a kid goes missing and the fear really ramps up for them. There are your typical boy bully problems and it’s well written with a surprise or two but unfortunately, all of the boys began to run together in my head. It’s a short book and there isn’t enough room to give them the proper characterization they deserved. It also jumps around in timelines and features news snippets which I liked but also took up some word count that could’ve been used towards character building.

Is it worth a read? Most definitely. It’s easy to fall into and it’s a quick read. I’d like to see what the author does with a little more room.
Profile Image for Blair.
1,740 reviews4,153 followers
June 9, 2018
A very enjoyable tale of horror set in the ingeniously atmospheric surroundings of the Devonshire moorland. We surmise, from a collection of newspaper clippings scattered throughout the book, that this particular area – Rutmoor – is especially inhospitable. So when a group of teenagers (and one parent) set out on a walking and camping trip across the moor, it obviously isn't going to end well. 13 years later, the survivors travel back to Rutmoor. It's ostensibly a yearly ritual – but this time something's different.

Each of the group gets a voice and a distinct character. Gary is the popular, mouthy one whose bravado conceals vulnerability; poor James is the butt of everyone's jokes; Matt and Tom are somewhere in the middle, trying to keep the peace. Then there's Tim, the odd, insular new boy, and his creepy dad, the group leader, Mr Stevens. I was really impressed by the authenticity of these characters, how they were made to feel like real, rounded people within the confines of short chapters. When things get... weird, it's both palatable and frightening because of how tension has been cleverly built.

The Moor reminded me of Matt Wesolowski's Six Stories books (especially the first, with which the plot shares some similarities) and my favourite podcast, The Magnus Archives. If you enjoy the sort of horror that roots itself in the ordinary and intersects with the unknowability of landscape, I would heartily recommend this. I'm looking forward to reading more of Haysom's work in future.

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Profile Image for Jean.
401 reviews52 followers
May 30, 2018
Actual rating 3.5 out of 5 stars

A group of teenage boys are on a hiking trip at Rutmoor with one of the boy's father. A ghost story is told at the campfire about a witch that was murdered long ago and some people still hear and see her. Soon, one by one, the boys in the group disappear.

Alternating between past and present, the story is told between several different POV's. Newspaper clippings also adds some mystery to the story. The story was fast paced and held my interest throughout. Missing children, screams in the night and mutilated animals makes this a good suspenseful horror story.

Thank you to NetGalley and Unbound for an ARC of Sam Haysom's "The Moor" in exchange on an honest review.
Profile Image for Sadie Hartmann.
Author 22 books3,903 followers
December 2, 2018
Thank you Sam Haysom for sending the Night Worms review copies of THE MOOR.
3.5 stars!
This book has a lot going for it by way of what horror fans are looking for--a great set up: A camping trip to 'Rutmoor National Park' with a group of teen boys and one dad, ghost stories told around the campfire and the promise of something eerie, maybe paranormal.
At first blush, I was getting some Nick Cutter "THE TROOP" vibes with the newspaper articles/clippings and subject matter but soon enough, Sam Haysom's own narrative took shape. I think he writes teenage boys really well; the dialog was very authentic (having raised 2 boys myself with a 13 year old boy still at home).
I did feel like some of the characters were a bit underdeveloped with the exception of Gary and James; the rest were not as fleshed out which left me feeling disengaged. I hate to make comparisons but in the case of THE TROOP, each boy is given some ample "page time" through flashbacks, dialog and just plain old mind chat--I love when authors can spend some quality time inside a character's head so that we can relate and get to know that person--invest. That way when tension mounts and risk steps in, the reader can feel some real concern or anxiety for what *could* happen to their beloved characters!
And while maybe that didn't quite happen in THE MOOR, I certainly think Sam Haysom has the writing chops to do it! I hope he keeps writing books because I enjoyed his storytelling voice and this was interesting enough to make me keep turning the pages! Pretty great offering for a debut. I'll be keeping my eyes on this author!
Profile Image for Mindi.
797 reviews264 followers
November 24, 2018
This book was sent me by the author in exchange for an honest review.

I had no idea what to expect from this one. Usually when I get a book in the mail from an author or a publisher I wait to read the blurb until right before I read the book. It's an odd ritual of mine, but that's the way I've always done it. When I read the blurb for The Moor and it promised a camping trip gone wrong, I was immediately excited. Nature horror is one of my favorites, right up there next to haunted house stories. I was eager to get into this one.

The Moor jumps back and forth through time to tell the story of a host of disappearances and murders that take place at Rutmoor National Park starting in the 1950's. Some of the story is told through newspaper clippings, and some of it is told from a character's present day POV. However, the bulk of the story is told from the perspective of 5 boys who go camping in Rutmoor in 2002.

Tim is the new boy at school, and a group of 4 friends, James, Tom, Matt, and Gary are all feeling the pressure from their parents and guardians to befriend the shy boy. His father has immediately become active in the community, and all of the adults in town instantly like him. The four boys finally give in and agree to go on a camping trip with Tim and his father in order to please their families.

Things start off in typical fashion. The boys are gathered around the campfire when they ask Tim's father if he has heard any of the stories or rumors surrounding the deaths at Rutmoor. Tim's dad then agrees to elaborate on a tale about a ghost who stalks those who walk on the moor, and the boys are all left a bit unsettled. In particular, James is scared out of his wits, and Gary, who is the bully of the group, uses that to his advantage to prank James and increase his uneasiness.

As you would expect things start to go wrong for the campers, and at one point I felt genuine tension about one character's experience alone at night in the woods. Plans are made, and the group decides to continue their hike, but the farther they go the worse the situation becomes. That's when Haysom takes the story in an unexpected direction.

I really enjoyed this one, and I liked the unexpected twist that happens near the end. Nature horror is so much fun because there are a number of obstacles and problems that can arise to add to a supernatural element. The isolation alone can be terrifying. If you enjoy camping stories as cautionary tales, then I highly recommend this one.
Profile Image for Cody | CodysBookshelf.
719 reviews206 followers
November 17, 2018
Thanks to Unbound and Netgalley for the review copy of this book, which was given in exchange for an honest review.

Unfortunately, The Moor was not for me. For one, it isn’t even horror. It’s a suspense-thriller . . . ‘thriller’ being used very loosely. But this title being wrongly marketed is not the main cause of my dislike; this tale of a camping trip gone wrong is a limp attempt at a world-changing, epic rumination on childhood trauma and its impact on adult life a’la It (complete with shifting time periods). The problem is it’s all woefully underwritten, not giving anything enough time to develop.

What’s also shameful is this novel hosts a healthy-sized cast of characters, and almost none of them are distinct. A fellow named Gary is a bully — this is beat into the reader’s mind — and mercilessly taunts the other boys in this story . . . but one cannot care, for the other boys are faceless walking, talking cliches.

Perhaps one of the most forgettable reads I’ve discovered in 2018, The Moor is best left skipped.
Profile Image for Emily.
1,265 reviews331 followers
November 20, 2018
"It's going to drag me into the fire and we'll burn there together."

The Moor has an intriguing synopsis - it's about a group of boys who go on a camping trip on which strange things start happening, and they begin disappearing. Camping horror stories can end up being really creepy, so this was one I had been looking forward to.

This book seems like it's going to be a ghost story, and it ends up being a creature feature. I feel like something along these lines has happened with a few books recently, and it frustrates me. I know it's personal preference, but I get annoyed if I'm waiting for ghosts that never show up.

There are multiple timelines in this book - there are survivors in the present, and then there's also the story of what actually happened. In addition to this, there are newspaper articles, which were interesting in the beginning. I felt like the book relied too heavily on the newspaper articles as a device for telling the story, and I ended up just skimming them since there were so many.

There's a ton of information about characters' backgrounds, and suspense was lacking throughout most of the book. Readers weren't really given a reason to care about the characters yet, and then we were given their life stories. Since the boys were being picked off, it felt strange to read so much about their backgrounds when it didn't have much to do with the actual story.

The story ended up going in a direction I wasn't crazy about, which led to the ending being predictable. I felt like the important parts of the story weren't really ever explained, but so much focus was put on character background instead.
October 1, 2018
I've been wanting to read this for quite some time but as the cover reminds me of a certain book I didn't like that everyone else loves (AKA: Katsu's The Hunger) I kind of put it off. However, with some encouragement from my blogging BFF, I finally picked it up, and she was right, I really did like it.

"The Moor" has dual timelines, something I really tend to enjoy, and tells the story of a group of boys who go on a camping trip with a coach and his son in the moor, an area wrapped up in urban legend and ghost stories. Over the course of several days, some of boys disappear, and it's up to those remaining to escape from an indescribable entity (and really, it is indescribable but I'll get to that in a moment). Because of the way the novel is arranged, the reader knows right away some of the campers have survived, and as the tale weaves on, we are clued in to what really happened on that camping trip.

As I mentioned, I liked the dual timelines and I also enjoyed reading the book from the boys' POV. The setting was very atmospheric and spooky with just a hint of monsters and the supernatural. That being said, I was a tad disappointed in the ending because I felt the the author never did let the reader know what was really happening. I love reading about monsters but I do prefer to know what they are!

That being said, "The Moor" was a engrossing read and I'm definitely going to keep an eye out for any future works from this author. I also think this would be a great book to pick up with Halloween and the spooky season right around the corner.
Profile Image for Brandy Humphrey.
36 reviews12 followers
August 16, 2018
I will be the first to admit that I am quite the picky reader. It takes a lot to hold my attention, and I've even found myself being critical of the most successful authors for not pulling me in right away, or not being able to consistently captivate me throughout. This was absolutely NOT the case with The Moor. I absolutely loved the protagonists of the story, although I will say I may or may not have wished for someone to throw Gary off a cliff at one or more points during my reading. I enjoyed the plot even more than I thought I would after initially reading the synopsis. We journey alongside a group of boys hiking and camping along the Moors. Rumors have swirled about many that have gone missing, and the group of friends learn more than they'd like around the fire on their first night there, but could this just be a distraction from the real horrors of Rutmoor?

I absolutely did not expect nor was I able to predict (and boy was I trying from the very beginning) where this tale was going to go. A quick and never dull story with, for me, a surprisingly emotional ending that I didn't see coming. I implore everyone to add this to your shelf or whatever sort of reading device you use, because it is definitely one of my favorite new books of 2018 and I cannot wait to see what comes next from the author!
Profile Image for Bill.
891 reviews161 followers
June 10, 2018
I have to admit I found the opening of this book a little irritating. It starts with news articles relating to missing children training for the 13 Peaks Challenge on Rutmoor National Park. While I don't mind novels set in fictional areas these names obviously refer to the Ten Tors Challenge on Dartmoor, so I don't know why the author changed this! Excuse my little rant! Anyway, on with the review....
What starts off as a simple trek across the moor soon turns into something far more sinister, as a group of teenagers find their numbers diminishing. Sam Haysom slowly builds up the tension & throws in a few nice surprises along the way. There are occasions when The Moor gets bogged down (excuse the bad pun), but overall it's an entertaining story.
This is a novel that can be found on the crowd funding website www.unbound.com where authors raise money to get their books published & is a site well worth a look.
Profile Image for Irene Well Worth A Read.
830 reviews66 followers
May 21, 2018
The book begins with newspaper clippings spanning several years that show why Rutmoor National Park may well be a place to avoid. Over the decades there have been quite a few deaths and disappearances. Sometimes bodies are found.. sometimes people just vanish without a trace.
The story moves back and forth between the present day, when someone (I was not sure who at first) recollects a camping trip in Rutmoor over a decade ago and the events of that trip when he, along with a small group of 13 year old boys and one of their dads were spending a weekend walking through Rutmoor and camping there. The story is occasionally interrupted by further news clippings concerning mutilated pets. This all added to my confusion a bit and I wasn't sure I wanted to keep bouncing back and forth between the present day and that long ago weekend. It wasn't until I was over 20% through the book that it began to pique my interest, and what had begun as a slower build up than I normally enjoy held me captivated. I'm glad I stuck with it. I think you will be too.

I received an advance copy for review.
Profile Image for Alex | | findingmontauk1.
1,105 reviews97 followers
November 30, 2018
Thank you to the author, Sam Haysom, for sending this book to the Night Worms in exchange for an honest review.

Sometimes I receive some books that I have researched a lot or am intimately familiar with the plot. Other times I just know a few basic facts of a book before starting. This was the latter. I knew nothing much about this book other than the cover looked desolate and eerie. Sometimes I love going into a book cold, and this was one of those times. I had NO idea what to expect and that just made each twist and turn that much more shocking and entertaining to me.

I enjoyed the format of the story. There are two timelines: the past when a group of young boys go hiking/camping and the "present" where one of the boys (we do not know who it is for the longest time) is narrating. Between the past and the present we are given newspaper clippings where terrible things seem to keep happening: kids going missing, teens being murdered, animals being dismembered or slaughtered, etc. It just keeps adding to the growing suspense of the story.

I really REALLY enjoyed this story and it also solidified that I should never do anything outdoors-y unless it involved a patio and some brunch or a mimosa/bloody Mary. I used to work in the Appalachian Mountains as a research assistant (aka the fool WHO IS GONNA DIE IN SOME CRAZY RANDOM SITUATION) and I am glad I no longer have to mess around with that. It was my first job while I was still in high school. Let me just say that if I read THIS book before taking that job, I highly doubt I would have accepted the position.

I recommend this book and I give it 4.5 stars! Looking forward to more from Haysom!
Profile Image for Gatorman.
559 reviews65 followers
March 21, 2020
Solid horror tale from Haysom about a rash of missing people and murdered animals over a several year span and the connection to a walking trip taken by a group of friends and one of the friend's dad in 2002 where bad things happen. The story jumps back and forth from 2002 to 2015 with some of the older boys from the trip now dealing with more recent disappearances and animal deaths. News clippings over that time about these happenings are interspersed throughout. The story starts out somewhat slow but picks up nicely about halfway through and finishes with a bang. Not the most original book I've read but it delivers, for the most part, on the execution of its plot. Well-written with some nice characterizations and an interesting backstory of one of the boys. 3.5 stars bumped to 4 for the quality of writing and satisfying ending.
Profile Image for OutlawPoet.
1,179 reviews70 followers
June 12, 2018
So, I'll start by saying that the back and forth timeline here kind of bugged me at first. It wasn't seamless for me. However, once I got used to that, I was all in.

The book has shades of Stephen King. It's very atmospheric and it's got a kind of a slow build. It doesn't truly feel like horror...until it does.

Once the author lets us in on what's really going on in those woods, it's hard and fast horror - and I didn't want to look away from the page.

And as for the ending? What a terrific surprise that was!

I'll happily read the author again!
Profile Image for Icy Sedgwick.
Author 34 books92 followers
April 27, 2018
Before I go any further, I should note that I read this book in two days. On day one, I read in fits and starts, unsure how the chopping and changing between time periods, characters, and newspaper clippings would play out. On day two, I read in one go until I was done. It's a well-written, chilling tale of inhospitable places, fraught friendships and monsters that perfectly captured the awkwardness of teenage boys. It's a real page-turner and I'll be very interested to see what Sam does next!
Profile Image for julianne.
684 reviews20 followers
June 7, 2018
It begins with a ghost story around a campfire. Teenagers out on a walking trip, trying to act brave in front of each other.

But as the walk gets underway and the boys begin to fall out, odd things start to happen.

Swapping between past and present, utilizing different POV's without feeling awkward or clunky, newspaper clippings also add mystery to the story.

I'd highly recommend this and will look out for more by this author.

Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for the copy in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.
4 reviews
April 19, 2018
It's cliched, but you have to grab me right from the start with your story. I'll always give it at least 50 pages to see how it develops; don't get me wrong. However, you need to set that tone, you know? Grab a reader by the short & curly hairs and scream (or whisper) "LISTEN UP".

Hey, Sam Haysom- you can let go now. And I really do prefer the whispering (nudge nudge, wink wink!).

Here's your setup- a group of teenage boys (Matt, Tom, James, Gary, & the awkward and silent Tim) are on a walking trip across the titular moor (Rutmoor National Park). They are led by Tim's charming and knowledgeable dad, Mr. Stevens. Rutmoor has been the sight of many disappearances over the years. It's also home to the legend of a witch named Emily Brown, murdered by the local townsfolk long ago. There's a classic campfire tale from Mr. Stevens. It's a fantastic setup, beautifully ham-fisted.

Get it? You're entering Blair Witch territory, and I mean that in a very positive way. The vibe early on is very heavy in that direction. I'll stay spoiler-free (as always), but here's the thing: you think you know where this is going. Stay tuned. You don't. It's always a good thing when you can make my eyebrows raise and involuntarily say "that's what I'm talkin' about!" when the twist slides artfully in out of nowhere like a Randy Orton RKO.

The characters are believable and heartfelt. If you can make me compare each character to someone that I grew up with (especially in this kind of story) then you've won half the battle. Tom is the tall, athletic kid who's preternaturally good at everything. Gary is the bully/prick that you shouldn't like...but you do. Matt is the natural leader who's overshadowed by Tom through no fault of Tom's own doing. James is the sensitive kid; something of a likable pansy. Tim is the classic "weird kid", silent and awkward.

We all knew these kids, right? God knows I did.

The twist, the characters, the epistolary breaks for exposition....all of these things brought me right into the story. The clincher for me was the pacing. At a little over 200 pages you'll tear through this one in one sitting (or, in my case, 2 sittings if people are keeping you from what you want to do!). The story races by and keeps you glued. I love that.

Congratulations, Sam, on one hell of a fine yarn. You really kept me from getting shit done.

SIDE NOTE: This review originally published on www.getonmydamnlevel.com
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