Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Tamer Animals” as Want to Read:
Tamer Animals
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Tamer Animals

4.41  ·  Rating details ·  61 Ratings  ·  36 Reviews

Down by the old Coheelee Creek Covered Bridge, four high school friends only wanted to kick back, smoke some weed and forget about their problems for a day or two. Sure, there were stories that the area was haunted, but there was no way they were true.


Decades earlier, an old goat farmer had been murdered by the Klan, h
Paperback, 1, 218 pages
Published June 22nd 2018 by Bloodshot Books
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Tamer Animals, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Tamer Animals

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Rating details
Sort: Default
Jeremy Hepler
Sep 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was the first book by Woodward I've read, and now I'll definitely be getting copies of his first two novels soon. The four boys the story centers around are relatable and flawed, and I found myself rooting for them, feeling both happy and hurt by what they have gone and do go through. Woodward does a great job building tension in the plot, and his writing style is fluid. My only wish is that the story would've been longer.
Jun 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Justin M. Woodward is the kind of dick who invites himself into your nightmares, and Tamer Animals is the key he uses to open the door.

Tamer Animals brought me back to my childhood with nostalgic references to the Gamecube and Slipknot, and then introduced a group of boys that could have easily have been my friends. From there, nefarious things happen.

It was just going to be a camping trip.

I'd like to tell you more. I really would. But it'd almost be a sin to reveal anything else as I'd be steal
Aug 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I kept describing this book to my husband as "The Body" meets "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" and I see I'm not alone in my thinking. This is a truly horrific read yet it's not gratuitous. The characters are all well developed, relatable and very real. Ryan Drean does an excellent job of bringing each person to life.

It's hard to describe the story without spoilers so I'll just say that I wanted to keep listening even if it meant losing sleep because the book pulled me in and kept me enthralled. The w
Jessica Oakes
Aug 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I will definitely read more Justin M. Woodward. The writing was easy to read, characters were relatable and the social commentary was much appreciated. I liked the suspense and very descriptive story. I read it at one sitting with some very restless sleep in between. I don't know why I waited so long to read this author. Just bought two other books and will read them soon. Great read!
Lisa Lee
Aug 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Prepare yourself for incredibly real characters.  These are realistic people with realistic issues.  Some of them have horrific real-life problems.  Others kind of need to be slapped into facing and dealing with their completely addressable problems.  All in all, you have a plausible group of people doing plausible things.  And that makes the story that much more sadistically compelling.

The story itself starts out with the feel of a suspense thriller and progresses into full-on horror.  And then
Steve Stred
Jun 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing

First things first - The Variant and Candy (Justin's prior releases) were really, really good.

Tamer Animals is beyond fantastic. I dare you, nope I double dare you, not to be thinking about the movie adaptation by the time you finish.

This is story-telling my a master craftsman. This coming-of-age tale fits nicely in the veins of IT, The Body or anything McCammon. You find yourself easily rooting for the kids, wanting only good to happen as things continue to go down a horrendous
Shaun Hupp
Jun 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The Goatman Cometh

A Coming of Age story? Sign me up. I've always been a fan of horror with the subgenre of coming of age. Tamer Animals from Justin M. Woodward really hits that sweet spot.

We have four main characters that are teenagers. Each having something that really no kid should be dealing with, but all across the world, kids do find themselves in these situations. They all need to get away from their problems and they think they have the perfect camping trip. There's this old wooden bridge
Aug 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Aug 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Four kids sneak away on a camping trip to let loose and not have to deal with their everyday lives. What they instead end up having to deal with though, is something no one should ever have to face.

Tamer Animals is an excellent coming of age story and an enjoyable read from start to finish. I could not put this book down! Watch out for the Goatman!!
Sep 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Justin is quickly becoming a favorite author!!

So, I've read The Variant and now Tamer Animals, and I just have to say DAMN!!!! I need more! I'm loving this twist that connects these stories (while they aren't a series, the connection is reminiscent of like Easter eggs or whatever in movies/books, so its better to read The Variant too-the little connection had me going ohhhhhhh damn!!!) This story starts off slowly, and builds to a frenzy that had me on edge. Its a little coming of age story that
Lance Dale
Jul 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
If you've enjoyed any of Justin Woodward's previous books, you will love this on. He does a great job of developing meaningful characters while continuing to build tension. The final chapters had me feeling almost every emotion imaginable. Do yourself a favor, read this book and watch out for the Goatman.
Jun 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Make time to read the whole thing, because you will not want to put it down.

Tamer Animals is a horror novel that follows a group of teen boys on a camping trip. Justin does a great job of introducing the reader to each character without overdoing it. The characters are flawed and authentic. Their reasons for wanting to escape, even for a weekend are legitimate. Once they start their trip the novel advances pretty rapidly. There is no time for boredom and no good place to put it down. Almost imm
Jude  Scott
Jun 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I had the honor (and pleasure) of being a beta reader for this fantastic book. Yes, I said FANTASTIC! It’s the story of 4 teen boys who all have problems and challenges of their own and decide to take a break from their daily struggles and get away from it all. When they go on a secret camping trip together, they encounter horrors beyond what they ever could have imagined, but what’s so great about this book is that it is much more than horror. I found myself rooting for these troubled boys from ...more
Jackie McCarthy
Oct 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
After I read the last words of Tamer Animals, I put the book in the freezer. I just needed it away from me, where it couldn’t get me anymore.

Okay, so that’s a little dramatic but let me tell you, this book is 10 levels of fucked up. You’re going along, reading about a small group of teenage boys, doing their teenage thing (and the nods to metal music from the early 2000s were so fun) and preparing for a fun camping trip. Smoke some pot, go for a swim, explore the woods. Sounds like a good time,
John Bender
Jul 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

I don't want to get into spoilers. I won't waste time with a synopsis. Just read this. It's timely, it goes all the right places, it hits hard. Wonderful stuff.
Eleanor Merry
Jul 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Enjoyable read

Gory as hell and impossible to put down. Reminded me a bit of an extreme version of 'It' or 'Stand By Me' vibe with the story following the teenage boys. This was my first book of Woodward's and overall was very enjoyable and a fun read. The only criticism I could give was that I wish it was longer as I was really enjoying the story and wasn't ready for it to finish!
Aug 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
If you want a creepy, horror, urban legend type of a story, this is it!! You got the legend of The Goatman, family issues, creepy house with creepier people living there, killings, horror, this book has it all!!
Jun 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
Short Take: I’m just gonna hang out in the not-woods, thanks.

(*Note: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.*)

I’ve never been a big fan of the outdoors (unless drinking vodka while reading on the patio counts? Oh who am I kidding of course it does) and let me tell you, it’s probably for the best. I mean, I have very sensitive skin, so poison ivy and its ilk are a real menace and don’t even get me started on the bugs. I’m allergic to bee stings, and when you go into
Jim Coniglio
Jun 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
If you read my reviews regularly you will know that I was a instant fan of Justin Woodward after reading his last book CANDY. It was such a outstanding story with enough twists and turns to keep you reading late into the night. What could we expect from his next book?

Then along comes TAMER ANIMALS.

(This review is totally spoiler free, so bear with me as I try to explain why you should have already read this book)

We have a great "coming of age" story revolving around four high school friends who
John J Questore
Aug 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
If you've followed me for any length of time - or if you've read my book - you know I've been in Scouting for over 40 years. I have most certainly done my share of camping, both on organized trips, and those "get away" trips. I bring that up so you can get a feel for how frightening Justin's story of TAMER ANIMALS really is.

I love the fact that the inscription in my copy says, "John, Stay out of the woods" - as if I actually have a choice. What he should have written was, "John, Since you're goi
Justin M.
Jun 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
From the description:

Down by the old Coheelee Creek Covered Bridge, four high-school friends only wanted to kick back, smoke some weed and forget about their problems for a day or two. Sure, there were stories that the area was haunted, but there was no way they were true.

Decades earlier, an old goat farmer had been murdered by the Klan, hung from a tree near the bridge solely because the color of his skin. His body was never found. Since then
Denise Hargrove
Jun 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I love nothing more than settling in with a new book and enjoying as the story unfolds, making time each day to read until I’ve gotten to a satisfying ending. Justin Woodward doesn’t let me do that. I pick up his books and hours later I’m emotionally drained and exhausted because the journey he takes you on is realistic, fantastical and amazing all at once. I physically cannot put his books down until I’ve reached the end. Tamer Animals has everything I love; coming of age reminiscent of King, a ...more
Michael Gardenier
Aug 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Tamer Animals is not for the feint of heart. It’s gritty, entertaining and at times, horrifying. Mr. Woodward has a very unique writing style and it’s like the story is being read to you by a friend, all the while you’re unable to turn away, despite the natural instinct to do just that. I’m not going to spoil it for those that haven’t read it yet, but I will say that Mr. Woodward has the ability to make real life human nature far more fearsome than anything the supernatural realm could conjure u ...more
Jun 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Smashing Success!

First I read Candy, and it was good. Next, I read The Variant, and it was even better. Then came Tamer Animals...

Blown away - two words that says it all!

Woodward has a natural aptitude for the horrific horror, delivering a grisly mental imagery that you just can't shake off, and leaves you looking at THAT old bridge in your own old country hometown, wondering just what secrets lurks beyond. Tamer Animals also has a small (but by no means insignificant) tie-in to The Variant, whi
Oct 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars! Justin M. Woodward has done it again! I loved his other novels Candy and The Variant so I knew going in Tamer Animals was going to be a great read. Tamer Animals is his first horror novel and he sure didn't hold back! A camping trip for a group of teens goes horribly, horribly wrong. Just a warning: You will never want to go camping after reading this. Oh, and you might become a vegetarian after reading as well. Tamer Animals is gruesome, terrifying, and bloody FUN!
Rj Roles
Jun 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books
Evoking Ketchum and The Texas chainsaw massacre, Author Justin M. Woodward brings to you a coming of age tale that ranks up there with Stephen King and Robert McCammon. Tamer Animals will have you gripping the edge of seat with its tense, character driven narrative. Buckle up and take a trip the Coheelee Creek Covered Bridge where you may lose more than just you sanity.
Aug 13, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I think this book had some real promise going for it. And while I appreciate an author who keeps it short without lengthiening the book with endless scenes and details, I felt this book was more an unfinished framework. There were characters, scenes and subplots that could have been explored further to flesh the story out better.
Rachel Drenning
Jul 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Didn't want to put down once I got started, andddddd.....I didn't. Sat up all night to finish this book. It catches and keeps your attention from the get-go.
Love stories about urban legends or myths, and this one had a nice twisty add on to it. Much recommended for lovers of old school horror.
Silas Jones
Jul 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Holy crow, this book was awesome. Justin is gonna go far if he keeps writing like this. Not only was it well written, but I thought I knew exactly where it was heading, and I was totally wrong. I would say this is a must read for any horror fan. It’s dark, creepy, and thought provoking.
Robin Fuchs Brumfield
Coming of age stories are some of my favorites. Four boys go on their dream roadtrip, what follows will make you think twice about where you pitch your tent the next time you go camping.
« previous 1 3 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »