D.K. Hundt's Reviews > The Fearing: Fire and Rain

The Fearing by John F.D. Taff
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it was amazing

Author, John F.D. Taff, lives in the wilds of Illinois with his wife, two cats, and three pugs, and has been writing for nearly thirty years, with more than ninety short stories and five novels in print. Taff’s work also appears in Dark Visions I, Ominous Realities, Death’s Realm, Savage Beasts, Gutted, Behold and Shadows Over Main Street 2, The Seven Deadliest, among many others. In 2012, Taff’s collection Little Deaths was named the best horror fiction collection by HorrorTalk. I just finished reading his collection of novellas, The End in All Beginnings (finalist for a Bram Stoker Award® for Superior Achievement in a Fiction Collection) published by Grey Matter Press in 2014, and I’m still in awe. Jack Ketchum called it ‘the best novella collection I’ve read in years’, and I couldn’t agree more. In 2017, the King of Pain returned with his collection, Little Black Spots; fifteen stories of dark horror fiction, that includes the Bram Stoker, nominated short, ‘A Winter’s Tale’. In 2018 The Bell Witch was published (next on my never-ending TBR list), which brings us to 2019 and the book featured in this review, book one of the serialized novel published this year by Grey Matter Press, The Fearing: Book One - Fire & Rain .
The Fearing: Book One is the first book that I read by Taff, followed by his collection of novellas, The End in All Beginnings; the constant driving each narrative forward is fear. The latter touches on heartbreaking fears of loss, be it a loved one, a friend, the fear of forgetting or being forgotten, the fear of one’s surroundings, the unexpected, the known and the unknown. Such a small word, fear, a word that carries with it a weight so crushing, for many, it can feel downright debilitating. The characters in The Fearing: Book One – Fire & Rain aren’t afforded the luxury of remaining idle for very long, despite their fear, to do so may quite possibly mean death. As you dive into this novel, you will soon realize that the end is, quite literally, just the beginning.
The novel opens with Adam Sigel who’s afraid of, well, everything. A debilitating, cautious fear, every decision he makes is measured by checks and balances – mulling over worse case scenarios if he makes the wrong choice. At first, I empathized with him, the need to go out and live his life though he struggles to so, however, you soon learn there’s something mysterious about him, aside from his rational and irrational fears or, perhaps, because of them? How his story ties into the narrative, his fear, will keep you guessing to the very end, as it should in a serialized novel, leaving you with more questions than answers.

One of my favorite lines:

‘As silly as it seemed—and it did seem silly, even to him—he was afraid of the dark, the small scurryings and scuttlings concealed by the absence of light, the creaks and groans, how the traffic down on the street sounded angrier in the night.’

Adam Sigel is one of the many main characters in this book, not to the point of confusion, through alternating chapters the reader is introduced to the cast of characters from different parts of the United States, when the end, as I mentioned, is quite literally just the beginning. Taff does an excellent job of plunging the reader right into the mayhem, forcing my fears to bubble to the surface, as I sit and wonder, with great anticipation, what will happen next?

I remember when The Green Mile was introduced to the world by way of a serialized novel, purchasing book one, refraining from reading it until I bought book two, and how mad I was when it was later released as a complete novel. That irritation, however, was short lived when I came to realize how lucky I was to be given the opportunity to experience the anticipation and excitement that comes with, what I call teasers, one book at a time. The Green Mile is one of my favorite novels written by Stephen King, though I was already a huge fan prior to its release. I’m thankful to Grey Matter Press and John F.D. Taff for letting me experience that excitement again.

~Highly Recommend!

Thank you, Grey Matter Press, for sending me an ARC of The Fearing: Book One – Fire & Rain.

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Reading Progress

June 5, 2019 – Shelved
June 5, 2019 – Shelved as: to-read
June 8, 2019 – Started Reading
June 10, 2019 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-2 of 2 (2 new)

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Josh reading I can’t wait to read this D.K.


D.K. Hundt I really enjoyed it, I hope you do as well.


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