The Wicked Ones: Children of the Lost

The Wicked Ones: Children of the Lost - J.Z. Foster Hell had come for Daniel Tanner. In a matter of days he lost his son Sam due to a mysterious illness and he separated from his wife who insisted the boy who died was not her son. Daniel feels like his life is over but it’s not and something worse has come to him in the disguise of a stranger. The stranger says Sam didn’t die of a disease, he was taken by a monster and was replaced by a changeling.

We try to tell ourselves that things like that only happen in fairy tales but monsters are real. Children are being kidnapped and replaced by something sinister. Daniel isn’t sure he believes it but he joins a crew of four people to keep what happened to his son from happening to anyone else. There are at least six monsters in town, they have a taste for human flesh and they may be unstoppable.

The Wicked Ones: Children of the Lost by J.Z. Foster is a hard-core unapologetic horror novel. This book is relentless, there’s no comic relief, no reprieve, just dread, despair and maybe a little bit of hope. It starts with what I think is the ultimate horror, the loss of a child but it manages to get even scarier after that. What happens to a man who has lost everything? You find out in this book, Daniel and the others in the group have all lost someone and are psychologically damaged by it. The only thing that’s left for them is to kill the creatures stealing children and put a stop to the pale man who controls them.

I had some issues with this book, at times I felt it went to far in describing the character’s feelings and the creatures who are stalking the small town. I also thought that some of the dream sequences were a little confusing. Though I think what J.Z. Foster was trying to do was make the ultimate horror novel and show you the real world is scary but the scariest things are in your head.

The best part of this book is the characters and watching them deal with what’s happening around them. In one scene Daniel is battling demons in a dream, he starts to have memories of good times with his son but is also thinking about how he lost him and no longer wants to live. Another character, a psychic named Rebekah comes and shows him that they are inside his mind, she points out how vicious his mind is and how our own thoughts are always the worst. In another scene a character named Greg is fighting off monsters, earlier he shows he has little emotion and he’s only thing he’s good at killing, as we see him loose a loved one he breaks down and shows a different side of himself and you see what really motivates him.

The Wicked Ones is a horror novel that works on two levels, it deals with the loss of a loved one and it deals with the loss of sanity. It’s also a book about how dealing with loss changes you, all the characters deal with the worst fear imaginable but they still have hope and want to help others. The worst fear is what is inside their heads and watching them deal with the darkness within is what makes this book good. It goes where most horror stories fear to go and it never lets you catch your breath.