Ghostflowers

Rus Wornom. JournalStone, $18.95 trade paper (292p) ISBN 978-1-68510-037-7

Wornom’s debut, the gory story of a hunky supernatural being and the woman who falls for him, underwhelms with an unsurprising take on a familiar plot. In 1971, 20-year-old Summer Moore feels trapped by life in Stonebridge, Va., where she lives with her controlling mother and works as a waitress at the Dixie Dinette. This changes when she faints outside the diner one night. Luckily, biker and Vietnam vet James Trager, an apparent 30-something, is there to catch her before she can hit the pavement. Once she comes to, she’s immediately mesmerized by her rescuer (his eyes “were liquid, black water, depthless, and she was floating, helpless, trapped in his gaze”). Her attraction to the dark and handsome mystery man only increases as Wornom gradually reveals Trager’s secrets—including that, at over 100 years old, he’s fought in many more wars than just Vietnam, and that he arrived in Stonebridge summoned by a message written in blood. Trager’s time in town unfolds predictably, leading to plenty of violence and explicit sex scenes but no real twists. Only diehard fans of this horror subgenre are likely to be entertained. (July)
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