The Influence is horror novel, written by Bentley Little. This novel was published in 2013 by Blackstone Audiobooks. It is a standalone.
Blurb for THE INFLUENCE
When Ross Lowry moves to the small community of Magdalena, Arizona, he expects nothing more than a brief respite from his economic woes. But something is not right in the desert. After a raucous party on New Year’s Eve, the rich and successful attendees are suddenly facing catastrophic failure while the less well-off are flush with good fortune. Soon the citizens of Magdalena are experiencing unnatural desires. Next their children begin to disappear and freakish creatures emerge from the wilderness. But these are merely the early warning signs of a showdown with a powerful force of darkness that could obliterate the world forever, and only Ross Lowry sees the danger that lurks ahead.
More About THE INFLUENCE
- Tense: Past
- Point of View: Third person
- Sexual Content: explicit — contains same-sex rape and incestuous desires
- Setting: Magdalena, Arizona
- Pet Peeves: none that I remember
Jen’s Review of THE INFLUENCE
I listened to the audiobook of The Influence because I had heard a lot of great things about Bentley Little. My review for this title first appeared on our old blog. I’ve expanded it for this new website.
Quick Review: Slow to get going but overall a good, if disturbing, read
About the Story
After a winged creature is accidentally shot down from the sky (and held captive), the townspeople of Magdalena start acting crazy. Fortunes change. Really strange stuff starts to happen, not just to the people, but also to the animals, plants, etc.. They become deformed and deranged. Children disappear. Red singing flowers show up all over the place. Still, some people insist the creature is an angel. Ross, his cousin, and his cousin’s husband, see the creature for what it really is.
The story flowed well from start to finish. All the points fit together nicely.
The author takes a while setting up the normal world for Ross before making it a nightmare, which kind of makes sense to do, but the pace is erratic. It’s really slow to get going, steady during the middle, and then breakneck toward the end. It was like parts that needed to be sped up were too slow, and parts that needed to be slowed down went by too fast.
About the Characters
I thought Bentley Little did an excellent job of creating the characters and giving them motivations, desires, flaws, and more. Even the characters I hated were well-developed.
About the Worldbuilding and/or Setting
Everything about Magdalena seemed real and authentic to me. It was very easy to visualize.
Do I Recommend?
Despite some really harsh, rude, and negative reviews The Influence received, I didn’t think this book was that bad. It was memorable and entertaining for the most part. Probably the best aspect is the characterization. If you can stomach some of the twisted characters’ intentions and behaviors, I think this is a book worth checking out.
The narration was excellent, especially when he acts like the little girl who chants obscenities. That still sticks in my head and creeps me out.
My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars (B)
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