Originally posted as a single novel, Serenity Falls was recently released in a three volume mass paperback set. For fans of horror, especially those who enjoyed Stephen King back when he was writing books like It, Cujo and Salem's Lot, this is definitely something you'd want to scoop up. Unlike some trilogies, especially ones that were originally conceived as a single novel, all three books of the series have a different feel to them.
The basic premise deals with the small rural New York town of Serenity Falls. While Serenity Falls may seem like your prototypical small town, it has a history of violence and death that far exceeds most small towns.
Book #1: Writ in Blood
Book one intermingles three tales together to set the framework for the rest of the series. Part gothic horror, part paranormal thriller Writ in Blood tells the tale of Simon McGruder, local eccentric, who decides that a complete history of the town is needed. As he starts to dig into the towns past we learn about Serenity Falls horrible past. The first tale told starts during the colonial period when the town first was founded as a supply station for England and it's new world colonies. Albert Miles, a local man, is sent away to England on the mayor's orders. While he was gone he wife is left alone to fend for herself. An uncommonly beautiful women, stories began to swirl, first of visits by local gentlemen, later the stories expand to that of evil and witchcraft. Eventually, Sarah Miles is put on trial for witchcraft and tortured raped and eventually killed by the town's mayor. When he husband returns, he is obviously enraged. While the stories of witchcraft were unfounded in his wife, Albert Miles himself has a working knowledge of the dark arts. In his rage, he places a curse upon the town, written in rage and blood, that the town will never rest in peace, in life or death and that eventually, every soul will scream.
We then see how the curse has played out through the history of Serenity Falls. We see tragedies on small and large levels. We see husbands driven crazy, killing their whole family, women abducted and killed, never to be seen again, and one intriguing tale of a carnival and a few missing children. As with all tales in this book, it's ends in death and tragedy on a grand scale.
Intertwined with the history of Serenity Falls, we follow the tales anti-hero, the other than human demon hunter Jonathon Crowley, who we first saw in Moore other book, Under the Overtree, as he is being stalked by a demon that is leading him to Serenity Falls. Crowley is your basic sarcastic, yet harsh hero. Even serving as humanities protector, he seems to have contempt for humanity and it's vices. At times, it serves him well in this book, at other times, it's just annoying. It seems he is more interested in passing judgment of people than doing his job. Yet, when his job comes up, and he needs to physically take on one of the many ghosts, demons and such in the book, the story just takes off. One intriguing aspect of Crowley's character is that he is bound by certain rules that he must adhere too when dealing with both humanity and those beyond humanity. It adds an intriguing ethical subplot to the story.
All in all, Writ in Blood is a solid horror tale, full of intriguing characters. At times, the book reminds you of parts of It, especially the when King handles the history of Derry. In some levels, this first book is just an extended prologue to the tale that is to come, but it teases your interest just enough to pick up that next book.