Top Tier (4 to 5 stars)

The Liar of Red Valley, by Walter Goodwater

5 out of 5 stars. Fascinating world and one of the finest plot twists I’ve read for quite some time.

5 out of 5 stars

This book is set to be published on September 28th, 2021.

»A Lie can do lots of things, but it can’t make cancer go away.«

Imagine you had to power to bring a lie to life. To make it true (for a certain definition of true).
Real or not, the Lies work. Doesn’t matter if they’re real, they’re real enough.
Find out more about it in this contemporary fantasy gothic story, with a slight twist of horror, some very absurd (and fun to read) ideas and creatures and a lot of twists.

This book is set to be published in September, ready for fall, the season where we cuddle up with a cup of hot beverage and a good book. And while the days will be getting shorter, you won’t even notice the shadows growing larger before your window and your hot beverage turning into a cold beverage because you won’t be able to put this book aside. Yes, it’s that good.

I’ve heard this work called lovecraftian, but I disagree. Not everything that involves dark powers is automatically this subgenre, and comparing it to Lovecraft is not giving Walter Goodwater the credits he is due: He has created this world with fresh ideas, and it is not a mere copy of some cthulhian stories. Instead, he blends magical elements (like Mexican Brujos) with fantastical creatures and philosophical ideas into a delightful concoction.

This book is about Sadie, who inherits the title of Liar of the Red Valley after her mother dies. She also gets a clear idea about the power of lies, and the limits to that power on that day when she discovers her mother had cancer for a while but lied about being healthy. The lie holds truth until the very last moment – and I think that’s a statement to ponder about. After all, »A Lie can do lots of things, but it can’t make cancer go away«.

There are things lurking in the dark in Red Valley

Well, there always was a liar in the red valley, like there always was the king. Who is the King, and why did he create the Liar?

You’ll find answers (and more lies) on Sadie’s journey through the fantastical, mythical and kind of scaring Red Valley. Before the end of this journey, talking to the dead and a house stepping in and out of time will be the least of your worries. And when you think that in all this fast paced action you finally have a slight grasp of what’s going on, then Walter will hit you with one in the final plot twist I’ve had the pleasure to read in a long, long time.

Of course I was trying to picture what the great Lie that Sadie’s Mom had told at the end of her life would be, and I had a few ideas cursing through my head. But wow, did I ever not expect that.

And no, I’m not going to spoiler that for you. Just read the book, will ya? And remember, your cup is getting cold.

So, like I’ve said, one of the finest plot twists I’ve ever read. Some of the characters could be more fleshed out, but since the story is so fast paced, it doesn’t really matter.

Disclaimer: I’ve received a free Advanced Reader’s Copy and are leaving this review voluntarily.

By Stefan

father of two, not enough time to read everything I want to read

2 replies on “The Liar of Red Valley, by Walter Goodwater”

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