Monday, April 9, 2018

Clowders by Vanessa Morgan

by Vanessa Morgan

Genre: Horror, Suspense

Clervaux, Luxembourg. This secluded, picturesque town in the middle of Europe is home to more cats than people. For years, tourists have flocked to this place – also known as “cat haven” - to meet the cats and buy cat-related souvenirs.

When Aidan, Jess and their five-year-old daughter, Eleonore, move from America to Clervaux, it seems as if they've arrived in paradise. It soon becomes evident, though, that the inhabitants' adoration of their cats is unhealthy. According to a local legend, each time a cat dies, nine human lives are taken as a punishment. To tourists, these tales are supernatural folklore, created to frighten children on cold winter nights. But for the inhabitants of Clervaux, the danger is horrifyingly real.

Initially, Aidan and Jess regard this as local superstition, but when Jess runs over a cat after a night on the town, people start dying, one by one, and each time it happens, a clowder of cats can be seen roaming the premises.

Are they falling victim to the collective paranoia infecting the entire town? Or is something unspeakably evil waiting for them?

Their move to Europe may just have been the worst decision they ever made.

Vanessa Morgan is known as the “female version of Stephen King.” Three of her works (The Strangers Outside, Next to Her, A Good Man) have become movies. When she's not working on her latest book, you can find her watching horror movies, digging through flea markets, or photographing felines for her blog Traveling Cats (

What I Really Think

Clowders by Vanessa Morgan is a prime example of why I shouldn’t write book reviews. I don’t want
to give a synopsis as in Aiden, Jess, and their young daughter move to a small out of the way town that has more cats than people or where that at all costs, a cat’s life is valued more than human. Come on. You just read it in the above book description.

I want to talk about the relationship between Aiden and Jessie. I want to gossip about who is right and who is wrong and what is the real cause of the breakdown of their marriage. I want to debate who does Avalon, the cat, really belong to and who makes the decision. I want to talk in detail about the accident and later what happens to their young daughter. And I can’t talk about any of it because it would be full of spoilers.

I will say that the book starts off with a bang. The momentum slows a bit with Jessie and Aiden’s move to the new town as we get to understand their relationship. Bits of tension build up and continue to build. Halfway through the book, I couldn’t put it down. The only downside to the novel is that I wish the author had shown more instead of telling.

It’s all about feeling, isn’t it? How do you feel when you came to the end of the story?

I think Clowders has a Children of the Corn vibe. Replace the corn with cats and replace the kids with adults. You’ll find the same theme. That was on the creepy side.

I finished the book last night and did not have any nightmares about cats. I actually had a really nice dream about dogs which in itself was kind of strange. Pleasant, but I don’t dream about dogs normally. But then this morning as I pulled into the driveway, I gave a definite pause as to what the heck just scurried underneath the parked truck. Yep. I was back in the story.

I enjoy getting flashback feelings even if they are scary ones. It's all about the feelings.

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