Voodoo, Corruption, and Zombies
Warning: There is sexual abuse in this story, but it is not portrayed as anything but evil.
What do you get when you mix Zombies, Voodoo, New Orleans, and Hurricane Katrina? You get R.B. Wood’s fantastic read, Bayou Whispers. I live a little over an hour from New Orleans, and I’m familiar with where the geographic locations in the story are. I wasn’t sure what to expect when I bought this, but I do like horror set in New Orleans.
Using the backdrop of Hurricane Katrina to begin the tale was brilliant, it’s something that makes the setting realistic because as far as New Orleans goes, there is pre-Katrina and post-Katrina. When you read Bayou Whispers, be sure to pay attention to the Voodoo priests/priestesses. They add so much to the story. The presence of Voodoo also makes the New Orleans setting legitimate and believable.
This story isn’t strictly horror, but the horror is there, and it fits within the genre nicely. This story is very well crafted, bringing all these elements together could not have been an easy job but R.B. Wood managed to pull it off. Somehow everything fits the story well, and it seems natural. As a writer, I appreciate reading stories that used elements and themes that I could not have envisioned putting together, as it makes me want to analyze how it was done.
This isn’t just your classic good vs. evil tale. It’s a story of deep corruption. The corruption goes all the way to the top, in places you might not expect it. The main character, Jeannine, has her traumatic memories surface, and because of her trauma history, she doesn’t always know who to trust. She is, however, very smart, and resourceful. She survived Hurricane Katrina, but her life was not easy.
As a person who has CPTSD and has had repressed memories come flooding back to me, I enjoyed the portrayal of Jeannine’s own traumatic memories. Her memories often come in visions and nightmares. They say misery loves company, after all. The vividness of the recollection of memories is not only accurate, but it’s part of the terror of the story. R.B. Wood shows what this is like in a way that makes me think the author has their own traumatic memories or is very well-researched on the matter.
I found myself relating with Jeannine deeply, her story resonated with me. One of the reasons I read horror is because I can relate so much to the genre. I don’t read purely for entertainment; reading is a complex endeavor. I appreciate it when I can relate to the stories I read in some way, and I related to this one on many levels.
Jeannine was doomed from the start, or so it seemed. She’s a very conflicted soul and a complex character that has so much going on. It can be confusing to know what she wants and how to act in certain circumstances, and she tries her best. Jeannine is also a fighter. Her mother wants her to give herself over to the dark side, offering her power. Jeannine has her own ideas about what she wants, and she has learned how to get what she wants, despite all obstacles.
There are three big motivators in life: money, power, and sex. Most of us have at least one of these motivators, and some of us more. This is a story of people craving power, and the lengths they will go to have power and to keep their power. The narrator of the story is rather unreliable, and we don’t really
Mary-Clare St. Francis
Mary-Clare St. Francis is a writer who sounds as boring as hell but who is intimately acquainted with horror in a sinister and evil way. Having lived her life for over three decades now at the intersection of the monstrous and the sacred, darkness has been her friend. Writing of her darkness while walking in the light of Christ, she insists that wearing outfits sporting coffins is appropriate attire for going anywhere.