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Pages: 73
Goes Well With: A barbecue sandwich, curly fries, and soda of choice

There are spaces in our world where nothing exists except for half a lot, a strip of woodland, an acre of bogóplaces no one wants, places where the monster waits to devour unsuspecting victims.

Fourteen-year-old Rosaria once again finds herself in a shelter because her motherís boyfriend got a little too friendly. One night, she decides to leave, so she steps out into the cold, headed for her nanaís house. Right away, though, she notices that something isnít quite right with the night or with the darkened houses along the way.

Dick Wood has been alone most of his life. When he crosses paths with Rosaria, he suddenly finds himself interested in something other than his thoughts and Scotch. So, despite the warnings of a seemingly unstable friend, he, too, steps out into the cold, where the monster waits, to help a girl.

On the surface, Wood may sound like the kind of silly monster story thatís told around juvenile campfiresóbut itís not. As with all of author Robert Dunbarís novels, thereís a hidden, deeper meaning to the story. The monster appears to be both real and imagined. Is it the monster that haunts our thoughts, ready to tear down our peace of mind because of our individual choices and our experiences throughout life? Or is it an actual creature that dwells in empty spaces, ready to devour unsuspecting souls? Perhaps itís both.

Wood is witty and even hilarious at times, with a hefty dose of creepiness. The story is written in one long stream with no chapter breaks, so youíll really have to pay close attention to scene breaks, or you might get lost. However, Mr. Dunbar makes this style of writing a downright joy to read. The plot is engaging and not terribly confusing, so itís really not too hard to follow.

Robert Dunbar is one of my favorite horror authors. Heís unconventional and totally unique in his approach to the genre, and he once again shows it in Wood, with its eccentric characters and clever plot. Itís not your average, everyday monster story, and it left me unable to wait to get my hands on Dunbarís next book.

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