Readers of Stephen King and Joe Hill will devour this bold, terrifying new novel from Edward M. Erdelac. A mysterious man posing as a Union soldier risks everything to enter the Civil War’s deadliest prison—only to find a horror beyond human reckoning.
Georgia, 1864. Camp Sumter, aka Andersonville, has earned a reputation as an open sewer of sadistic cruelty and terror where death may come at any minute. But as the Union prisoners of war pray for escape, cursing the fate that spared them a quicker end, one man makes his way into the camp purposefully.
Barclay Lourdes has a mission—and a secret. But right now his objective is merely to survive the hellish camp. The slightest misstep summons the full fury of the autocratic commander, Captain Wirz, and the brutal Sergeant Turner. Meanwhile, a band of shiftless thieves and criminals known as the “Raiders” preys upon their fellow prisoners. Barclay soon finds that Andersonville is even less welcoming to a black man—especially when that man is not who he claims to be. Little does he imagine that he’s about to encounter supernatural terrors beyond his wildest dreams . . . or nightmares.
Advance praise for Andersonville
“The true story of Andersonville is one of unimaginable horror and human misery. It’s a testament to his unmatched skill as a storyteller that Edward M. Erdelac is not only able to capture that horror but to add another level of supernatural terror and reveal that the darkest evil of all resides in the human soul. Highly recommended to fans of horror and history alike.”—Brett J. Talley, Bram Stoker Award–nominated author of That Which Should Not Be and He Who Walks in Shadow
“Andersonville is a raw, groundbreaking supernatural knuckle-punch. Erdelac absolutely owns Civil War and Wild West horror fiction.”—Weston Ochse, bestselling author of SEAL Team 666
Camp Sumter or Andersonville is already hell on Earth for the Union soldiers. Starvation, unsanitary conditions and fighting between the prisoners means that survivors are surrounded by constant death. For Barclay Lourdes, a black soldier, Andersonville provides even more struggles. Barclay’s first objective is to survive, but he is in Andersonville for another reason, too. Barclay is trying to figure out just why the conditions are so bad and if something supernatural is at play. Barclay starts to notice many strange things in the camp, lead and bone in the cornmeal and strange brands on the dead. When he finds out what is really going on, it is much worse than he imagined.
At first this book sucked me in as a piece of historical fiction. The descriptions of Andersonville, the treatment of the prisoners and some of the shady business that went on inside was written in a gruesomely detailed fashion and I had no problem imagining the emaciated men, the gross food and the array of characters that patrolled the camp from either side. Barclay Lourdes was also an incredibly intriguing character, a black Union soldier, but never a slave. He is hiding secrets from the very beginning, but those secrets are very surprising and layered. The introduction of the supernatural element was definitely a slow build, but worth it. This wasn't something I was fully expecting, or anything I had even heard of before. It was interesting to see how this element just intensified and fed off of all the atrocities that were already happening in Andersonville. Overall, a very well done historical fiction novel with a touch of supernatural horror that managed not to take away from what really happened at Camp Sumter.
This book was received for free in return for an honest review.
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Edward M. Erdelac is a member of the Horror Writers Association and the author of six novels (including the acclaimed weird western series Merkabah Rider) and several short stories. He is an independent filmmaker, award-winning screenwriter, and sometime Star Wars contributor. Born in Indiana, educated in Chicago, he resides in the Los Angeles area with his wife and a bona fide slew of children and cats.