Cult of the Black Jaguar by JG Faherty

Cult of the Black Jaguar by JG Faherty
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Horror, Historical, Action/Adventure
Length: Short Story (47 pages)
Rating: 3 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

In the depths of the jungle lie mysteries drenched in blood.

Ethan Foster has spent a lifetime as a guide and bodyguard for archeologist Heathcliff Pascal. They’ve survived more adventures than they can count, but now, deep in the jungles of Central America, they discover a secret hidden from the world for centuries: the Cult of the Black Jaguar, presided over by an immortal goddess whose beauty is matched by her cruelty. She needs the blood of a virgin to bring her army back to life, and she’s found one in Heathcliff’s daughter, Jenny. It’s up to Ethan to stop her. It might seem an impossible task, but Ethan has secrets of his own. Dark secrets.

Before the night is over, blood will be shed, and only one man—or monster—will survive.

The middle of nowhere can be an incredibly exciting place to visit, so long as everyone is prepared for anything to happen there.

Strong, even pacing encouraged me to read this whole thing in one sitting. The first scene plops the reader down into an adventure that is already taking place. It was up to me to put all of the pieces together as everything unfolded. The heavy focus on the plot was a good match for the themes and overall tone of this tale.

There is a pretty large cast of characters here considering that this is a short story. While all of them play important roles and I wouldn’t want to see anyone taken away, it took me a long time to figure out who was who. It would have been really helpful if the narrator had quickly introduced all of the characters in the first scene so that I could have spent more time enjoying the plot itself.

One of the things I look for in horror is a really scary villain. It’s difficult to discuss the antagonist without giving away spoilers, but Mr. Faherty has found a good balance between describing what I should fear and allowing my imagination to fill in some of the details on its own. It’s often more frightening to not know everything, after all!

Cult of the Black Jaguar is not for the faint of heart, but definitely give it a try if you like your horror on the bloody side.

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