Nelson W. Pyles does a lot.
He hosts podcasts, narrates audio books and writes. And by write I mean essays, blogs, short stories and novels. He’s creating himself a nice legacy filled with believable characters in situations-not-so-believable—but that doesn’t mean they’re not gripping, intense pieces. It just means that you have to keep reading because you don’t know where it all may end up.
Spiders in the Daffodils—did I also mention he, hands down, comes up with the best titles?—is his latest novel. Spiders in the Daffodils centers on Tom Wall and the enigmatic Veronique. The characters have shown up in other places throughout Pyles’ works. The descriptor “enigmatic” actually accurately describes both of them, so much so that this entire novel is devoted to them.
When one is an ex-Texas Ranger and the other a monster with a past that will haunt them both, there are a lot of meaty bits to really sink your teeth into.
When an author creates characters correctly, drips and drabs of backstory come through to the reader, hinting that there’s so much more to be had. When an author creates characters correctly, readers care about them and want more, and more. And when an author cares about his characters and has the talent to truly flesh them out, the result is a satisfying read that brings those characters more to life. And leave you wanting more again, so the cycle continues!
It’s definitely the case with these two.
They come from two different and insanely detailed mythos sources and both their wells are so deep, Pyles made sure to designate this book American Western Horror Book 1. That’s also another benefit to booklovers: His main genre is horror, sure, but he branches off into others as well. I’m not a huge Western devotee, but anything written well and fun to read is worth taking a chance on. Luckily Pyles makes it easy.
His prose is well-written.
Descriptive enough to invoke exactly the response he wants, he also leaves enough out for the mind’s eyes to fill in details and make you feel much more part of the story. Although fantastic-but-believable characters (a hard combination to make play well together; Pyles is an alchemist) are the cornerstone of his work, his world creation is meticulous as well. A marriage between 1800s Romania and Texas could be a mess, but Spiders in the Daffodils couples them in a way most people couldn’t have begun to imagine, let alone put down in words.
And even though Tom and Veronique have been introduced previously, you don’t need to read those short stories to step into their world. Pyles has generously taken the bits and pieces of those introductions and added them into this one, making it all that much richer.
The scenery is gorgeous. The protagonists are touchable, relatable people. The villain is as charming and deluded as he is deadly. The spiders are . . . well, let’s just say the spiders aren’t just in the title because it sounded good.
Spiders in the Daffodils is available through Amazon.