Book Review: The Serpent’s Shadow by Daniel Braum

“The Serpent’s Shadow is a tale that slithers under your skin and grips you until the last sentence.”


Daniel Braum is no stranger to the genre, his stories have been featured in Cemetery Dance Magazine, Nightscript, as well as his own stand-out collections like Night Marchers and The Wish Mechanics. His latest effort, The Serpent’s Shadow, set in Cancun, Mexico in 1986, is the tale of a vacation which turns into a nightmare, scenic beauty masking an unimaginable horror which could end life as we know it—as well as another hidden killer—the White Lady. Much more than a horror story, it has a blend of adventure and mythology which will stir the reader’s imagination. Like the darting of a reptilian tongue, it is swift, it promises danger … and doesn’t disappoint. Daniel Braum’s description of landscapes paints the scene into the mind’s eye perfectly and weaves these settings into the web of the story and makes them just as important as any character. Some locales are wave-swept and alluring, while others are crumbling tombs ready to be filled with new flesh. The wonderful part about all of this is how deftly Braum pulled it off in such a quick read, displaying his mastery of storytelling. It’s one that you will devour in a single sitting, or may devour you, depending on how you look at it.

The Serpent’s Shadow once again shows his talent for blending genres to create his own unique stamp on the horror world, one that will be celebrated for its brutality, beauty, and magic. If you enjoy reads that take you beyond genre labels, Daniel Braum is the man you seek. With cover art by the talented Lynne Hansen, it’s the perfect package and could be considered a go-to vacation read for those days in the sun and sand when your mind wants to drift away. But be warned, the paradise written about so vividly in the book, from its beaches and bustling tourist city of rambunctious nightlife to the lush green jungles, soon becomes a place of darkness and death.

The Serpent’s Shadow reminds you of the dangers masked in everyday life, how easy it is to step over that unseen threshold dividing the ordinary world into that of pure darkness. A family trip goes from being your average vacation to something much deadlier for David when he befriends a young woman by the name of Anne Marie. On a trip into the jungles outside of Cancun they discover a temple to an ancient serpent god. Something from the past calls out to them, something hungry to be avenged. It seeks the renewal of the lands. It’s time for the shedding of skin and the striking of venomous fangs, and an end to the bustling Cancun way of life. Death comes to the tourist city, dressed in white with bloodstained hands. The Serpent’s Shadow is a tale that slithers under your skin and grips you until the last sentence, leaving the reader wondering if David has the strength to end the White Lady and the serpent she calls from a world beyond. It is a fang-tastic read that you owe yourself to dive into, grab your copy today!

                                                                                                                                               MICHELLE GARZA

Publisher: Cemetery Dance
eBook: 108 (pps)
Release date: 2 July 2019

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1 comment

  1. Great review, Michelle! Daniel Braum is definitely a very talented writer and editor. I’ll make sure to share this on Twitter!.

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