Title: St. Aymon – A Canadian Horror Story
Author: George Gordon
Publication Date: November 7, 2018
Genres: Horror, Paranormal, Contemporary
Length: 43 pages
Source: I received a free copy from the author.
Rating: 3 Stars
Welcome to the village of St Aymon.
An Englishman moves to his wife’s home in the Canadian wilderness. The village of St Aymon is located deep inside the boreal forest in the Northwest Territories, hundreds of miles away from civilisation.
Through a series of letters home, the Englishman recounts his experience.
But St Aymon is not what it first appears… the family are part of a religious cult, there are queer objects hanging in the woods, and strange noises can be heard at night.
Life, and his new family,are not what he expected. Dark times, the end is nigh.
Evil lurks within the woods.
Dare you read the horrors within?
Content Warning: animal abuse, verbal abuse, physical abuse, limb amputations, hallucinations, religious cult.
Winter is a dangerous time to take risks in the woods.
Michael, the main character, struck me as someone who wasn’t used to things working out for him no matter what choices he made. He leapt into the opportunity to move to his new wife’s hometown without appearing to do much research at all about what life is like in rural Canadian communities or how he should prepare for the long, cold winters here. For example, he didn’t even bother to bring warm, appropriate clothing and footwear with him even though the Northwest Territories are known for their bitterly cold weather. I had some mixed feelings about Michael because of these obvious sorts of personal oversights, but I enjoyed getting to know him and figuring out why he was so eager to leap before he looked. He was a complex man who defied categorization.
I struggled with all of the loose ends that remained after the final scene. This is something I’m saying as a reader who normally relishes ambiguity and the chance to answer certain questions about the plot and characters for myself. I had so much trouble putting the pieces together, though, that I felt obligated to go for a lower rating than I would have otherwise loved to give. It was difficult to keep track of the multiple narrators and figure out how their letters fit together chronologically speaking, and I was never quite certain that my interpretation of what really happened matched what the author intended to say.
One of the most memorable aspects of this short story was how it explored the isolation of small town life in Canada. The experiences of someone who lives in a tiny village in the Northwest Territories, as was the case here, will be quite different from how someone who lives in a large and better supplied city like Toronto or Vancouver gets through the winter. It was cool to see this representation, and I enjoyed the scenes that described how quiet it is in those little villages and how far away the rest of the world feels once winter storms arrive and the roads aren’t necessarily safe for travel.
St. Aymon – A Canadian Horror Story was a deliciously scary tale to curl up with on a cold winter evening.