Author: Travis Liebert
Publication Date: November 8, 2019
Genres: Horror, Paranormal, Contemporary
Length: 27 pages
Source: I received a free copy from the author.
Rating: 3 Stars
“I’ve been a search and rescue diver for twelve years. We see a lot of strange and disgusting things. But what I saw last week has me questioning both my job and reality.”
There’s a place in the river where not even search and rescue divers are supposed to go. It’s called Badwater.
But when Joseph Albright dives into this forbidden region, he discovers something beyond comprehension.
Intent on solving a mystery as old as the earth itself, he comes into contact with forces beyond fathom.
Get this riveting new horror story and learn of the terrors that pervade our world.
Content Warning: Drowning and body horror.
A strong current might drown you in this river, but even if that happens it will be the least of your worries.
Joseph was a sympathetic and memorable protagonist. I appreciated how cautious he was around water and how seriously he took his work as a search and rescue diver. These were important things to establish early on in order to explain his later behaviour. They also endeared me to him as a character because I knew how knowledgable he was about safely enjoying the water and how drowning can happen to even the strongest swimmer. If the author ever writes a sequel, I’d sure like to learn more about this world and the other people in it.
My only reason for choosing a three star rating had to do with a plot hole that the narrator never closed. It involved what the powers of the character who controlled Badwater actually were and how far they could be stretched or pushed back against. In some scenes, this character seemed nearly all-powerful, while in others there appeared to be loopholes to the rules. I would have loved to see this clarified as it was the only thing that prevented me from choosing a much higher rating. Everything else about this tale was deliciously scary.
The folklore elements of the storyline were top-notch. They shared enough information for this reader to know what was happening but also left plenty of little details up to my imagination. I also enjoyed taking note of the slight differences in how various characters reacted to the legends about Badwater and why no one was ever supposed to go there. Not only did this make everything feel realistic, it encouraged me to keep reading so I could come up with my own theories about which versions made the most sense to me.
Badwater was a spooky summer read.