I found Interlands, A Tale of the Supernatural by Vincent O’Neil (2013, Vincent O-Neil) while searching Amazon.com. When I learned that Interlands takes place in Providence, Rhode Island, I had to read the book for two purely selfish reasons. For one, most of my family lives in the state (I feel connected to the place). Two, the synopsis screams of Lovecraft. A quote from the book:
Interlands, A Tale of the Supernatural (Interlands, Book 1)
BY VINCENT H. O’NEIL
FNG Press, May 28, 2013
Fiction, Horror, Occult
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With no one to confide in, she’d held the argument inside her own head and naturally found a way to dissolve facts into concepts and concepts into explanations that in the end explained nothing at all.
About Vincent H. O’Neil
Vincent H. O’Neil is a prolific writer. His wealth of experience informs his writing. After writing in his spare time for years, O’Neil won the St. Martin’s Press “Malice Domestic” Writing Contest in 2005. Since then, he’s written numerous books as the author Vincent H. O’Neil and Henry V. O’Neil.
Angie Morse, a graduate student in history at a college in Providence, is trying to make a name for herself. She’s finished her coursework, but she’s looking for that one special find that will get the attention of billionaire historian Oliver Price, who funds experts like her to explore the world in search of the existence of lost places and forgotten lore. For such a treasured position, Angie will risk anything. Using an old photograph, historical documentation, and local folklore, Angie explores the area around Providence in search of an ancient obelisk once worshiped by early settlers, feared by Native Americans, and ultimately destroyed by the authorities.
The folklore about the obelisk is unsettling, perhaps even satanic, but it’s the find she needs to get Price’s attention. Along the way, Angie discovers the obelisk may have modern worshipers—friends and acquaintances whose motives are deceitful. As she slowly unravels the mystery surrounding the obelisk, we learn the truth—all that we can know—about its history and its worshipers.
Interlands Book Review
Interlands has multiple strengths, but O’Neil’s ability to develop credible characters is the best. I found myself emotionally connected with Angie. In her quest for the obelisk, she is often alone in the woods, at home, at the library, or in public. The descriptions of Providence and the surrounding woods and Angie’s movements are so superb that I feel her fear, dread, sorrow, confusion, and anger as she desperately searches for the obelisk. I want her to succeed on many levels.
O’Neil’s other characters are just as strong—the neighbor, who looks out for Angie and once experienced something strange in the woods, too. The former roommate, who we learn about through Angie’s thoughts and memories, and later, in a phone call. The research assistant wants more than just a work relationship with Angie, who also seems like he might be working against her. Her therapist, who went mad while looking out his window, who might have been her lover, and her many encounters with local folks and somewhat creepy acquaintances in her search for the obelisk.
The story starts out slow but engaging—another plus for O’Neil. Angie is on her way to the woods searching for the obelisk, thinking about finishing her master’s degree and possibly working for Oliver Price. At the same time, she considers the evidence she’s collected. Strong Lovecraftian themes are present throughout the story, most notably cosmicism and, in the end, a few unanswered questions. Lovecraft fans won’t be disappointed. I found the book so engaging that I stopped everything and read it from start to finish in one day. I enjoyed it. Lovecraftians, fans of the supernatural, and readers who like solving puzzles should read Interlands, A Tale of the Supernatural.
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