Welcome Descent by Cam Wolfe

clummo's review

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The idea was solid enough but the execution wasn't quite there for me. Felt like everything dragged on just a bit too long. The lethargic pacing, long-winded descriptions, and repetitive plot points bogged down the intriguing parts of the story.

cdvalentine's review

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I may be a bit biased because I enjoy watching Cam Wolfe's youtube channel, but I really liked this story. It was fast-paced, which is how I like to write, and weird. Right up my alley.

I look forward to seeing more work by Mr. Wolfe, and I hope he gets the recognition he deserves.

mel_ottino's review

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dark emotional medium-paced


i really enjoyed the exposition/descriptive style, but had some trouble with the dialogue and characterization

impressive for an independent debut horror, and I’m interested to see what they publish next l (: 

jeremyfee's review

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As a fan of Cam Wolfe's Youtube channel (Page Nomad) about writing, I was looking forward to reading this book and was glad that I preordered it so I could read it as soon as it was out.

This book had a spectacular ending. Despite the protagonist being a drunk jerk most of the time, I found myself actually liking the character. I enjoyed the book being setup to cause me to question what was really going on, whether it was just some crazy horror story or if there was some dark magical fantasy element happening in the world. The storm symbolism was a bit on the nose, but I liked it.

My only issue with the book was that, as an American, I didn't realize that the British style of writing used apostrophes instead of quotation marks around dialogue, and that caused me some confusion when I started reading the book. I went online and looked it up though, and it made sense. I was just surprised to get a book in the United States that used the British style for dialogue and it took my brain a minute to get used to it.

adityasundar's review

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In Welcome Descent, we're given what is promised: a deep dive into the mental confines of a very depraved man steeped in more sins than virtue. I enjoyed the gore elements of the story, but the kind of horror I like is rooted more in dread than gore, so it wasn’t particularly scary for me.

I did find some parts tedious to get through, especially the moments alone with Joe/Joseph. I found myself skimming through paragraphs at times to skip winded descriptions. But I appreciated the intent behind those scenes.

The crux of Joe's guilt trip was fairly straightforward, although I liked that it was revealed in bits and pieces. Again, the writing could've been tighter, especially once it became fairly clear what he was dealing with. The resolution between him and his son was sort of tied-up, which felt a bit rushed and unrealistic, but after a book-long journey of bleak and gloom, perhaps a half-happy ending was quite deserving for the characters.

Overall, a pretty fair story, which could've used some more editing to trim down the words and prose style.

corsontl's review

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dark emotional tense medium-paced


charmainelim's review

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dark fast-paced


A wild ride from beginning to end

Wow. The second half of the book left me truly wondering if anything I read was the truth.

Cam did an excellent job of making me question what was going on and how much I could believe of what was on the page. As someone who doesn’t reach for horror, I was a bit hesitant about how I would react to this book. But I can confidently say that I’ll be recommending this to people in the future.

I’m already looking forward to Cam’s collection of horror short stories coming out next year.

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megelzbth's review

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challenging dark reflective tense fast-paced


haley_cat's review

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dark emotional tense fast-paced


shecamefromouterspace's review

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3.5 stars

I have been a fan of Cam Wolfe’s YouTube channel for several years now; he makes some of the best reading/writing related content on the platform. I have been anticipating this debut horror novel since he first talked about it on his channel a couple of years ago, back when he was still in the process of writing it. To be honest, knowing that this is a self-published work from a newish indie author, my expectations were not super high. But I was pleasantly surprised - even impressed - with how good the story is. There was just one major drawback to this book that I did not enjoy, which may just be a matter of personal preference anyway.

Welcome Descent follows Joseph Ridley, a curmudgeonly man in his 40s who has hit rock bottom. He has not seen or spoken to his wife and son for years, but the reader does not initially know why. Having separated from his family, he cannot afford the fancy cars and suits that used to bring him so much pride. So he drinks to numb himself, and is an insufferable dickhead to everyone around him.

I love unlikeable protagonists, so right from the jump I was invested in Joseph’s story. I wanted to know more about his past, what happened to his wife and son. When a major storm hits Joe’s apartment complex, he begins to see and experience horrible things, many of which are memories that haunt him. Through these memories, the reader learns more and more about Joe’s history and the events that led to him becoming the asshole to which the reader is first introduced. The reader cannot help but sympathize with him, especially as he endures nightmarish visions of gore and death and hideous creatures.

I have only one complaint about the story, but it did significantly affect my enjoyment of it. I am a very pragmatic, left-brained sort of person, so I am the type of reader who likes stories to follow rules and logic. Even if it is a fantasy or horror story in which impossible things can happen, I like there to be an explanation for it. My problem with Welcome Descent is that Joseph’s nightmarish visions are never fully explained. There is a creepy guy, Samuel Bub, that Joe talks to before the storm hits, who says a lot of spooky and cryptic things about the storm that foreshadow what will happen to Joe. We know the storm is the cause of Joe’s visions, and Bub is also involved. But how? Why? Is the storm haunted? Is Bub a demon or something? Does he control the storm, or is he just a messenger? I wish I knew more about how the storm works, because not knowing left me feeling confused throughout the otherwise very well-written horror scenes.

Overall though, this was a good, solid story. I hope Wolfe continues to write and hone his craft, because I can see there is a lot of raw storytelling talent within him. I look forward to future releases from him, as I will definitely be picking those up as well.