Forest is the sequel to Asylum: The Afterlife Investigations, Book 1. It is a thriller, horror, paranormal story written by Ambrose Ibsen. If you have not read or listen to Asylum, STOP reading now. It is impossible to write a review of Forest without mentioning plot points from Asylum.
Stephen Barlow is an adjunct professor at an Ohio college we met in Asylum. He witnesses a student being killed by a hit and run. Shortly afterward he becomes involved with two students, Elizabeth and Jake who want to form a Spiritual Club ( paranormal not kumbaya). They investigate Chaythe Asylum and inadvertently release something evil that has been stuck there for 28 years.
As Forest begins, Stephen has decided since they released the evil from the asylum, they are responsible for trying to find and stop it. Elizabeth and Jake are significantly traumatized by the events at the asylum and refuse to help.
As in the first book, Mr. Ibsen does a nice job of creating a pervading sense of dread. Each event from the first book connects neatly to Stephen navigating a dark forest with a shadowy figure that alternates leading and following. It undoubtedly figures that escaped the asylum. What Stephen finds in the forest is more horrifying than what was discovered at the asylum. As the story progresses, Stephen, Jake, and Elizabeth face a more dangerous evil. Forest does not have the same ending as Asylum. Forest literally leaves you dangling from the tree by your fingertips with the tiger walking around the base, patiently. It compels you to get to the next book in the series as soon as possible.
Joe Hempel does a great job narrating Forest as he did Asylum. He conveys the tension and fear just as well in this book as he did in the two other Ibsen books I have listened to. While the story gets very intense, Mr.Hempel never veers in hysteria or yelling. I really enjoyed his narration. I am looking forward to hearing Mr. Hempel narrate the conclusion to this trilogy by Ibsen.
ABR received this audiobook for free from the Narrator, Submitted in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect our opinion of the audiobook or the content of our review.