Review: The Hoard by Alan Ryker

I think one of the biggest misconceptions about horror fiction is that it is all gore, all the time.

Not that there’s anything wrong with that…But I’ll admit that one can only sit through Saw so many times before the bloodshed gets a little pedestrian.

Not that I don’t enjoy a good “popcorn movie” or “beach read” every now and then. But I can’t help it if I sometimes look for something more from my horror.

Whether it’s a dark and brooding piece or some dastardly mystery that needs to be unraveled, sometimes a girl just wants something more with her gore.

In Alan Ryker’s The Hoard, I got that “something more” that I was looking for – in the from of a skin-crawlingly good creeper that made my pulse race.

Sure, there are some gnarly scenes and of course, there’s going to be a little bloodshed. But The Hoard also offers a frightening atmosphere and action, giving the story some meat.

There’s a reason this book is garnering 4 and 5-star ratings all over the place, and lucky for us because its publisher Darkfuse has signed Ryker to a 3-year deal which means 3 new novels & 3 new novellas in the next 3 years. WOW!

That is certainly good news, as I’d been hearing fantastic things about Alan’s writing long before picking up The Hoard, a story about one compulsive hoarder and how her obsession grows into something unwieldy and with a ferocity all its own.




Hidden deep beneath its landfill lair of trash and filth, a strange new organism has come to life.  When an accidental fire drives it out, the mysterious creature escapes across the drought-blasted Kansas prairie and finds the home of elderly hoarder Anna Grish.  In desperate need of shelter, it burrows in, concealed amidst the squalor and mess.

When Adult Protective Services force Anna to vacate her junk-riddled home, she moves in with her son and his family.  But there is something wrong with Anna, something more than her declining mental condition and severe hoarding disorder.  Something sinister has taken hold of her, and it’s not only getting stronger, it’s spreading.

Amidst the wide-open Kansas plains, with endless blue sky above and flat, open vista stretching from one horizon to the next, there is nowhere to hide from…THE HOARD


In classic hoarder behavior, elderly grandmother Anna Grish’s “collections” start to get out of control, but she does a good job of keeping friends and family at arm’s length. No one sees the degree of her obsession or the deterioration of her mental state until she is injured and is forced to live on the farm next door with her son Pete and his family.

But like his mother, Pete, too, has a problem with gathering piles in the corners of his garage, so trying to tell her to straighten up is an act of futility. Not that it would matter anyway. Not only does The Hoard have a mind of its own, it manages to control and overpower anyone in its path, including Anna.

An infectious tale where the monster hides easily in plain sight, The Hoard shows off Ryker’s talent for creating a sense of dread and fear that settles in and festers.




To find out more about The Hoard, check out Amazon, Goodreads or Darkfuse, or visit Alan’s blog to keep up with his writing misadventures. And watch for a review of Ryker’s popular Burden Kansas coming soon to Bloody Bookish.

Have you read The Hoard? What did you think of it? What about Alan’s other works? Share your opinions in the comments section!


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