Review: Eye of the Ouroboros by Megan Bontrager

Eye of the OuroborosEye of the Ouroboros by Megan Bontrager
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

**4.5-stars rounded up**


Eye of the Ouroboros is one of those rare books that I picked up on a whim. I knew nothing about it, had heard no buzz, but did notice it on a graphic of April 2024 Horror releases.

There was just something about the cover that called to me and then the title, I was intrigued by that as well.

We follow Theodora Buchanan, who goes by Theo. She’s a park ranger for NPS. More specifically, she’s part of the Search and Rescue team and patrols the forests surrounding her hometown of Mill Creek, West Virginia.

No one knows these woods like Theo. She’s been searching them most of her life, looking for her little sister, Flora, who went missing years ago.

The Buchanan family has never received answers on what happened to Flora, and Theo, who was watching her on the day she disappeared, has been riddled with guilt ever since.

While she has been able to maintain her job, the rest of Theo’s life is a bit of a mess. She’s numbed her pain with alcohol for way too long to be healthy and everything just seems completely out of control.

At the beginning of the book, we follow along with Theo as she searches for a little girl, who went missing while camping with her family. Of course, on every search Theo is also looking for clues as to what happened to Flora.

After the girl is found, some evidence pops up in the aftermath that leads you to believe, these aren’t regular woods. There’s something much deeper and more mysterious here than in your average mountain range.

This had such an intriguing start, by 10%, I was hooked. Theo was someone I wanted to learn everything about. I’ve mentioned before that I’m sort of a sucker for MCs that drink too much, and Theo definitely fits that bill.

Her family dynamics, following the disappearance of her sister, they’re an absolute disaster. I really felt for her, as I felt like if her parents had handled it differently, perhaps Theo could have dealt with it better herself, instead of letting it overtake her life.

After Theo starts noticing really strange things in the woods, she begins going in more and more. It’s like when you think you see something, but you’re not sure if it was real, and you try to recreate what you were doing at the time to see if it will happen again.

This whole aspect, I was so into it. I needed to know if those things were real as well. I felt like I was investigating right alongside her and it was creeping me out.

The vibes of this made me think of T. Kingfisher’s The Hollow Places, which I loved. If you were a fan of that, I feel like this one could really work for you as well.

It definitely takes some unexpected turns, and I adored the characters that are introduced to help Theo in her investigation. Eventually it turns into a kind of Found Family situation, with Theo’s best friend, her ex-girlfriend, and a high profile conspiracy theorist, all joining in the fun.

Part The Gunslinger, part Men in Black, the concluding portions of this book had me flipping pages so fast, I’m surprised my fingers didn’t catch on fire.

Oh, and the baddie in this, Sator, I was totally picturing Agent Smith from The Matrix for him. Every scene he was in, Agent Smith was in my head. Sator was really well done, a super convincing antagonist.

Overall, for a book I picked up on a whim, this couldn’t have gone better. It was SO WEIRD and SO GOOD.

Never in a million years would I have guessed how swept up into this I would become. It may have thrown off my monthly TBR, but I regret nothing.

A Portal Fantasy Horror story with fantastic characters, gripping action, believable baddies and emotions to boot! I’m so glad I took a chance on this one.

Thank you to the publisher, Quill & Crow Publishing, for providing me with a copy to read and review. I will definitely be picking up more from this author!

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