Xolo | Critical Book Review

“Nature is healing itself.” A sentiment echoed by many during lockdowns, witnessing the return of wildlife to places once abandoned by modern civilization. XOLO, a horror novel by Peter Hurd, takes this concept and spins it into a gripping tale. Timothy Thomas dives into the depths of this Dorrance Publishing novel, exploring the collision of ancient powers and modern life.


Unleashing Ancient Powers

XOLO introduces us to Derek Rains, a family man and real estate developer, whose life takes a dark turn when he receives a Xolo, a Mexican hairless dog, as a gift during a business trip. Unbeknownst to Derek and the gift-giver, Hector, the dog harbors ancient powers that wreak havoc on Sylvan Springs. Seeking revenge against Derek, the Xolo becomes a menace, prompting Sheriff Garth Chambers and animal control head Heloise Lopez to unravel the mystery behind the rising animal killings.


Breaking Ground with a Familiar Formula

Animal turned evil, a town in chaos—conceptually, XOLO treads familiar ground. Yet, Peter Hurd’s approach adds a layer of novelty to the formula. Hurd’s narrative skill shines as he weaves a world where no character, no matter how minor, feels underdeveloped. The characters’ thoughts and reactions are vividly conveyed, immersing readers in a complete and satisfying tapestry of numerous plotlines.


Delightfully Engaging Read

While the story may follow a well-known path, Hurd’s rhetorical dexterity ensures a delightful and engaging read. Gory descriptions, atmospheric sequences, and well-developed characters do justice to the horror genre. The only hiccup comes towards the end, where an overabundance of lighthearted moments amidst danger might break the immersion. Despite this, the meticulous attention to detail in every scene ensures a gratifying experience.


Recommendation and Future Exploration

XOLO earns its place among horror novels with its captivating storytelling. Fans of the genre, even casual ones, are likely to find something to appreciate. As the story concludes, leaving the door open for more tales in Sylvan Springs, readers may anticipate revisiting this world in the future.

Publisher, Genre, Print Length, and ISBN

PublisherGenrePrint LengthISBN
Dorrance PublishingFantasy/Horror412 pages9798886832808

“Nature is healing itself.” A sentiment echoed by many during lockdowns, witnessing the return of wildlife to places once abandoned by modern civilization. XOLO, a horror novel by Peter Hurd, takes this concept and spins it into a gripping tale. Timothy Thomas dives into the depths of this Dorrance Publishing novel, exploring the collision of…