Review: Festival by Christopher Golden and Tim Lebbon

Buy it here:

Amazon, Bookshop


New York Times bestselling horror writers Christopher Golden and Tim Lebbon create a music festival to die for in this illustrated novel with artwork by Peter Bergting!

The Valhalla music festival commemorates a long-ago Viking slaughter, but when strange things start to happen it seems the massacre may be far from over. When festival-goers begin to disappear, and musicians find themselves playing mysterious and ancient songs as if possessed, the fans have to figure out what’s going on before the festival site’s haunting past comes back for blood.


When I opened my Nigh Worms package this month and pulled out the physical copy of Festival by Christopher Golden and Tim Lebbon, I wanted to read it immediately. This illustrated hardback is very appealing to the eye. The cover looks like the cover of a metal album, and the illustrations throughout the text get more and more intense and interesting as the story progresses. I read this as quickly as possible because I had to see how these illustrations fit the story. 

The story itself is about The Valhalla Festival, a festival taking place where locals slaughtered hundreds of Vikings. Of course with any haunted ground story, and the music summons the ghosts to come back for revenge. In the short novella, there are several different perspectives and a dozen characters. This type of overview is good for an idea this ranging (you want more than one perspective in a story about a music festival, a place where thousands of people are gathered) but not so good for a story this short. It does not feel like I get a good understanding of the characters before the action starts to take place, so I was not really attached to any of these characters when the ghost Vikings started killing them. I like the ideas of the story, but the execution feels rushed and average.

But the book is cool and the illustrations are great. I have thought about buying copies for friends because I love the physical book. I would also collect a series of these books, short hardback horror stories with great illustrations. This is a great addition to any horror collectors shelves. 

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