I obtained a copy of this book for free today, on Amazon.com.au. Regardless of receiving a free copy, these are my honest thoughts. Please don't take offense to it.
The Call of the Loon is the first book of the Unforeseen Circumstances series by AJ Coonley. The stories are short horror fictions. The first features Lee and Wayne. For some time now, Wayne has been trying to get Lee to go on a camping trip. Unfortunately, Wayne has not mentioned a few things, especially his real reasons for wanting to come out camping. Hearing strange noises and finding that Wayne has brought a couple of guns along, Lee starts to question his friend's intentions. Have a read to see what happens...
The overall story is kind of stereotypical; a couple of people going on a camping trip hear strange noises and encounter a beast. Whether it is Bigfoot, a werewolf or even a vampire, the story has been done often enough and there's no particular originality in terms of plot. Moving on with that, there are many irrelevant things that could have been taken out of the story. It just seemed unnecessary to have them whining about their girlfriends, the girls' fathers and even their own fathers. Realistically, the girlfriends only played a tiny part in the story and they didn't need to be introduced as characters at all. Their parts could have been replaced by some unnamed character who mentions that these two people have gone missing in the area. It would be improved because then we wouldn't need to hear either of them whining about home life; the talk about the girlfriends distracts from the matter at hand and really takes away from any spooky element that the author is trying to create.
To continue with that point, I'd like to mention that I found the story to be kind of dull. I didn't find it to be scary or even so much as a little bit freaky. It's pretty obvious from the first mention of the strange noises that they're going to come across some sort of beast or character that's going to try and harm them. Though, I don't really blame the beast for wanting to do that; that type of behaviour is in its nature and the two men ought to have left it alone. I find Wayne to be at fault in this scenario. To be quite blunt, Wayne just seems like an idiot (and that's as polite as I can get at this point); he's heard strange noises in the night and decides to hunt it down rather than leave it alone, despite whatever danger that the adventure might hold. He begs Lee to go camping with him. When Lee does come along, he finds that Wayne has been hearing these strange noises several times before. Wayne's brought guns with, to "protect" them from whatever might be making these noises. Yet, to me, it just seems like he deliberately put his friend and his own self in danger... For no reason whatsoever. Wayne is responsible for his actions and those of his friend. The outcome of the story is Wayne's fault, I have to say. He should have left the beast alone and he is completely stupid for dragging his friend into the matter.
For a first published story, it's not the worst thing to be written. Though cliché, I guess the plot is reasonable. The characters have little intelligence, but I can see what the author was aiming for. Two stars. I might continue with this series considering that they're each (from what I gather) meant to be separate horror stories. Maybe the next will be better.