Book review: Toroa – Erik Hofstatter



Erik Hofstatter’s debut novel has been some time in the making and is certainly worth the wait. With Toroa, Hofstatter takes us on an emotional journey across the world. It is a journey with many highs and lows as we follow Mahi on her quest for truth, understanding and ultimately revenge. As is often the case with Erik’s work, the human condition drives the story forward. Characters are key in this tale that features a realistic and sympathetic lead and mixes mythological horror resulting in an original and thoroughly engrossing horror story.

Toroa is a dark tale about a woman’s grief and her gradual transformation into a figure of loathing, hate and revenge. The metamorphosis of Mahi into this figure is a gradual one and though the reader can see it coming, it still doesn’t prepare you for the horrors that await when she arrives in Waitangi in search of her father. When one suffers such a great loss, a range of powerful emotions can rise to the surface, such is the case here. Mahi’s ancestry is revealed to her, taking the book in a bloody and brutal new direction, one in which myth and legend combine with unimaginable horror to set up a gruesome and twisted finale.

I’ve long been a fan of Erik’s work and Toroa is a fine debut novel indeed. Here is a writer walking his own path, curating tales with an imagination and originality rarely seen. Hofstatter is getting better and better with every release. His mastery of character and his unusual settings always provide a great escape. If you haven’t read any of his books yet, this is a great place to start.

4/5 albatrosses from the Grim Reader.

Pick up a copy from here.


Toroa graphic

Toroa, Synopsis

  • Publishing Date: May 15, 2018
  • Publisher: Sinister Grin Press
  • Pages 179

With an introduction by Bram Stoker Award-winning author Stephanie Wytovich.

Infants are vanishing all over Waitangi, a small island nestled in the Pacific Ocean. The local tribe believes a colossal albatross is responsible. Worse still, they are convinced that the seabird had been trained to carry out these sinister kidnappings.

On the other side of the globe, in England, a troubled Maori girl falls in love with Aryan — a charismatic fire-breather. As their doomed relationship unfolds, a tragedy strikes, leaving her forever changed. Grieving, she travels to the island in desperate search of her estranged father and seeking answers to her shrouded origins. Will her actions influence the mysterious events occurring on the isle?


Erik Hofstatter is a dark fiction writer and a member of the Horror Writers Association. Born in the wild lands of the Czech Republic, he roamed Europe before subsequently settling on English shores, studying creative writing at the London School of Journalism. He now dwells in Kent, where he can be encountered consuming copious amounts of mead and tyrannizing local peasantry.


His work appeared in various magazines and podcasts around the world such as Morpheus Tales, Crystal Lake Publishing, The Literary Hatchet, Sanitarium Magazine, Wicked Library, Tales to Terrify and Manor House Show. ‘Rare Breeds’ is out now via Dark Silo Press.


You can find out more about Erik on his Website, on Facebook, and on Twitter.


Praise for Toroa


“Erik Hofstatter is his own brand of mad genius. He’s as fearless as he is emotive, and as twisted as he is fun. In this, his debut novel, Erik displays all the hallmarks of the unique talent proven in his previous works. This book will make you burn, make you scream, make you wish you’d never started it… even as you gather yourself to turn the next page.” – Karen Runge, author of Seeing Double




Praise for Erik Hofstatter –

“… the emotional tug that The Crabian Heart exerts on the reader is palpable. The Crabian Heart is also a coming-of-age tale, one that resonates with the pangs of unrequited love. And as such, it concludes, like all great coming-of-age stories, with a very difficult and painful realisation for the love-struck main character. By the end of its 100 pages you will find yourself both haunted and moved by Hofstatter’s evocative writing.” – Starburst Magazine

“With The Pariahs, Erik Hofstatter has created a stark and chilling vision of a radiation-damaged world and the unfortunate heirs to it. His straightforward, unflinching prose does not shy away from brutality, examining dichotomies of strength and weakness, beauty and ugliness, and the things that truly matter when everything is taken away.” – Bram Stoker Finalist author Mary SanGiovanni

“These horror stories read like sharp, hard blows to the gut. Grab it and give it a read.” –  Bram Stoker Finalist John F.D. Taff on Moribund Tales

Purchase Link


Would you like to feature?

If you would like to review Toroa or feature Erik with an interview or guest article for a media publication, blog, or author blurb, please e-mail Erin Al-Mehairi, publicist, at

2 Comments Add yours

  1. David Spell says:

    As always, Adrian, great review. I’ll have mine posted soon.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, David. I’m a big fan of Erik’s work. Hope you enjoyed it. Looking forward to your thoughts.

      Liked by 1 person

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