Paint This Town Red by A. J. Kirby
I’m a sucker for man verses animal books, from the rogue shark in Jaws, to killer ants, psychotic killer bees, right through to the more mythical creatures such as giant crabs and slugs. It’s a genre that in recent years has fallen by the wayside. And that makes me sad. So, when I heard about this book, in the rather excellent interview that A J Kirby did with my goodself, I was over the moon.
The synopsis had all the hallmarks of a great read, a small town isolated from the rest of the world by tidal waters, and a whole array of killer animals hell bent on tearing every living human on the island to shreds. How can you go wrong with a book like that?
Paint This Town Red is an excellent entry into the killer animal genre, the book plays out like a classic movie from the 80’s, where we are introduced to the main cast of characters, interspersed with glimpses into our animal protagonists? What set this book apart from many of its brethren was the fact that Kirby has taken the time to fully build his cast, the reader is given a full and insightful look into the backgrounds of the inhabitants of Limm Island. It was nice to have a cast that wasn’t just a bunch of one dimensional cyphers inhabit the book. However, while this was a nice touch, personally I would have preferred slightly less background as I was eager to jump straight into the blood curdling action. At times I felt myself skipping through some of the back story and character development.
However, boy when the action gets going, the action gets going. The book turns into a an all action blockbuster novel of survival, that will keep you reading in the edge of your seat. As for the creatures that plague the town, as as to why they are there, I’m going to leave that for you to find out. Suffice to say, the creatures and the reason for them is first class.
Overall I had a blast reading this book, this is a big book, and personally if it had been edited down ever so slightly, Paint This Town Red, would be a excellent novel rather than a extremely good novel.
This is the first thing I have read by A J Kirby, and based on the strength of this novel, Kirby’s other books will soon be sharing shelf space with this one.
7.5 out of 10