Review: The Hoard by Alan Ryker
A new breed…a new evil…
Hidden deep beneath its landfill lair of trash and filth, a strange new organism has come to life. When an accidental fire drives it out, the mysterious creature escapes across the drought-blasted Kansas prairie and finds the home of elderly hoarder Anna Grish. In desperate need of shelter, it burrows in, concealed amidst the squalor and mess.
When Adult Protective Services force Anna to vacate her junk-riddled home, she moves in with her son and his family. But there is something wrong with Anna, something more than her declining mental condition and severe hoarding disorder. Something sinister has taken hold of her, and it’s not only getting stronger, it’s spreading.
Amidst the wide-open Kansas plains, with endless blue sky above and flat, open vista stretching from one horizon to the next, there is nowhere to hide from…THE HOARD.
Initially I was hesitant about reading this book as the cover does suggest that this is a zombie novel, so if like myself you are not a fan of zombies please, please don’t let the cover put you off. This is a very good book, despite the fact that this is seriously bleak book. I liked how the opening chapters reflected the horror of someone cursed with the obsessive compulsive behaviour that leads them to become hoarders, with the supernatural horror that appears later on in the book.
This is a compelling read, that despite it’s bleakness leaves you wanting more, and with a ending that comes out of the left field we will hopefully be seeing a continuation of this story in the future. There is some clever writing on display here, particularly when the narrative shifts the the point of view of a rat. I kid you not folks, as silly as this might sound it actually works rather well. As for the creatures of the hoard, it was a refreshing change to read about a creature that is not you bog standard horror novel trope. The Hoard in question could be described as the Invasion of The Body Snatchers with a side order of The Thing, a good idea that is handled very well.
On the strength of this book, Alan Ryker is a name I shall be looking for in the future. Highly recommended.
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