Sitting here in snowbound Penicuik, this latest offering from Michael McBride, seems like the perfect story to pass a chilly morning. Set in the backdrop of the Rocky Mountains, this fast paced killer action based horror is the perfect antidote to the winter blues.
Using a well worn premise of a group of friends, who despite growing apart over the years, still come together out of a sense of duty and sentimentality, it may seem that this novella is going to tread the same well worn tracks of a hundred stories before it. Hold on folks, Snowblind takes this premise, and takes the reader far off the beaten track and straight into an undiscovered valley of terror.
McBride has made a wise decision to keep this story at a novella length, by doing so he maintains level of tension, paranoia, and fear, far above what could be achieved in longer form. He drops the readers straight into the action, and when the blizzard sets in and isolates our protagonists, you the reader will also become isolated from the rest of the world while you read this book.
Keeping the back story of the characters to a bare minimum was also a wise move as it focus the narrative into the here and now, which adds to the overall tension of the book. However, the biggest master stroke of this excellent novella, is the age old trick of hint and don’t show. McBride, keeps the readers guessing as to what exactly is hunting our hunters right up until the very end of the story, remember watching Alien for the first time, and do you remember the feeling you got in the pit of your stomach when the monster was finally revealed, it was a great feeling wasn’t it?
Despite a couple of events that push the boundaries of creditability, this is a very good read, and one that I highly recommend you read.
Today Jeremy Terry pops in for a chat. Jeremy Terry is the author of several short stories appearing in upcoming anthologies. Dreams of the Dead, is his first published novel, though it is one of the first stories he wrote. He lives in the Florida Panhandle with his wife, three sons, and Great Dane named Max.
This has been a difficult book for me to review, which is why it has taken me so long to review it. There is no denying that this is a well written story, that engages the reader. Yes it has two very well written strong protagonists, and yes the story has a good Ying and Yang premise. Yet despite of of these plus points, the story itself just didn’t connect with me. To be honest I feel the main reason for this was the fact that the reference’s to sex, and the sex in the story just seemed to get in the way of a good story. I personally have never been a fan of having sex in horror stories, I’ve never seen the point. To me they are just filler, used to bump up the word count, something you can’t do with a 40 page chapbook.
I liked the idea of the story, and in the main I really liked the execution of it, I just think that if the author stayed focused and concentrated on concept of a human guardian angel and her polar opposite the story would have been far better.
Available to purchase from Splatterpunk