I'd been debating reading this for a while and I finally let myself be swayed by a review that compared it to Waxwork, a movie from the Eighties I'm qI'd been debating reading this for a while and I finally let myself be swayed by a review that compared it to Waxwork, a movie from the Eighties I'm quite fond of. Unfortunately the imaginative touches that made Waxwork so enjoyable are completely missing here. The "movies" the characters found themselves in were dishwater-dull and neither the larger plot nor the characters themselves were interesting enough to make up for it.
There are some things I did appreciate. The female characters are by and large not there simply to scream and quiver with fear sexily, which is still depressingly uncommon in this strata of horror fiction. Also, at one point one character calls out another one for making transphobic jokes (using another kind of slur in the process, but still pretty good).
Between things like that and the general quality of the writing, I would not be averse to giving the author another try in the future....more
By the time I actually started reading this I had forgotten what it was that made me interested in this book, I just remembered that something had. ItBy the time I actually started reading this I had forgotten what it was that made me interested in this book, I just remembered that something had. It certainly wasn't the publisher's description, because rereading that made me wonder if I was in for disappointment.
I can happily report that whatever the source of that forgotten recommendation, I was right to trust it: this is a solid horror novel, skillfully constructed and likely to stay with me for some time.
It is not for the faint of stomach, but the body horror and animal abuse are intrinsic to the narrative and aim to make the reader disturbed and uncomfortable, not titillated. (The violence against animals was upsetting enough to me that I kind of wish I hadn't read it, but I absolutely believe it was necessary to the story, and besides I'm getting more sensitive with age anyway.)
The comparisons to Lord of the Flies, while probably inevitable, are fairly inaccurate. This is about five boys over a handful of days, hardly the material of a microcosm of a civilization. Group dynamics do come into play, and things do get nasty, but it is based on the character and behavior of individuals.
My only significant complaint about it is the extent to which women are absent from it. Obviously the main group is all-male, but they are noticeably absent from the supporting characters as well. Even the boys' mothers are barely sketched out ciphers. What made this sausage fest particularly egregious to me was that the monster in question is derived from something that our culture mostly inflicts on women. The failure to acknowledge that is frustrating.
Besides that I'd still happily recommend this to anyone with the taste and temperament for unsettling fiction....more
On the one hand this really IS just a trashy zombie novel. That being said, the use of the setting and historical figures was handled pretty well, andOn the one hand this really IS just a trashy zombie novel. That being said, the use of the setting and historical figures was handled pretty well, and the story involving gods from multiple pantheons and the larger cosmic roles many of them play was a really pleasant surprise. I found it worth the money. Probably won't appeal to those who like their zombie tales on the juicier side, but that suited me just fine....more
After reading this I'm thinking that it's possible Batman has reason to be grateful his parents aren't still around.
We do get a little more into The FAfter reading this I'm thinking that it's possible Batman has reason to be grateful his parents aren't still around.
We do get a little more into The First in this volume and it's kind of amusing. The doctor and his staff are missing - I do hope they return - and overall it's much thinner than the first volume, but with a greater overall cohesiveness. ...more
Any good story potential is heavily marred by some grotesquely racist content. The fact that the racism probably comes from ignorance is no longer anAny good story potential is heavily marred by some grotesquely racist content. The fact that the racism probably comes from ignorance is no longer an excuse in this day and age.
We have a classic space western setting, a mining colony populated by a variety of alien species, ostensibly equal, but all the figures of authority are humans (and white). It is not these echoes of imperialism that are the real problem, however. That would be the Natives, who are such "disgusting, vicious, terrifying creatures", to quote from script notes at the end of the volume, that I was shocked to later find out that they were a sapient species that a treaty had been signed with. No no no no no HELL no.
Along with the script notes there are also development notes included in the volume, and they show that the creators were keen to not "turn this story into some allegory of how we mistreated the Native Americans or anything," with one of them mentioning that he was "still sore from being beaten over the head by Avatar". But you don't get to use a setting like a Western and say "this is analogous to that and that is analogous to that but that is NOT analogous to that." That's. Not. How. It. Works....more