Todd Russell's Reviews > Bottle Full of Scorpions

Bottle Full of Scorpions by John Dominick
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's review
Jun 09, 12

bookshelves: horror, first-person-pov, monsters, debut-novel
Read from June 08 to 09, 2012

I actively seek out these type of isolation monster survivalist tales. For a first novel effort, the author does a great job making me get inside the head and visualize the terror of the young man protagonist Ben in the RV Park.

Ben's panicked focus on running out of food and his guile in hiding away in the bunker at night from the monsters and staying on the roof of an RV during the day to avoid the blistering heat inside the bunker are handled well.

The first person point of view spoiled some scare factor because I knew the character telling me the story wasn't going to die. However, the POV succeeded in getting me more inside Ben's head than if third person had been used. It didn't however give me the full horror if I had been able to be inside the heads of the minor characters in the story, particularly Noelle who had a horrific experience of her own.

The story is about the right length, although the ending seems to come a bit fast. Editing and formatting were ok. I was a bit disappointed that we didn't learn the origins and motivation of the scorpion-like creatures other than the overused explanation of aliens coming down in a meteor shower. The ending was disturbing and fit for a horror story, but felt more like a short story or novella ending than a novel ending in the way that things were sort of left unresolved. The door is open for a sequel, I suppose.

Overall, I felt this was a strong first novel outing and I'd definitely check out the author's next work.
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