Normally, I would not lump book reviews together like this, but, well, I am behind, so I am going to give you three quick reviews here in order to catch up.
(Disclosure Note: I received free copies of Morning is Dead from Grindhouse Press to give away at CONvergence 2010, but I did buy a Kindle copy of Morning is Dead, which is the copy I used for this review. I purchased Sparrow Rock for my Kindle. And I received The Dreaming Pool as a gift.)
Sparrow Rock is a novel of the nuclear apocalypse as seen through the eyes of teenagers. The bombs fall as a group of teenager lead by Pete decided to use there friend Sue’s grand father’s bomb shelter to get high. The group of four friends, now trapped in the bomb shelter, are forced
to deal with the realities of nuclear winter, cabin fever, friendship under stress, mental illness, disease, love, and survival.
This novel explores the realities of what friendship and love mean in a world gone mad as well as the consequences of child abuse and mental illness. It is written as a first person narration by Pete, a teenage boy with a dark history. It is well written and an interesting story with a semi-zombie twist I did not expect. And I have to admit I had a hard time putting it down. The book is broken into three parts, and I read the final part in one sitting.
Unfortunately, I felt a bit cheated at the end of the novel. The twist at the end was a shock as it should be, but in look back at the story I didn’t find evidence to back it up. That might be chalked up to the first person narration, but I was still disappointed.
In the end, I give Sparrow Rock 3 out of 5 Snark Bites. It is a wild ride that is down right scary in places, but it lost me at the end.
This was my first exposure to the work of Andersen Prunty, and if Morning is Dead is representative then he has definitely gained a fan. Morning is Dead is two linked stories in one. One story is set in the world we know with a wife, April Blue, dealing with events that lead up to her affair with Doctor Morning and the accident that put her husband, Alvin, in a coma. The second story is that of Alvin’s adventures in the surreal world of Night populated by zombie like radiation victims, corrupt cops, drugs, random house demolitions, and simulacra.
I really enjoyed Morning is Dead. It was odd. It was violent. It was well paced. And it was fun. I didn’t want to put this down. I highly recommend this novel.
I give Morning is Dead 5 out of 5 Snark Bites.
And finally we have The Dreaming Pool. This book was gifted to my by Brian Keene. It is a supernatural horror story set in Wales and London. It follows Jack Bradley who is called home when his father is mysterious, and brutally, murdered. Jack is pulled into maze of conspiracy and supernatural evil by his father’s death which leads him to The Dreaming Pool and a long buried secret.
I enjoyed The Dreaming Pool. It is not the most original story, but it is well told with a couple of nice twists and turns. It is a bit predictable in places and some of the characters are a bit two dimensional, but it was still a fun read. The print edition I have is from Razorblade Press, a small press in England, and has a few typos and small formatting errors. If you can find a copy I would say check it out.
I give The Dreaming Pool 4 out of 5 Snark Bites