Thursday, 8 August 2013

Book Review: Apocalypstick by Gregory Carrico

Apocalypstick contains two deliciously dark short stories: Finding Home, a supernatural horror, and Killing Tiffany Hudson, a post-apocalyptic tale of two genetically modified people who must decide the fate of humanity.

Finding Home

If you have ever glanced at a stranger in the grocery store, and wondered what their life must be like, and then followed them home to peek at them through their windows, and then slipped inside their house at night just to look around, and then stood next to their bed to watch over them while they slept, and thought I could live this life, then please seek help. Weirdo.

But on your way to the hospital (or the police station), walk a few steps in the shoes of a troubled man on a quest for a new home and a new life, while he deals with a few disturbing personal issues. Finding Home is a short paranormal horror story that lets you test-drive the lives of strangers in a perfectly legal, non-creepy way.

Killing Tiffany Hudson

Is there any line you wouldn't cross to save the life of a loved one? Is there any price you wouldn't pay? A young man battles with the consequences of his answers to these questions, in this Post-apocalyptic short story, where right masquerades as wrong, weakness as strength, and deadly monsters as... camels? Well, sometimes, yes.

My review:

When I received a free copy of Children of the Plague to review, the author suggested I look at the short story that runs alongside it, which is Killing Tiffany Hudson. This was the original story that the novel was based on. It is featured with another short story called Finding Home in this book. I downloaded this free from Smashwords and really enjoyed it.

Killing Tiffany Hudson was a good story, set during a big battle in a plague ridden world. It shows a couple of human resisters battling alien monsters with the odds stacked against them. Victory of sorts is available at a high price if someone has the guts to set it in motion. This story takes place during the last part of the Children of the Plague novel. The main character here is a confident exterminator who finds out that he isn't invincible. We also get to see his view of Diane, someone who is important in Children of the Plague, and a few of the monsters that will become so familiar when you pick up the book. It was an exciting all action story that whets your appetite for the longer novel.

Finding Home is a story about what seems to be a schizophrenic killer who imagines things happening to people and then acts out the violent fantasies. At the root of his problem is a wish to have a nice happy home life, but his inability to act normal around people causes death to anyone who crosses his path. This was a dark twisted tale which I found entertaining. Maybe that makes me a bit twisted but I love this kind of story! You know he is evil but you can't help being amused as he acts like an idiot and then kills people to cover up his lack of social skills. There is no graphic gorefest-the murders are more implied than described which I liked as a writing style. It kept you in the mind of the killer and what he was thinking, instead of being all about bloody murders.

Two excellent short stories that can be quickly devoured and will appeal to a wide range of readers even if horror and sci-fi are not your usual reads.

Both stories are well written and entertaining. There is enough description to tell the story but not enough to bury you with information. Both tales are quirky in their own ways and of different genres which shows that the author has the ability to write different kinds of novels should he want to. I will certainly be interested in reading more from this author.   

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