The Bones of the Earth by Scott Hale
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This is a book that practically no one has read, but
THAT MUST CHANGE.
First, a word to the wise. This novel continues a long tradition of great adventure fantasy and discovery while being extremely rooted in the very best traditions of better-than-Cthulhu horrorgore.
Getting through the book was was like eating great key-lime pie (and I like key-lime pie) while understanding that I'm actually a post-Cthulhu monstrosity born to a world that has already had the great beast awaken and convert our modern landscape into so much trash and reality-corruption, and the key-lime pie is actually dead babies.
Sound like too much for you? Well, just wait! The beginning of the book gets us a solid introduction by way of an initiation ceremony, which is pretty standard stuff until she passes dead cell phones in the brackish water. After that, and moving through a few important scenes leading to being part of a larger scouting party, the novel is really easy to enjoy. Her quests keep the story moving so smoothly that I just couldn't put the book down until I drowned in my body's exhaustion, and the first thing I did upon waking was resume it. Finishing it has left me with an enormous hunger for more.
Am I impressed as hell? Did I get my fill of key-lime pie? No! Because I haven't read anything quite this horrifying and unabashedly imaginative since only a few of Clive Barker's books, and those tend to get a bit digressive. Scott Hale's novel was damn direct and adventuresome, and while the eventual reveals were not entirely mind-blowing, they were, on the other hand, very satisfying and grand. There was a hell of a lot of payoff in this novel, and not only from the evocations of horror, but also from characterizations through actions, pathos through deeds and force of will in doing what she thinks is right.
I LOVE HORROR, and I feel that love pouring through to me from this author, too!
I have no higher praise that I can give to this, or any other, novel. It grabbed me by my tastebuds and threw me into a post-apocalyptic supernatural nightmare world and never once let up or lost its tension. Please, may I have some more?
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