Creature by Hunter Shea
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I have three ways to describe this novel:
Body horror, metaphor coming alive, and it's a deliciously painful romp.
AND it hits uncomfortably close to home for not just the author, whose wife is going through a long-term illness in too many similar ways, but for almost all of us. At least, I assume so. Enough of us either know or have been through family members sliding down that horrible slope to make this part of the novel truly harrowing all by itself.
But here's the best part: there's a lot of love between these two. He takes her off to a cabin retreat for 3 months while she's going through her decline, and in a lot of ways, it's just another familiar SK Maine cabin horror setup. Or, to me, I was deliciously reminded of Evil Dead.
But no worries, Hunter Shea pulls off a very tight and emotional body horror that leaps out of the confines of that particular horror category drives the great characters down into a particularly difficult hell.
It's all about the choices, man.
This is the second longer Shea novel I've read after a long stream of novellas that are just plain great. The thing about the longer ones is this: he tends to write sympathetic characters in them. The shorter ones are where we can cheer for every death. But this one? I kinda love everyone. It's just that kind of ride.
A very decent horror, and while it relies on a number of cliches to start off, the author, as always, has full command of his arsenal and knows exactly where to diverge to great effect. :)
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