Thursday, 2 February 2012

Review of NIGHT OF THE SQUIRRELS by Eric S. Brown

From the author of the Bigfoot War series and Last Stand in a Dead Land (among many others), these six shorts feature a zombie whale, a forest full of savage squirrels, an undead peeping tom, a vigilante lizard man, a cameo appearance from a band of murderous sasquatches, and a whole lot of blood and guts. The settings are invariably bleak, usually post-apocalyptic. The main characters are isolated and lonely, sometimes suicidal, often driven to kill in order to survive. Groups of people are not to be trusted. The endings are downbeat, and yet the whole collection manages to retain a relatively upbeat feel, due in large part to the constant action—the pace of these stories is relentless—and abundance of dry humor, with lines such as, “Perhaps the world descending into Hell was taking a greater toll on him than he thought” and “The closest of the two died quickly from an exploding head.” And I particularly like the reimagining of biblical stories and themes in “Jonah and the Dead” and “Saviour,” the latter of which stars a self-aware zombie who has a religious experience. This is immensely readable, classic creature horror. Let’s hope the real apocalypse is this much fun.

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