Creature

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 31 Jan 2019

Member Reviews

DNF at 13%. I don't rate DNF books on Goodreads, but since it's a requirement on NetGalley, I gave this book 2 stars. 

The writing style just isn't for me, and there were a few moments that offended me and pulled me right out of the narrative. For example:

The ableism:
The use of the word "crip" to describe a disabled woman. I understand the rationale within the story for using it, but for personal reasons it still bothers me.

The sexism:
"She'd grown up a huge Star Wars fan (yes, she'd had her tomboy phase)."
Calling Kate "irrational" and "crazy" for her reactions to being in excruciating pain, and Andrew "telling her to calm the hell down," saying: "It was either that or an old-fashioned smack to the face."

I want to thank Flame Tree Press and NetGalley for providing an advance copy in exchange for an honest review.
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Hello, this book doesn't interest me anymore. So I will not read it and obviously I will not write a review about it.
I'm so sorry, but I know that I'll not enjoy it.
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Slight spoilers...

Creature is my first novel by Hunter Shea and probably the best damn thing I have read this year! Bravo, sir. 

An emotional read that shows just how difficult living with a terminal illness is, both for Kate, and her spouse and carer, Andrew. Kate suffers from a whole host of autoimmune diseases. She is in constant pain and is pretty much bed bound apart from the very odd occasion. When she does get up for the day it leaves her exhausted and barely unable to wake up for the next couple of days, let alone do anything else. Andrew looks after Kate day and night. Be it feeding her her pills, making her meals, popping her joints back into place and always trying to make her feel better. 

Hunter does a damn good job at displaying their love they both feel for each other, but also their frustrations of the relationship and set up. Kate constantly feels a burden to Andrew,  particularly when he surprises her by moving them to a beautiful cottage for the summer to try to make her feel better, and her condition remains the same. Andrew, likewise, hoping that a move to this dream place would perk Kate up, only for it to be shattered when their situation remains the same.  At one point I did think Andrew was gonna go down a dark path as his frustrations mounted and I'm glad he didn't. Kudos to the writer for his superb, realistic character work here. 

I would genuinely have been happy with this novel just reading about their relationship, but no, as the title suggests, Kate and Andrew find that they are not alone in their paradise. After a rather slow burn, the aforementioned creature does show up in all of its glory. I'm not gonna talk about it much, but it's a great build up to the reveal and has some great twists and turns, the ending in particular is a tear jerker. Have some tissues handy.
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If you've been following my blog for any amount of time you will know that primarily I am a crime fiction blogger.  However, when my reading mojo deserts me I turn to the horror genre to kickstart it.  Creature by Hunter Shea was one of the first books I turned to when that happened at the end of last year.  I had seen some cracking reviews and I wanted to see for myself what the book was all about.  I received a free eARC of this book from the publisher but that has in no way influenced my review.

Creature was like nothing else I've read in the horror genre before.  Yes, this is horror fiction but in a different unexpected way.  It's also a very important love story which ultimately broke my heart.  Packed with raw emotion and bucketloads of feeling this book is one we should all read - whether you regularly read horror novels or not.  Having finished the book it also became blatantly clear what a personal book this to the author.

Kate and Andrew are very much in love but Kate is terribly ill suffering from a number of chronic debilitating autoimmune diseases.  Knowing that the future isn't looking too bright Andrew books a three-month break taking Kate from the four walls which imprison her on a daily basis to the peace and tranquillity of a lake-side cabin in Maine's vast woodlands.  What starts out as a dream come true for the couple soon turns into a nightmare.  The four walls of their home are quickly replaced by another prison, but this one is altogether more terrifying than they could have ever imagined.

I instantly liked both Kate and Andrew.  I admired Kate's determination to do as much as she could for herself but really felt for Andrew when that determination manifested itself in Kate damaging herself even more.  This a slow burn of a read and Shea spends significant time at the start of the book ensuring the reader knows what a struggle life is for this couple.  I appreciated that as when the horrors start you feel totally invested in Kate and Andrew.  The only other character I should mention at this point is Kate's dog, Buttons, who is just gorgeous!  His dedication to Kate shines through, no matter what.

This is a horror novel though and a horror novel wouldn't be so without something scary.  And oh boy, this is a BIG scary.  The writing is tense, taut and descriptive and I found myself holding my breath at certain parts.  It's a little on the gory and gruesome side but you'd be surprised if it wasn't, right?  What I love about Creature is what exactly Shea has achieved here.  This is a carefully thought out and well-planned plot and one which I admire greatly.  I can't really say any more without giving away a few spoilers but this book made me want to punch the air with my fist and shout 'YES!'.

Would I recommend this book? I would, yes.  It's something completely different to everything else I've read in the horror genre, and I expect if I were to read another of Mr Shea's books that would still be the case.  Deeply emotional, totally unexpected and honest.  If you don't tend to read books in the horror genre but have always been intrigued then I suggest you start with this one.  A heartbreaking love story and a tale of how chronic illness can tear peoples lives apart.

I chose to read and review Creature.  The above review is my own unbiased opinion.
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It was kind of funny. I picked this book up after taking a break from reading for a couple of months because of my health. I never thought I would relate to a character so much. I mean I can usually find similarities from myself to a character. But never like this, it was as if the author was writing everything in my head. Every thought and every emotion wrote out here in this story.

Kate, shes in constant chronic pain, never get a break from it. Her husband Andrew, takes their vows to heart, for better or worse. Andrew does everything a person can do to try and make Kate comfortable, including a summer getaway in the beautiful state of Maine. No sooner than they get there that things start going terribly wrong.

I suggest anyone who knows of someone with chronic pain to read this. It gives a better understanding as to what is going on with someone with any of these conditions.

Needless to say, I do recommend this book for almost everyone.

I received this ebook in exchange for an honest review.


#netgalley
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The title of Shea's latest novel is somewhat misleading, purposefully ironic, and yet perfectly encapsulates what the author has accomplished. Known for his creature features, this is a departure from much of Shea's body of work, and is instead a character driven story. Focused on a couple who are both battling the effects of a horrific autoimmune disease -- Kate, as the one stricken; Andrew, as the witness to his wife's disease -- we're able to sink deep into the despair of their situation while celebrating the little wins of life right alongside them.

But this is no Hallmark sob story. Shea delicately lays the groundwork for horror within the trail our couple follows, preparing us for an ending that delivers the goods most readers of the genre long for. The slow-burn dread and tension are constant, and though the ending goes off like a string of fireworks, its truly the characters that shine the brightest. 

I feel like this is the book the author was meant to write, the book he had in him that's been waiting to come out, one only he would have been able to pen. It's by far the best thing I've read of Shea's. I'm excited to see where new horizons take his writing and whether this marks a departure from the "Creature" he's been trying to escape his whole writing career. A remarkable read, and one that will hit the right chords for just about every reader.
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An exceptional book and one that delved deeply into interpersonal relationships and their interplay with the supernatural.
I am not a fan of "creature features" and never have been, but Creature is not your typical "monster horror" or even your typical scare-fest. It's a thoughtful, believable set of situations and circumstances that will have the reader thinking, "there but for the grace..." And with good reason, but if I told you that reason, it could be a spoiler. I'll let you finish the book and read what Hunter Shea had to say about it at the end.
I'm keeping this purposefully short because the plot of the novel is short. Painfully short. It needed to be painfully short to allow the characters and their dynamic to shine through, to allow the reader to focus on the things that matter in life and not the things that don't.
Yes, I know this sounds mysterious--and it's a mysterious book. And when the mystery is revealed and resolved it'll leave you in a heap, emotionally exhausted. Trust me; I'm not like the rest
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CREATURE surprised me. I’ve only read one Hunter Shea book, THE JERSEY DEVIL, and that thing was pure madness from beginning to end with its out of control body count and frenetic pace. I was expecting a crazed people eating monster to pop out of the woods and eat everyone and the pup before moving on to town and slaying more innocents but this is a completely different type of horror story. This one is about the physical and emotional toll an incurable disease has on a woman and those who love her. It’s slower paced and allows the dread to slowly creep in as the characters face an ever present and unconquerable monster.

Kate has Lupus and Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, both are incurable diseases that are managed with pain medication and surgery to fix body parts as they break down. The diseases and multiple surgeries have all but stolen her life. She’s housebound with her dog Buttons and a devoted husband who has turned into her caretaker. After a grueling trial of an experimental treatment, Andrew takes a leave of absence from work and surprises Kate with a getaway to a cabin in Maine where she can recuperate and they can spend some quality time together with Buttons. But it’s not long before strange events begin to taint their tranquility.

This book was incredibly hard to for me to read. My sister and two family members suffer from EDS, have all had multiple surgeries and were all disabled in their 30’s. Shea’s portrayal of Kate’s pain was heartbreaking and grueling and viciously accurate based on everything I’ve heard and seen. This is why it was a difficult read for me but I imagine it will be the same for most anybody who picks up this book because it is a punishing depiction of chronic pain, that insidious destroyer of lives. 

If you’re looking for a stomp ‘n’ chomp this isn’t it, for the most part, but it isn’t any less of a horror novel than The Jersey Devil. It’s a different kind of horror novel. One that is slower paced and thoughtful and full of all the emotions. There is so much pain and suffering and guilt and love that when the slow creeping dread begins to interfere on the couple’s idyllic sabbatical, you’ll need to hang on tight to your heart. It’s breathtaking how well the author weaves it all together. I wasn’t expecting this type of story at all but I wasn’t disappointed. Very highly recommend if you enjoy a book that’ll tear you to pieces.
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4.5 Stars!

Hunter Shea can be a scary man.  Even his name carries a subtle hint of violence promised.  I have come to expect the best in monster fiction when I start one of his novels.  Creature took me by surprise as it was not what I was expecting at all but that does not mean I did not enjoy it. 

Kate Woodson may not believe in the supernatural but there were monsters living inside her body.  A host of autoimmune diseases left her a shell of the woman she used to be and trapped in a world full of pain.  Faint hope was given to her in an experimental treatment but it came with a high toll on her body.  As she struggles to continue on through the mind-shattering pain that had come to define her life, her husband takes her for a summer at an idyllic cabin in the woods of Maine.  The couple had dreamed of such a vacation but Kate’s illness had never allowed it to happen.  They would now get the vacation of their dreams only to find that it may be a nightmare instead. 

The house seemed like perfection when the couple first arrived.  It’s secluded, lakeside location was the perfect escape.  When they first heard the loud noises of a creature in the woods, they first assumed that it was a moose or, at worst, a bear.  Nothing surprising for a house in the woods.  It soon became clear that this was no mere animal as more evidence began to come together to indicate something more sinister than an animal inhabited the woods.  Kate had been fighting the monsters inside her for years and was hoping for an escape in the house.  She was starting to realize that the escape was for the monsters in side of her and they had no intention of letting anyone leave the woods alive. 

I have come to expect a Hunter Shea novel to be an all-out action/horror novel.  In Creature, Shea wastes no time in ramping up the horror with the gruesome disease that is attacking Kate’s body.  I was just taken a little aback as this was not the type of horror that I was expecting.  This was not B-movie horror.  This was real and very well done.  I could easily sympathize with Kate and that got me immediately invested in the novel.  Once Kate and her husband go to the house and the creature begins to stalk them, the novel turns back to more of what I had expected and there is some (sort of) monster action in the book.  This is definitely a break from the norm for Shea but it was a good change. 

Creature shows a different side to Hunter Shea and also highlights his ability as a writer.  There is a depth of emotion that I have not found in any of Shea’s other books and is proof that he chooses to write monster stories and does not writer them because he cannot write anything else.  I genuinely felt bad for Kate and cheered for things to go right as the book progressed even though I feared that, as is usually the case in real life, the end was not going to be good.  The human emotion and realism in this novel hit close to home for me and I am sure it will resonate with many readers.  I have been a fan of Shea’s books for a while now and I hope a book like this may help open the minds of readers who have not read him yet and introduce them to one of horror’s brightest talents. 

I would like to thank Flame Tree Press and NetGalley for this review copy. Creature is available now.
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Kate Woodson was once a young and vibrant woman capable of doing anything she set her mind to, but an autoimmune disease, Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, and Lupus has robbed her of much of her life.  Now, she lives in constant pain, bones creaking and slipping from their joints on a regular basis.  Kate’s life is now based on a schedule of pills to keep the pain at bay.  Kate’s only solace is her husband, Andrew and her dog, Buttons, affectionately known as But-But.  Andrew will do anything for Kate even taking a job he dislikes just for the medical insurance alone.  Gone is his competitive unstoppable wife and in her place is a frail, sick wife that he is determined to make comfortable in any way he knows how.  Andrew loves his wife dearly and will do anything for her.  So, he takes a sabbatical from work and gives Kate the summer vacation, in a cabin on a lake, she has always dreamed about. But, there is something lurking in the woods by the lake house and Kate and Andrew’s dream vacation soon takes a sinister turn.  Will they make it out alive?

I admit that I did struggle with this book slightly as there is a lot of repetitiveness regarding Kate and her symptoms.  But, after finishing the story and reading the notes from Hunter Shea and reflecting back to what I have read, I think I have more of an understanding of why there is such a repetitiveness.  Anyone who has a loved one suffering from a sickness or a syndrome, life becomes a series of aches, pains, worry, and even hope.  Seeing someone suffer day after day after day and often times struggling with the same symptom such as constant fevers can seem repetitive in itself. But at the end, there is still hope that tomorrow will be better. 

I can see the hope Andrew has for his wife blended in with the anger and the anguish. It takes a strong man to stand by his wife through trying times, just like Andrew is doing now, but deep down the hate is brewing, not for his wife, but for the diseases that has robbed Kate of her life and in a way has robbed him of a wife and life as well.  Andrew’s only outlet is running and chasing away his demons.

There is a lot of foreshadowing in this story especially with Kate seeing shadows in her home. She isn't necessarily scared of them, but they do freak her out at times. She hasn’t told Andrew about it because she didn’t want him to think she was crazy especially being heavily drugged for most of the day. But, once they are in the lake house and frightening things start happening, I started to wonder if the shadow came along on the trip.  It was really pretty eerie at some points.

Most of the action really does not take place until more than halfway through the story, but the lead up to it really gave me the chills mainly because I was reading at night and well and I am a scaredy cat! It's a wonder why I love horror books so much.  At one point, I took a break to pet my cat and I heard knocking.  I almost jumped right out of my chair! It just so happens firecrackers were going off outside.  Seriously are you trying to give me a heart attack right now? Ugh!

While Creature did have some issues for me, I still enjoyed the story and I know much of the story comes from Hunter Shea’s life experiences in regards to his own family.  So, even though this is a horror story, most of the plot is written with a lot of thought and a hell of a lot of heart and soul.
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An innovative and unique story of the physical manifestation of pain. Another hold-onto-the-edge-of-your-seat reads from one of horror's most thrilling and creative crafters alive. The ending is....just read it. You won't be disappointed. Wow.
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This was an amazing book to read. Part horror, part marital & medical drama, I found the story of a married couple struggling with the weight of the wife's illness compelling and unputdownable. 

Kate Woodson lives with chronic pain and a list of diseases that keep her from living a normal life. Her husband decides to take her on a trip to a remote cottage in Maine, which seems like the perfect break from their troubled life - but things take a sinister turn when they realize they're being watched and hunted by something outside in the forest.

The parts of the story including dialogue between Kate and Andrew were some of my favorite parts of this book - they're so believable, and so well written. These characters feel real, and that realness makes the terror and pain they feel all the more horrifying to experience as a reader - which is a huge compliment to the author.

This was my first by Hunter Shea, and I'm absolutely going to be keeping an eye on his future works!
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4.5

Book source ~ NetGalley

Kate Woodson has been living with autoimmune diseases and chronic pain for many years. She’s beat Death back on more than one occasion, but the battles are wearing her out. She’s not totally bed-bound, but her husband Andrew is her main caregiver and breadwinner. When an opportunity comes up for them to go to a lake cottage for the summer, they grab it by the balls. They think the time in a restful, peaceful setting will help Kate get back on her feet. Well, as back as she can be since she’ll never be completely free of her ailments. However, their time in the cottage is not as restful as they hoped. Something is out there, in the woods. Something evil and not quite human. And it has fixated on Kate and Andrew.

Whoa. Just, whoa. This is one creepy as fuck tale. I’m tempted to just leave my review at that and walk away. But I have to say that this story wrung out my heart and scared the shit out of me and that’s no easy task. Kate and Andrew’s struggles broke my heart. I felt hope when they went to the cottage, but that was short-lived. The tension at the cottage builds and builds until all hell breaks loose. I had a headache from gritting my teeth, waiting to see what would happen next. Then next. Then next. It was unbearable! The thing out in the woods? Holy shit! And that ending?! O.M.F.G. Other than dragging a tiny bit in spots, this is one hell of a spine-tingling, hair-raising, nail-biting doozy of a read. If you like horror then do not miss out on this one.
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The pain inside can be so great that it manifests itself as a destructive creature.  Not only does it hurt us but then we lash out at those around us, destroying and making others hurt.  This novel was definitely unique and creative.
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A couple and a beagle dog, human feelings joined together.
From New Jersey to a lake house in Maine.
The tale unfolds with some very human elements, with a situation of illness and the complexities, the togetherness carer and partners in love, two, three in household, encircling suffering and love.
The author building empathy and concern for the three in the lake house right up to the creatures invasion.
A nicely put together story with some meditation on love and the complexities that one carries with dealing with chronic illness in the confides of a horror theme.
All carrying the reader along with clear flowing reading in anticipation and hope of safety of eluding the creature.
I now need to seek out some other works of the promising author and something to have in your book searching radar.
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Hunter Shea has been a favorite of mine for a while now, so typically my liking the current book from him is not surprising. Several people warned me that this one was not like his other books and I still can't tell you how much I wasn't expecting this. Shea, who to me, has been known for his quick and fun reads hit it into an entirely different ballpark with Creature. This book was neither quick nor easy for me to read but it was amazingly worth it. 

I think it's easy for people who don't live with chronic pain to look at this and decide that it's too monopolizing to the story or that maybe it's even over exaggerated. People who live with chronic pain and autoimmune diseases don't have that luxury, it's with them every moment of the day, and for me that was the hardest part to get through. I don't have either of those things and this book made me realize just how much I take that for granted.

It's hard to sum up a book that absolutely guts you. If you're looking for mindless gore, this isn't your book. However, if you want something that takes what you thought you knew about horror and flips it upside down- amplifies it, this one is for you.  

I received an ARC of this from Flame Tree Press and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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"Creature" takes its time, engrossing you in its story involving a married couple and their plight with severe illness and something lurking just beyond their cozy country cottage. Hunter Shea takes his time familiarizing us with the main character and her physical condition, and the emotional onus her husbands must carry. Creature is not your average monster story - as Shea really fleshes out this narrative, capitalizing on not showing the monster right away. With that, Shea generates an anxiety and thrill that successfully shocks the system, during the last third of the story. The twist to this particular creature feature is not original per-se, but it is highly unique and satisfying.
Strong recommendation.
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Thanks to NetGalley and to Flame Tree Press for providing me an ARC copy of this novel that I freely chose to review. 
I have read great reviews of this author’s books, all in the horror genre, and a recent one (by Char Horror, whose reviews I follow on BookLikes) convinced me to read one of his novels. I was lucky enough to find it on offer at NetGalley, and yes, the reviewers were right. It is a book worthy of reading.
It is difficult to review this book without giving too much of the plot and possible spoilers away. If I had to define this book, I’d say it is a love letter. I know it might sound strange when we are talking about a horror book, but there you have it. Of course, there are many elements of horror as well, but from reading some of the comments I guess this is a far cry from the author’s usual romp-and-munch monster books (or “cryptozoological”, as he defines them). There is a monster, well, a creature, although it comes in quite late in the book (we do feel some dark presence well before that, though), but this is a story that starts as a domestic drama and shares many of its elements. The protagonists, Kate and Andrew, are a young couple. Their life is completely taken by the wife’s chronic autoimmune and genetic illnesses (Ehlers-Danlos and lupus) and what it takes to keep her alive. She is a virtual prisoner at home and most of the time she struggles to even get out of bed. Her husband has a job but spends most of his spare time looking after his wife, and the rest of the time thinking about her. They have a dog, Buttons, who keeps watch over Kate, and she survives thanks to cocktails of pain relief medications, experimental treatments that bring on their own kind of hell, watching black and white movies and the support of her husband. When he manages to secure a few weeks off and a cottage by a lake in Maine, they both hope they will have a reprieve and a break from real life. Unfortunately…
The book, written in the third person, alternates the points of views of wife and husband, and the author is very skilled at describing the feelings of the couple, the effects of the illness, both physical and psychological (although Kate is the perfect example of the unreliable narrator, due to her illness and the pain-killers and other medications she takes, she is very articulate and finds ways to explain her symptoms that make us share in her suffering more vividly than many scare books) on both, and the toll it takes on a relationship to have to battle with such terrible monsters day-after-day. Yes, there are “real” monsters and also the illness, which is more monstrous, in many ways, than any monster, because it lives inside and it feeds off the person, literally. It is evident on reading it that the author has close and deep knowledge of the subject, and this is confirmed later in the afterword, which I found very moving.
The characters, which include the couple, Kate’s brother, Riker, and British sister-in-law, Nikki, are sympathetic, likeable, but also realistically portrayed, especially the central couple. If at times Andrew seems almost saintly in his patience and never-ending acceptance of his caring role, there are times when he gives way to anger, frustration, and a touch of egotism and selfishness. He also acknowledges that after so long battling with his wife’s illness, he might no longer know how to be anything else but her husband and carer. Kate is in and out of medication-induced slumber, at times hides things from Andrew, is not always wise and takes unnecessary risks, at least from her husband’s perspective. Theirs is not a perfect relationship, but considering the strain they labour under, it is pretty amazing in its strength and solidity. 
The novel is claustrophobic despite its location and the brief excursions into nature. We are mostly reduced to the inside of the house/cottage, and to a single room most of the time, and that adds to the feeling of anxiety and tension that increases slowly but ramps up towards the end of the story. I kept thinking about Stephen King’s Gerald’s Game because of the location, and the way the story plays with the power of the mind to conjure up ghosts and monster from the dark recesses of our consciousness, but the background and the central theme are very different.
What about the creature? I am sure readers of horror will wonder from early on what the nature of that presence is. At first we have unexplained attacks on the couple and they do try to find rational explanations to allay their fears (and at some points, it looks as if the story is going to bear off into home invasion ground), but eventually, a not-easy-to-explain-away-rationally creature appears. What this creature is and where it comes from is something you can decide for yourselves, although there are clear indications and even explanations offered during the novel that make sense within the context. I did suspect what might be behind it from quite early on, but it is very well done and it fits into the logic of the story (however we might feel about horror and its hidden meaning).
Now, some notes of caution. There is a scene where the characters exchange jokes in poor taste, which might offend readers (yes, even horror readers), and although people in extreme situations might find refuge in pretty dark humour, there are topics that many people find disturbing. There is also quite extreme gore and explicit violence, although I don’t think that would put off fans of the genre. 
As mentioned, this is not a standard horror book and it might be enjoyed by readers interested in domestic drama, chronic illnesses, and great writing, if they have a strong enough stomach to deal with the gore. There are also questions and answers at the end that would make the book suitable for book clubs interested in the genre and the central topic. Although I know this is not perhaps a typical example of Shea’s writing, I am impressed and intend to catch up on some of his other books, and his podcast. Hats off to him for his bravery in tackling this difficult subject, and I hope it was as therapeutic for him as he states.
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6/10

A horror tale where the real horror is a disease that is slowly killing you and preventing you from being the person you want to be. This is made all the more personal to the author after you read the Q&A at the end of the book as his wife is currently living with this disease. 

I’d seen Hunter Shea’s name pop up a fair few times on Goodreads and had wanted to give him a try and see what he’s about. I think he’s primarily known for his B-movie monster style novellas but this was slightly different as mentioned above. 

I enjoyed the style of writing and enjoyed the two lead characters and the frustrations they both felt. I liked reading about the cabin in the Maine woods and how things slowly started to unravel. After a while though I felt that some of the frustrations were repeated, hammering home that things couldn’t be done because of the disease. Things ramp up in the horror aspects late on in the novel and become more what I was expecting but it felt somewhat rushed after the plodding nature of the earlier parts. 

I did enjoy reading this and seeing where things would go but the repetitive nature slowed things down for me but I would definitely look to pick some more of the authors work up.
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After reading the first couple of pages, I had to double check to make sure this book was really written by Hunter Shea, unchallenged master of the 'Creature Feature' (at least in my opinion). The first half of the novel (also unusual, as a lot of his works are novella length) really caught my breath. Though nothing really happened in terms of monsters action, the writing was just so great!

I love it when an author manages to capture my attention like that, writing about (seemingly) nothing spectacular but still making it special. I learned to love that kind of writing when reading my first horror books, which happened to be the early Stephen King works. King always takes his time (and lots of it, often it takes two thirds of a book) before actually letting anything significant happen (again, in terms of action). So I was thrilled to see another of my favorite authors doing it just as well.

So when the monster finally revealed its face and the fighting began, it felt like slipping back into familiar and much appreciated creature territory while at the same time I was a bit disappointed to leave the more quiet path that lead there. The ending also felt ambivalent, as it brought peace and pain in equal measure.

A very personal, challenging and surprisingly different story from one of my favorite horror authors. Highest recommendation!
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