March 25, 2011

Review: Monster Story by McCarty Griffin

Monster Story
Author: McCarty Griffin
ISBN: 0011144777
Purchase Information:
Apple iBooks | Barnes & Noble | Diesel |  Smashwords | Sony

*Novel provided by the author via Book Lovin' Bitches eBook Tours

For more information please visit McCarty Griffin's website.

Christy McCauley has returned to West Virginia at last, but her homecoming quickly turns into a surreal nightmare. In the deep hollows and woods of rural Augusta County, something unspeakable is slaughtering people in the dark of night. Authorities don't know if its human or animal, or how to stop it. Christy and her friends only know they must hunt it and destroy it, before it kills again.

If ever there could be a horror story considered as a cozy horror, then Monster Story by McCarty Griffin is it. With a wonderful appeal that matches the campy flair of the SyFy channel's original movies, this book has a back country redneck atmosphere that was at times priceless and at others, extremely visceral. Mixed with some truly humorous characters, this is a light read that still manages to deliver all the graphic horror one could expect!

The atmosphere is nicely captured with a deep back woods 'hillbilly' appeal that was wonderfully written. It often brought to mind the movie Slither, only instead of mutant slugs we get a vicious werewolf. In truth, that's the best way to describe this novel except only with slightly less humor and a disturbing lack of Nathan Fillion. But, that aside, the world is actually pretty well captured, with ample hunting scenes, a very important past time in the back woods. The isolation of the characters' as well as the oppressive atmosphere created by the mysterious and brutal murders are nicely created making settings that were perfectly suited for a vicious monster to roam free.

The characters of the story was an eclectic mix, which isn't surprising given the amount of characters. There are some that only appear for a few pages, some a few chapters and then there are the main characters. At times, all of these characters could become a little confusing as you try desperately to remember who is who, especially when they are getting mauled and torn to pieces. But, the main characters start to become clearer as the story progresses and you come to like them. However, being that the focus is so obtuse, there is a lack of dimensionality, leaving them a bit two dimensional and few just plain flat. Yet, they all seem to play a part within the story with some offering humor, some offering minor insights, and then there's the monster himself exuding heavy doses of crazy.

The writing style is flowing and overall pretty easy to follow given the meandering scope of the novel. There is a very cinematographic quality about it that played out nicely with the amount of characters and scenes making the constant shift of characters and locations create an ever changing pace. While some passages play out more slowly then others the overall effect was actually pretty perfect for the novel despite the fact that I often don't like the use this particular technique. In fact, I found myself liking this one because of the genre of writing with the unique mix of campy horror and cozy mystery. It really seemed to fit.

There were some things that definitely needed some working on though. There were a lot of editing issues with repeated words fragments and places were grammar could be improved, and no, I'm not referring to the southern slang or phrases. I am also not sure if it was just the copy that I was given, but there were a lot of formatting errors as well, with changing fonts and font sizes that could be distracting in the frequency that it occurred. But, as a whole, most of these issues were minor and not a deterrent when reading.

Overall, this was a fun read that had some great horror aspects that at times were campy, graphic and viscerally visual, all things that I greatly loved. The tone was unique and I would say that any fan of B Movie horror, will absolutely love this novel.

My Rating: 3 out of 5 Scars

Advisory: Graphic horror related violence

Disclosure of Material Connection: I am a member of the Book Lovin' Bitches Ebook Tours and a copy was provided to me by the author. Although payment may have been received by Book Lovin' Bitches Ebook Tours, no payment was received by me in exchange for this review nor was there an obligation to write a positive one. All opinions expressed here are entirely mine and may not necessarily agree with those of the author, the book's publisher and publicist or the readers of this review. This disclosure is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255, Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

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