Like many of you, I came across author Hunter Shea while surfing the many titles on Amazon. I had just gotten myself an e-reader and I couldn’t wait to use it. One of Shea’s novels was a freebie, so I did what any healthy horror geek would: I clicked on the Buy now with 1-Click button and took it from there. Suffice to say that I had a ball reading this thing. It reminded me of Laymon and you know how I feel about him: any friend of Laymon is a friend of mine.
When I realized that the latest Shea was available on NetGalley in exchange for an honest review, well, I just couldn’t pass it up. So here I am about to discuss JUST ADD WATER and the only thing that comes to mind is this: add more pages to it. Indeed, I would have preferred another 100 pages or so, just enough to make it all seem less rushed. Of course, this reads like a vintage paperback horror novel from the ‘80s. You know the kind, those that focus on action sequences and little else. Still, a tad more emphasis on characterization would have been just great. Don’t get me wrong now, I did enjoy this novelette (the fun starts pretty early and never lets up). No, the problem I had is that, at times, I could barely decipher one character from the next—especially when it involved the main ones whom I kept mixing up despite a clear line in the narrative.
The plot involves two pre-teen boys and their Frankenstein-made little sea monsters that keep growing and growing to the point of scaring the bejesus out of an entire town. It’s up to their creators to put a stop to them and their ravenous streak before it becomes too late—or is it too late already?
JUST ADD WATER is fun, silly, gory, but most importantly a must if you’re into B-grade-like efforts. It is the perfect antidote for all those ambitious horror books considered mandatory by the well-read crowd. OPTICAL DELUSION is the next installment and comes out in August. Can’t wait.
Until next post—Martin