Top critical review
Not so spooky and definitely not H.P. Lovecraft
on December 7, 2015
When I saw the words by one reviewer that this was a "hauntingly evocative" book, I thought I was in for a real treat. Instead all it made me want to do was go back and read H.P. Lovecraft. Afterall, Lovecraft had faults, but he was a master of evoking fear of the unknown, the occult and creating horrific creatures so evil that they drove his protagonists insane for even glimpsing them. If you are reading this and you have never read any of Lovecraft's short stories, at least understand that you are getting a derivative work. Actually, I really wish I was giving this book four or five stars, because I love this pulpy horror fiction....but I can't. I can't read Shirley Jackson, Stephen King's best work, Lovecraft and even the experimental, often horrific, speculative fiction by Jeremy Robert Johnson and say this book is on par with any of their stuff. The part that is frustrating for me is that I really liked the first third of this book but after that the suspense trickled away. Too much exposition as to how the "unspeakable horror" works and how to kill it and where it comes from. Way to take away the suspense and the horror of a frightening creature. In fact, Michael West doesn't trust you, the reader, to accurately imagine his monsters from his descriptions. Instead he draws you a picture. Now, maybe some people liked that, but I was thinking that abominations of, let me state again, "unspeakable horror", would be better off left to the reader's gruesome imagination. What can I say further? This is not a ghost story or a haunted house story so for readers who are expecting that from the title, you may want to pass. Actually, after the first third of the novel the rest of the book plays off more like your average suspense novel instead of a spooky horror novel (especially the predictable ending). In fact, this actually reminds me of the movie Evolution with Julianne Moore in the way it all plays out, except it's not tongue-in-cheek. In the end, if you have nothing better to read this will entertain for an evening because it's not that long. Otherwise, give this one a pass.