- File Size: 1372 KB
- Print Length: 272 pages
- Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1925047555
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publisher: Severed Press (January 28, 2014)
- Publication Date: January 28, 2014
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00I3QYSQA
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #531,996 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Top customer reviews
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Tim took the time to explain a few things things about "Toxic Shadows" and from my POV, Tim, man, there really wasn't any need, but appreciated.
This is a fast moving, very well told, steam engine of a story, with the expected Tim Curran chills and frightening imagery I've come to expect with his work. There are only a few writers that make me pause and just think about what I just read, just marvel at the wordplay, and Curran is one of them. I actually thought that, taken on a whole, this book was much more focused than his other efforts, and didn't go on and on--an issue which, if I ever had to critique Tim on, well, it would be that.
But that's my only issue, and I'm only one reader.
A city suddenly cut off from the rest of the world and transformed into an urban, ghoulish nightmare, where the general populace has shed any semblance of civility and now delights in hunting down new, unchanged flesh. The travelers who drive into this (at night even, so, brrrrr o.O) quickly realize not all is well with the town, and channel all efforts into escaping this horrific city sprawl.
For fans of any storyline where a few characters are heaved into a twilight zone situation, where everyone else wants them dead.
They will be Lou Frawley, an overweight plumbing salesman; Lisa Tabano, a goth metal musician, and junkie, coming home to see her parents; fat Nancy Eklind, ballbuster and complainer; Ben Eklind, her weak husband, and perpetual loser; Sam, Nancy's brother, and fresh out of prison; Johnny Davis, a dysfunctional Vietnam vet who's looking for a fight; and Joe and Ruby Sue, a pair of real hardcase bikers, who seem to be operating on a mission of their own.
And as bad as things are, they can always get worse, and they do. The dead are starting to organize, they now banding together with military precision, and they are now prowling Cut River on their own search and destroy missions.
At first everybody is operating on their own, but they gradually start running into each other, all while trying to escape the rampaging townspeople. Ben and Nancy are saved at the last moment by the manmountain Joe and Ruby Sue, who seem to be loaded with enough weapons to fight a war, while Johnny and Lisa will band together, and in one form or another everybody will end up going at the St. Thomas Catholic Church. But God won't save them, as there is a bunch of fanatically religious, and desperate, people in the church's basement who think that this is all Satan's work. They will only manage to come out of hiding long enough to be caught in the flood of crazies that come barreling into the church looking for trouble.
During some down time, Johnny tells the tale of a time back when he was part of America's Phoenix program, and he and his team were sent into the Mekong Delta "Rung Sat" region when he was a SEAL on a reconnaissance mission. It was here that they will came across a village infected with something called "The Laughing Man", and that the villagers were all as crazy as Cut River's residents.
Now, Tim Curran will never be called the most original of action authors, after all, original would have been something that was changing people into rampaging bananas, only to have our intrepid heroes trying to escape Cut River while slipping and sliding on viscous banana peels. But that ain't this novel, what this is, is a no-holds barred cat-and-mouse chase book as madmen of all stripes are trying to hunt down any, and all, survivors of the initial contamination. And at this, Curran excels.
Now, this ain't a perfect novel, as at times Curran seems more in love with his action than he is with the logical consistency that should be holding this bit of textual madness together. Examples are that sometimes when the "rabids" are shot, they die, and at other times the rabids will receive traumatic head wounds, but they will still get up run amok. Or, during one scene a rabid toddler can't turn a doorknob, while later a zombified fetus crawls up a wall, and goes on the attack.
Still, for those of us that looked forward to a novel of action, gore, and destruction, this novel won't be a disappointment. This is a novel that has a shoot-out at supermarket, two separate shoot-outs at the town's police station, a shoot-out at a church, has madmen, naked zombies, a zombie fetus clawing its way out of their womb, cannibalism, zombie dogs, chases through the sewers, death by hanging, eating, knives, guns, fire, and cars.
And to top it all off, I stayed up way too late, and I missed a lot of sleep to finish this story, as especially noteworthy was the epic final battle, which seemed to be made for the cinema. And yes, for once Severed Press actually gives one of their book cover artists credit. "Toxic Shadows" has a pretty good cover by Tim Pryor.
For this site I have reviewed these other Tim Curran books:
Cannibal Corpse, M/C.
The Hive #1: Hive (The Hive Series). The Elder Signs Press edition.
The Hive #2: The Spawning: Book Two of The Hive Series.
Toxic Shadows is the story of a group of people who must survive in a town of... zombies? In this book the zombies are more along the lines of infected people. Credit to Mr. Curran for using this plot element before it became popular in the movies. I prefer my zombies to be the living dead type but Mr. Curran's monsters work for the story and they retain a surprising amount of intelligence. How many zombies think to barricade the exits in a town or selectively release prisoners from a prison?
I wish that some of the characters were better fleshed out and more diverse. I also think Mr. Curran missed a few story points that were begging to be exploited. However, I think Toxic Shadows was enjoyable enough. I should point out that Toxic Shadows is not a nice story. People die brutally and there are no safe zones in the story. If you can forgive some structural flaws in the story and like fast moving monsters and lots of gunplay then you I say give this a shot.