Rattus New Yorkus
Author: Hunter Shea
Release date: 21st August 2018
Lyrical Underground Books
Kensington Publishing Corp.
“Possibly a thousand rats were on our tail, their own tails bobbing like Satan’s spaghetti”
I had the pleasure of receiving an advance reader copy of Hunter Shea’s ‘Rattus New Yorkus’ to read and review.
“They’re bigger.. They’re smarter.. We’re what’s for dinner”
This is such a fun book to read, I love horror like this, monster horror, animals in some shape or form taking over, taking charge, being in control, it’s great. As a proud owner of two rats, I definitely got a kick out of this story.
Degenesis, a new experimental rodenticide created by Dr Randolph ‘Ratticus’ Finch. It doesn’t kill the rats, but sterilizes them so they cannot reproduce, or so it’s meant to.
Instead, Manhattan is overrun, there are more rats than ever before and they are much more aggressive, not to mention they are reproducing at unparalleled levels.. and they have become organized.
Chris and Benita ‘Benny’ Jackson, exterminators on the city payroll, are one of the teams tasked with ridding New York of its ever growing rat problem.
Chris and Benny are currently in the midst of a divorce, they are still working together and living together and generally get on well. I really enjoyed the relationship between them, it made a refreshing change that they were not ‘together’ as it were. We didn’t have to put up with any romance or sexy scenes, it was just straight up circa B-movie horror.
They had delivered the Degenesis to several sites across the city, setting it in the traps with the hopes that the rats would eat it. They always seem to take the food from the traps, they are just generally too clever to get caught in any of them. When Chris and Benny return a few weeks later to one of the sites, a restaurant, they are shocked to discover that rather than a decrease, there had been a bit of a baby-boom in the rat kingdom.
While carrying out a preliminary examination of the area, they found a large nest, filled with many baby rats. They were shocked to see how much the population in this particular area had grown in spite of the Degenesis, but they were even more surprised at what happened next. They were surrounded.. and the rats were not leaving, they were not scared, they were ready to attack.
The descriptions involving the rat take-overs were great, I could really see it in my mind’s eye. I really loved the idea of thousands upon thousands of these ‘mutant’ rats just pouring out of the walls (took me back to one of my favorite movies, Aliens, “They’re coming outta the walls. They’re coming outta the goddamn walls”.
Rattus New Yorkus is a great book, a fun getaway from those real life stresses. It’s very easy to read, no complicated science babble or over convoluted plots. It’s very simple and straight to it. I very much enjoyed reading it and I am immensely grateful I was given the opportunity.
4/5 – A lot of fun, enjoyable horror, great banter between the main characters. Give it a go if you get the chance.
And for the Star Trek fan in me, I love the line “the Borg-like rats” – Thank you Hunter Shea.
Lesley-Ann – The Housewife of Horror