Publication date – September 6th 2018
Flame Tree Press
“Yep, better it was a figment of her imagination, a bit of spoiled gruel. If the shadow wanted to stay in the kitchen, let it”
What can I say about ‘Creature’……
It’s never a good idea to go to a cabin in the woods now is it.
Amazing book! I was totally enthralled from the start, the characters, the setting, the relationships, and of course, the monster; all wonderfully knitted together in this fantastic book. This was a thrilling read from start to finish. Exciting, emotional, intriguing – The dream sequences especially.
I found myself very involved, I felt like I was there, part of the family. The relationship between Kate and Andrew, Kate with her illness, and Andrew taking care of her, it was really something. It brought up quite a lot of emotion within me, I really felt for them, really cared for them. They are such a beautiful couple.
Andrew wants to do something perfect for his wife Kate, so he surprises her by taking a leave of absence from work and whisking her away on a summer vacation in her ideal lakeside cottage in Maine, surrounded by beautiful woodland and the neighbours a good few miles away. They won’t be disturbed, not by the neighbours anyway.
I really loved that this book wasn’t so much about the horror, and more, a lot more about the characters, specifically Andrew and Kate. The daily struggles of balancing home and work life. Andrew, working a job he hates (we all know that struggle) so much to pay the bills and take care of his wife. And Kate, suffering with a debilitating autoimmune disease (Lupus and Ehlers-Danlos), struggling every second with her pain, not just physically, but emotionally. She has a constant battle with her inner demons as they manifest themselves into her reality. It was the little things, the tenuous relationship with her mother, who favours her brother Ryker, as well as her close bond with Ryker and his wife Nikki. I loved the little nicknames they have for each other, Andrew referring to Kate as ‘Crip’ was adorable I thought.
I appreciated how deep into their personal lives we were taken, the anger Andrew feels at times towards Kate for being ill, and then at himself for feeling that way. It really hit home how difficult it must be living in a situation like that, how frustrating and crushing it must get. How helpless you must feel sometimes when all you want is for the person you love to be well and happy, and how terribly difficult it must be to see them suffer. And it goes without saying, how much of a waking nightmare at times it must be for the person suffering.
The part of the book I found most disturbing was not the monster and the carnage it created, but Nikki, Kate’s sister in law. For me, she was the most terrifying aspect; her change in personality was truly shocking. The nastiness and hate that came from within her when her husband was killed was horrific. What was even more frightening to me was how true this is, after such a traumatic experience, seeing her husband die in such a way, I could very much understand her anger and resentment of Kate.
I am very grateful I was given the opportunity to read this book prior to its release date. I hope you all enjoy it as much as I did.
5/5 – I’d struggle to give it anything less
Lesley-Ann (Housewife of Horror)
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