Monday, March 22, 2010
Nevertheless, I managed to find time to complete Covenant by John Everson, a horror novel and the debut novel from this author. The cover trumpets this book as a winner of the Bram Stoker Award and after reading it I can see why. This is a nice taught story, well told, and briskly paced. It's the story about a young 20-something reporter named Joe Kiernan who has moved from Chicago to the small coastal town of Terrel. It's not long before he discovers the deep dark secret that is haunting the town: for some reason people are dying (usually leaping to their deaths from the cliffs of Terrel's Peak) once each year on the exact same day. Joe gladly puts on his investigative reporter persona to escape his usual small town assignments and soon gets in over his head. He is a pragmatist, certain that there is some sort of serial killer on the loose but eventually he has to embrace the idea of a supernatural nature to the tragedies.
This book, I must say, is not for the squeamish. Particularly, in the second half of the book, as the supernatural stuff comes more and more into focus, there is lots of blood and gore and sex, sometimes all together. Everything is on stage and leaves very little to the imagination. You've been warned. I compare this book to the works of Richard Laymon although Laymon's plots tend to be more teenage sexual fantasy whereas this is hard core horror. There is a sequel out called, Sacrifice and I'll probably read that as well if it comes across my radar.
I also read another story in The Best Time Travel Short Stories of the 20th Century. "Time's Arrow" by the great Arthur C. Clark was a good solid entry in this collection, and is a story about some palentologists who are conducting a dig near some dinosaur tracks. Simultaneously, a team of physicists are at the cusp of discovering a way to look back in time and actually see what transpired at the scene rather than have to judge it by the fossil record. A great ending on this one...but I won't spoil it for you. I really like Clark as an author because he brings such solid credentials to his science fiction (degrees in physics and mathematics) allowing convincing science in his stories but not so convoluted that the reader gets lost.
Next up: Beyond the Shadows but Brent Weeks
Top 10 Books in no particular order (Well Known Authors)
- "The Stand" by Stephen King
- "Kane and Able" by Jeffrey Archer
- "The Killer Angels" by Michael Shaara
- "The Dark Elf Trilogy" by RA Salvatore
- "Name of the Wind" by Patrick Rothfuss
- "River God" by Wilbur Smith
- "Mortalis" by RA Salvatore
- "Ender's Game" by Orson Scott Card
- "Centennial" by James A Michener
- "The Repairman Jack" series by F. Paul Wilson