Wow, this book was really great. Take note, however, this is NOT paranormal romance/supernatural suspense. It's straight, ball busting horror, more in the vein of stephen king and the more contemporary Poppy Z Brite. There is no romance, not that much action and nothing funny. It's literary horror, think old school gothica with a modern twist. no happy endings here folks. but the prose is beautiful and ms. Kiernan's universe is harsh and violent. i liked it so much i read it in one night!
Excellently creepy, and with an unusual twist to the premise. I found the end satisfying.
First off, this is not Horror of the Splatter Sort...Paleontological??? Yep...this story is Ages Old yet as contemporary as...yesterday...Ms Kiernan is a trained Paleontologist..so her premise of "some old horror/monster" is not far-fetched..but the story is FETCHING with teeth to spare...read this, and her novel SILK..you won't be disappointed..but you might not sleep so easy, for a few nights, either...
A creepy, creepy, creepy Lovecraftian mystery/horror. A paleontologist with a tragic past, her alcoholic psychic ex boyfriend, her dead best friend, a young goth, and an albino girl charged to destroy monsters by an angelic force converge around the secret of the ancient creatures living under Alabama's Red Mountain. Caitlin R. Kiernan's style has been described as "meaty" and here she definitely creates imagery as sultry and cloying as a midsummer day in the Deep South.
Its been a while since I read this - probably about 10 years. So I re-read it. And despite near universal praise for it, I felt underwhelmed. It started great - Chance, the protagonist, has just seen the last of her family die, leaving her alone in the world. During her exploration of the house and papers of her grandmother (who'd killed herself 10 years earlier) she finds evidence of an entirely new fossil of trilobite, one 10's of millions of years earlier than it should have been. And a regular seven sided polygon - the definition of non-Euclidean.
Add a clairvoyant alcoholic ex-boyfriend, his current squeeze and an albino monster hunter of dubious sanity and that's the book.
My biggest problem is that it feels like a huge tease. There are hints of an ancient pre-human civilization that may still be lurking in the corners, but no real reveals. And the end seems to move into the "It was all a dream/alternate timeline" territory.
Likes: Not much.
Dislikes: See above.
Suggested for: Kiernan and die hard horror fans.
Very interesting premise, but written in a confusing manner. The author may have intended the frequent switching back and forth between real action, visions, and dreams to lend a haunting, creepy tone to the book, but I just found it hard to follow.
Very interesting. You have to read it very closely, just to be able to keep up with what's a dream, what's a vision, and what's really happening.
I requested this book expecting to be at least a little scared and sucked into the plot. Neither happened. The character development was just bizarre and the story was boring.