Thursday, August 22, 2013

BOOK REVIEW: THE OLD ONE by P.A. DOUGLAS

Tropical storm Faye is raging through and it is bringing more than just thunder and flooding rains. 

The Old One, a sentient god from another world has woken. Will Max Willgood and his neighbors get off of Topsail island in time, or will her abominations of gore consume them all before they can escape? 

North Carolina has never seen anything more atrocious than this. By morning it will never be the same.

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The Lovecraftian mythos provides a lot of room for interpretation; H.P. Lovecraft is one of the most influential American authors to have lived, so if we consider the idea of “fan fiction”, we can easily point to any number of monster movies or any author who cites Lovecraft as an influence. “The Old One” by P.A. Douglas is as much of a tribute to monster fiction as it is a nod to Lovecraft’s influence on the horror genre as a whole. 

Douglas brings his characters to life, and in his universe, everyone is mortal. Gore and death splash through the pages in which a small town is subjected to the menace of an ancient power. Douglas applies a level of character detail and back story that would make Lovecraft proud, though the prose is accessible to the casual reader; the book unfolds as a fun experience rather than an artsy tribute. Douglas has displayed the attributes of an excellent storyteller in his stories; as a fan of his work, I expect a thrill that hearkens more to a “throwback” of classic horror movies I grew up watching. It’s what I expect and why I read his work, and he does not disappoint.

Every character in Douglas’s work is given a breath of life; there are no random characters that you won’t care about. Moments of humor and humanity are abound, and there is plenty of reason for readers to cheer on the cast. So much detail is used to describe realizations and back story that it sometimes slows the book down to a crawl when intensity lingers, and sometimes fades. Douglas throws you back into the fray with the force only the Old One could muster; by sweeping you up unexpectedly in a monstrous hand. 

With a variety of creatures (no spoilers) and Douglas’s neat insertion of humor, gore, and subtle social commentary, you’ll want to discover the fate of each character. His ability to understand people who live in a small-town community brings his terrifying vision to life, only for the Old One to show up… 

Amazon Stars: 4/5