Thursday, December 8, 2016
Carnifex (2016) by Matthew J. Hellscream
I'd really enjoyed Hellscream's first effort Metro 7 a sci-fi action horror novel and I was keen to see what he would do as a follow up.
Carnifex is a different book to Metro 7 but that shows just how versatile Hellscream is as a writer. This more a nature run amok horror, with a dash of Wolf Creek, and is set here in Queensland in the fictional town of Kooyah in the present. While Metro 7 was a "wham bam thank you ma'am", Carnifex is a slow burn ratcheting up the tension as characters realise just what is going on and are forced to fight their way out of this situation.
I really liked this approach, Kooyah is the type of town that I might drive through to visit family or go on holidays - although unlike many of those towns, Kooyah won't have won a friendly town award, as they have a secret, one they would kill to protect.
The main characters Scott and Jessica felt like real people I might know and the fact that Hellscream takes his time to build and develop these characters meant that I cared about them as they were thrown into this situation.
There's a joke that in Australia every animal is out to get you and Carnifex offers another deadly Aussie creature that may have inspired at least one Australian folk tale.
This was a great standalone novel but I wouldn't complain if Scott and Jessica were to appear in future works.