Behrg Reviews “Broken Shells” by Michael Patrick Hicks
Broken Shells is on sale for just $0.99 for a limited time
First a disclaimer: I’m not a big fan of “creature horror novels.” I find most of them derivative and more of a paint-by-the-numbers wheelhouse with over the top gore meant to make up for a complete lack of story or character. Substitute X creature for Y monster and you’ve got yourself the same story you can pump out over and over again.
This isn’t to say creature horror can’t be done right, it just requires a lot more effort from an author who’s willing to invent something unique or tackle it from a new angle.
I went into Michael Patrick Hicks’ new novel, Broken Shells, without knowing much about it or that, in fact, it was a creature feature. That being said, and knowing my predisposition for these types of stories, I was pleasantly surprised by the approach he took. This is not your paint-by-numbers story. In fact, I’m not sure I’ve read a creature horror novel that tackles the story in a similar fashion.
A unique mythology, combining Native American lore, matched with a character you actually care about draws you in to a tale where the gore and horror are certainly on full display (but not carelessly thrown in). Hicks has a way of combining real world topics and concerns into his story without ever coming across as preaching, which adds a fantastic layer and relevancy to his tales. In short, this is one creature feature that’s worth the price of admission. Keep up these kind of stories and I may soon become a fan of a sub-genre I’ve tried to avoid.
** I received an advanced review copy of this book through NetGalley. My thanks to the publisher and author. This in no way influenced my review.