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Monstrocity by Jeffrey Thomas

There are haunted places. Haunted houses. The metropolis of Punktown, on the planet Oasis, is a haunted city.

An unassuming young man perceives the city’s dark tentacles in the lay of the streets, its roots in the labyrinth of subways, a polluted taint in the eyes of people around him. And this evil is building toward an apocalyptic culmination…

The city is not only haunted… maybe it’s alive…

Punktown is a vast sprawling alien metropolis that is home to many different species, including humans. Christopher Ruby is a lowly customer support analyst for a network service provider. His life is meandering along, and he is at a bit of a loose end until he meets the exotic, gothic Gabrielle.

Gabrielle is naturally inquisitive and has a passing interest in the occult. She attempts some incantations and finds herself fundamentally changed by her exposure to forces that she doesn’t really understand. This experience creates a wedge between her and Chris and their relationship suffers as a result. Gabrielle is changed significantly; she is no longer the woman that Chris fell in love with. Their relationship deteriorates even further and this leads to a life changing confrontation for them both.

Monstrocity has some interesting ideas going on in amongst its pages. For example, the notion of bringing together the differing religious ideologies of the multiple races found in Punktown and highlighting their commonality. This adds extra layers to the plot that I wasn’t expecting. These shared elements hint at a much larger story that has yet to be seen. The pace of the novel really picks up in the final chapters as Chris finally comes face to face with the forces that are controlling the city. The final pages certainly suggest that there is more to tell. I read another review, over at Tony’s Thoughts that made exactly the same point. Will there be a sequel to this? I do hope so.

What was my favourite moment? One character’s exit from the story is particularly memorable. Thumbs up to any author that can make me involuntarily exclaim an ‘Eeeewww’ sound. This, in my opinion, can only ever be a good thing.

Monstrocity is just under two hundred pages long so I zipped through it in a couple of sittings. If you are looking for a little light reading involving inter-dimensional galactic conspiracies and Elder gods you may wish to consider spending you hard earned here.

This latest release from Anarchy Books cements their reputation for publishing dark, gritty, slightly bonkers electronic titles that delight in messing with your head, long may this continue.

Also worth pointing out there is an official soundtrack album that goes along with the novel. This original work by Das Sombreros is available via the Anarchy Books website.

Ha! I got to the end of a review of a book about the Old Gods without mentioning H P Lovecraft or Cthulhu once!   …Oh damn it.

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