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The Eyes of Water by Alison Littlewood

The Mexican cenotés. Flooded caves that fracture the Yucatan Peninsula – places of mystery, the unexplored, and of ancient sacrifice.

When Alex meets an old friend while travelling, he doesn’t realise how far the encounter will take him. For Rick is exploring deep beneath the surface of the world, discovering new cave systems, one leading to the next. And when Alex is compelled to follow he has no way of knowing just how deep he will be expected to go, or how dark are the places he will find there . . .

Its time to dip my toes into the water that is the latest release from those cheeky scare-mongers over at Spectral Press. (See what I did there? … the story features a great deal of water…oh suit yourself.)

Though only around twenty pages long Spectral’s latest chapbook, The Eyes of Water, taps into a plethora of primal horrors that I think many readers will be able to appreciate. The psychological impact of losing someone unexpectedly, fear of the unknown and starting to fear for your own sanity are all touched upon.  Driven by a desire for the truth, Alex travels ever deeper into the water-filled cave system. As Alex’s journey continues, Littlewood slowly begins to ramp up the sensation of claustrophobic tension and unease.

The supernatural elements of this tale are handled very subtly, it’s only in the last handful of pages that Alex finally discovers the horrible truth of Rick’s disappearance. I always enjoy when an author takes the time to craft a tale that builds to a satisfying pay off. The story ends with a nice moment of realisation for Alex, and the reader gets the opportunity to share in all of this.

I’ve not read A Cold Season, Alison Littlewood’s debut novel, yet based on my enjoyment of this chapbook I think I am going to have to remedy that situation in the very near future.

Spectral have proven to be consistently readable and always manage to get the best authors on board for each new publication. Check out the Spectral Press website to learn more about The Eyes of Water and all the other gruesome delights that are currently available.


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