It’s not often that I find myself drawn to the literary horror genera, as a child of cinematic experiences I find that while the written word can still provide me with a a sense of awe, wonder and longing, it does very little to instill fear into me.
In short I’ve become jaded by slasher films.
This made it all the more surprising when I read the first novel from Matthew LeDrew (Infinity). The first book in the series, Black Womb tells the story of a serial killer that is picking off high school student as they try to unravel a mystery almost two decades past.
The movie – book. See what I did there? The writing in Black Womb is seamless and to the point, without robbing you of the details or over baring you with them either. The writing comes away feeling like a movie.
Even the plot tends to veer towards that of a film. A high school student gets murdered, it affects the entire high school, then more kids start dropping, the police are baffled and somebody throws a house party.
While I would normally criticize a book for using a cliché plot thread, Black Womb has two saving graces.
The first is how the book constantly remind me of one of my favourite slasher films of all time: Scream, but the writing doesn’t feel like it is ripped off of Scream or poorly imitated but instead the books feels like it was lovingly influenced by Wes Craven’s masterpiece.
The second is the twist the narrative takes. When something walks like a cow, talks like a cow and sounds like a cow your opinion is pretty self explanatory but when those cows suddenly turn out to be Skrulls in disguise then you find yourself wonderfully shocked. (This was also a lesson Fantastic Four history. Snoogens)
Black womb is the literary combination of two genera, making the writing the unholy, but wonderful, offspring of Wes Craven and Todd McFarland. A ‘Do Not Miss’ for Axe Weilders and True Believers.