Published by : Hydra (May 26, 2015)
For fans of Stephen King, Joe Hill, and Sarah Langan comes a thrilling new vision of American horror. In Heather Herrman’s heart-pounding debut novel, evil is ready to feed—and it’s got one hell of an appetite.
In the wake of tragedy, John and Erma Scott are heading west in search of a new life. So when car trouble strands them in sleepy Cavus, Montana, they decide to stay for a while, charmed by the friendly residents and the surrounding ambiance. Here, they hope, is the healing balm that their marriage needs.
Then John and Erma find themselves in a fight not just to save their marriage, but their very lives. For this is no ordinary town. Its quiet streets conceal a dark and bloody secret that has slumbered for centuries. Now, that secret is awake . . . and it’s hungry.
Like a slow infection, evil is spreading through Cavus. Soon John and Erma—along with the local sheriff, an undocumented immigrant, a traumatized teenage girl, and an old man with terrible secrets of his own—must join together to battle an all-consuming force that has set its sights on its prey: the entire human race.
“Both the evil that suffuses the pages of Consumption and the motley gang of innocents who defend against it are much more interesting than those usually found in your average scare fare. Solid writing elevates this imaginative fright-fest from an invigorating new voice.”—Sophie Littlefield, bestselling author of the Aftertime series
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"Evil is never so easily recognized. It makes its face known in a manner that pleases."
The small, old mining town of Cavus, Montana holds a dark past that stems from an ancient evil. Most of the town does not know the true events that led up to the fire that killed all of the residents of Cavus except one girl named Jessi and the now famous black squirrels. Jessi’s husband, Pill now keeps the secret of what truly happened all those years ago, and he sees the signs of the evil coming back… just in time for the town’s annual Black Squirrel festival. Some members of the town notice that something is just not right with their friends, family and neighbors, but for most it is already too late. The Feeder has found a way to spread itself quickly and efficiently through the town’s brand new beet sugar plant.
Consumption is a classic type of horror story with a slow burning plot and an interesting monster. From the prelude, where we first meet the monster, The Feeder, as it likes to be called, I was intrigued. I liked that this is a smart monster that takes over people and changes them little by little, bringing out their darker side and a hunger for human flesh. I liked that all of the characters who noticed the changes were underdogs: John and Erma Scott are trying to move on with their lives in the face of tragedy by moving across the country, Star, a teen going through a rough time, Javier, and immigrant determined to make more of his life, and Pill, an older man whom everyone discounts. While there are a lot of characters introduced, the characters stories are rich enough that they are easily distinguishable and the writing weaves the subtle horror aspects throughout each of their stories and eventually bringing them together. Some of my favorite parts were of the Feeder’s past, when it inhabited Lucy in 1908, and Jessi’s journal about its reappearance in 1930’s. The ending was very strong for me, exciting and suspenseful as the Feeder showed its full potential and those left over decided how they would act.
Heather Herrman explores American society through horror fiction. She holds an MFA from New Mexico State University, and her work has appeared in such publications as Alaska Quarterly Review, The South Carolina Review, and Snake Nation Review. Herrman’s fiction has also been honored with a Frank Waters Fiction Prize and a scholarship to the Prague Summer Program for Writers.
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