*Disclaimer – I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.*
“What?” Andrew was teetering over a precipice he had been approaching for twenty years, ever since the day his father had returned from the police station still caked inn dried blood and announced to his wife and son that he was moving out, that it was the only way to ensure their safety, although they had nothing to fear from him. All the scary stuff was out there, out in the light. Out in the open. It always had been.
“That’s what your old man calls them. Quintalochs.”
Andrew wanted to look away, but a feeling of inevitability had taken hold. In his mind, things were clicking and snapping, falling into a terrible alignment nothing could stop. The palm frond held his gaze. There was something unnerving about its size, about the way each long blade bent, then bent again, tapering to a barbed point. They jutted from the central stem like angled spokes that thickened every time he blinked. There were well over a dozen veins, running in twos all the way to the ground before curving toward the bin.
Andrew saw with a start that the frond wasn’t connected to the tree at all. It was simply propped against the fence. What had made him think otherwise? And what about those discolorations on the pavement? O dd the way they continued up the side of the trash bin, as if the two marks were actually part of the same thing, a sweeping curve of antenna for instance.
John Tate has always been at the periphery of his son’s life, but he’s had good reason for it. Now however, as Andrew is drawn into a hostage situation by a man claiming his father filled his head with monster, Andrew starts to see shadows on the edge of his vision, creatures that surely can’t be real, but they are. Andrew’s life, already cracking, is starting to crumble away as the city of Tampa rages with fire and voices in the minds of it’s residents but only a handful know the truth – an alien race that humans have evolved not to be aware of, is on their way to annihilate them all. Now, despite his efforts, John cannot hide the truth from his son anymore and both must embark on the final journey to try and save their people.
In Periphery, Michael Winters tell a horrifying tale of cosmic creatures that live amongst us, beside us, and at the edges of our vision, our own ability to be blissfully unaware of them being the only defence we have against them. Led by rich and engaging characters struggling with their own inner turmoil and now bombarded by the telepathic terrorists hell-bent on invading their community and minds, Periphery is a modern cosmic horror with a classic feel to it.
Following Andrew on his discovery that his absent father’s rantings about shadowy creatures was nothing but the truth and the eventual merging of the community to fight a singular threat that can no longer be ignored, this story will leave you wondering at the shadows in your peripherals, at the flicker of movement in the corner of your vision. Where is your eye drawn? Will you follow the urge to look and know, or is ignorance more than bliss, but mortal safety?
Periphery is a novel that pulls the reader in through believable characters, unsettling possibilities, and the hope that can be found in community. With strong, skillful writing, and a common enemy to fight, Winter spins a tale of darkness that will leave you cautious of every shadow.
About the Author –
His short fiction has appeared in the “Fiction Quarterly section” of “The Tampa Tribune”, “Modern Short Stories”, “The Tampa Review”, “Other Voices”, “Fourteen Hills”, and “Natural Bridge”. His non-fiction has been published in the “Private Lives” section of “The St. Petersburg Times”, “The Tampa Tribune” and 2 Bridges Review.
He lives in Florida with his wife, daughter and assorted creatures of the canine and feline variety.
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What’s your favourite cosmic/sci-fi horror? Do you prefer them to be set on earth on in space? Let me know down below!