‘Behemoth’ by HP Newquist – Review

*Disclaimer – I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.*

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Charlie didn’t know how long he’d been asleep. Maybe minutes, maybe hours. It was very dark and so very cold. He awoke with a hazy start, thinking he heard screams – maybe Terry’s, maybe Kevin’s. His eyes fluttered open, and he called out. His voice was a croak, not even a whisper. “Terry? Kevin? Guys?”

No response. 

He’d been dreaming. From where he lay on the seat, Charlie could see stars twinkling through the open window. His brain was foggy from so much beer. He tried not to think of the pain in his arms and legs. 

They would be back soon. They promised. 

Charlie started to black out. As his eyes lids shut, he saw a tremendous hand, like a claw, reach into the car and grab his chest. It must be the paramedics, he thought dreamily. But where were the flashing lights? There were no ambulance lights. No sound. No sirens. 

He could feel his rescuers pulling him out of the car. He looked at them through blurring eyes that couldn’t focus. Their hands felt like talons. Their distorted faces looked like a horror movie monster peering in at him. 

This is going to be a fucked-up dream, Charlie told himself as he slid back towards sleep. 

He let out one last breath as the flesh was torn off his body. 

 

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Synopsis –

An unfortunate car accident involving three teenage boys outside the small and isolated town of Morris sets in motion a chain of events that turns journalist Robert Garrahan’s life upside down. Caught between helping a young girl and her mother in danger, and a religious prophecy that may be more true than he thought possible, Garrahan must find out as much as he can before Morris swallows him whole.

 

Thoughts –

Behemoth is the story of a small town called Morris that takes the phrase ‘living in the past’ to new lows. Starting off with an eerie bang introducing the reader to the dark mystery that is the monster, the Behemoth, a biblical creature that has a town wrapped around it’s talons, the story quickly takes a sharp turn from mystery to violence. Research is expected as the main protagonist of the story is the journalist Garrahan, and for the most part the balance of action and exposition is handled well, however at times, telling is prioritized over showing or simply progressing the story. Though time is constantly of the essence and the structure that so many of the citizens of Morris have lived under for so many decades it in danger of collapsing, our protagonist reads textbooks and diaries, his day to day life a dream of a memory. Given that the story unfolds over the course of a week at most, it felt distracting and pulled the reader away from the fear that should have emanated from the monster, a monster that by the end of the book feels less like a God and more like an unruly dog that no one has bothered to train.

Behemoth explores the infallibility of man and faith, and the lengths zealots will go to hold onto power. Doled out in the same meaty morsels that are fed to the creature in supplication, the story is one of cultish undertones, modern incredulity, and good old fashioned virgin sacrifice.

Suspension of disbelief is difficult to hold onto at times when a town hell bent on keeping their secrets and their unorthodox way of life hidden from the outside world at all costs, asks a newspaper editor wanted for possible murder and kidnap to research their entire history and help them cover up what could be a catastrophe. However the story is still enjoyable, there are scenes that make the skin crawl, that bring the terror of life in Morris to the forefront, though perhaps a few more would not have hurt.

 

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A monster of biblical proportions that brings out the worst in it’s worshipers, Behemoth will make you wonder about that strange town down the road and it’s even stranger inhabitants.

 

About the Author –

Newquist

HP Newquist’s books and articles have been published all over the world, and his writing has been translated into languages from kanji to farsi. Newquist’s books cover the same array of topics as his magazine articles, from brain science and space exploration to legendary guitarists and the strangeness of the Internet. To date, he has written over two dozen books. And he’s already committed to writing many more.

 

Read and Review –

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

Goodreads.com

 

Do we need to bring back virgin sacrifice? Do you prefer to see the monster or keep it on the fringes of your vision? Let me know down below!

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