I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.by Stephen Gregory
Also by this author: , ,
Published by The Pigeonhole on January 28, 2015
Genres: Dark Fiction, Horror
It’s David Kewish’s 18th birthday, but it doesn’t turn out quite as he expected. After suffering a horrible accident he receives a bizarre present in the form of a baby black backed gull. Only this bird isn’t his friend, instead his curious connection to the young bird is the catalyst for a series of incidents, which turns everyone against him.
Kes meets The Birds in this terrifying story of loneliness and madness in a small seaside town in Wales.
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If you’re looking for dark fiction that keeps you guessing, Plague of Gulls is a definite recommend. It is filled with upsetting and disturbing turns and nowhere along the way could I anticipate where things were going. I love when that happens and it doesn’t happen nearly enough in my reading life.
I also love a well written sense of creeping dread and writing that can turn the mundane into something just slightly ominous with a turn of phrase and Plague of Gulls captures those feelings perfectly and maintains them throughout the piece. I could not put this one down.
“Kenny watches, the smile like a wound on his mouth.”
So, what’s it about? I’m going to be vague so as not to ruin it. Basically it’s about a young man named David going through an extremely low point in his life. He had visions of a summer filled with music and friendship but because of circumstances, he spends his time mostly alone or at a quarry that hides pain deep within its depths. And then a baby seagull comes into his life and things go from awful to tragically dark. And that’s all I’m giving you.
I despise poor-me types and was a little worried at the beginning that David was going to be one of those oh woe-is-me whiny boys that give Eeyore a run for his money. Even David admits that he’s not sympathetic but after a few chapters I didn’t find that to be true at all. This kid had been dealt a hand of poo that festered and continued to grow with every move he made and it would’ve been hard for me not to sympathize with him.
It’s creepy, it’s sad and it has moments of unexpected humor but the descriptive prose is what grabbed me and won me over. I can’t wait to read more by this author.
“I wait for the pain to ease. The walls of the castle and the old town lean around the house and smother it with their shadows.”
About Stephen Gregory
Stephen Gregory (b. 1952) was born in Derby, England, and earned a degree in law from the University of London. He worked as a teacher for ten years in various places, including Wales, Algeria, and Sudan, before moving to the mountains of Snowdonia in Wales to write his first novel, The Cormorant (1986), which won Britain’s prestigious Somerset Maugham Award and drew comparisons to Poe. The book was also adapted for film as a BBC production starring Ralph Fiennes. Two more novels, both set in Wales, followed: The Woodwitch (1988) and The Blood of Angels (1994). After the publication of The Blood of Angels, he worked in Hollywood for a year with Oscar-winning director William Friedkin (The Exorcist). More recently, he has published The Perils and Dangers of this Night (2008), and his new novel, The Waking That Kills, will be published in late 2013.
Some people hug a teddy when the world gets to be too much. Me? I settle in with a scary book.