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 Jeffrey Hale
Published by Severed Press on January 30, 2015
Genres: Dark Fiction, Fiction, Horror, Mystery, Supernatural, Thriller
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What monster could kill an entire ship's crew without spilling an ounce of blood? What monster could sink a solid steel freighter? What monster could devour twenty-five men and disappear without a trace? Professor Nicholas Voigt is about to find out.
Conscripted to locate the SS Ourang Medan, a shipwreck of myth and legend, Nicholas is ferried to the Strait of Malacca. There, he meets his shipmates and his eccentric employer--millionaire Bryan Dunston. He thinks the expedition will lead to personal and professional success.
Within days, Nicholas discovers his employer's true intentions. He discovers that Bryan Dunston is a man driven by desire. By lust. By evil. The millionaire believes that a weapon of unfathomable power is hidden in the Ourang Medan's bowels...and he will stop at nothing to retrieve it.
Rife with murder, mystery, action, and the occult, From Below is a no-holds-barred thriller that is sure to leave you breathless!
FROM BELOW starts out quite strongly, with a gripping prologue that caught my attention immediately.
We are then introduced to our main character, Nicholas, and I have to admit that I had some trouble finding him believable in the beginning. His tendency to give in too easily–despite his academic superiority–made him somewhat unreliable in my opinion. Many of his “internal” dialogues and thoughts were actually spoken aloud, a tactic that I found particularly annoying.
The story itself had a great premise–a legend of Lovecraftian proportions that could be summoned from the depths of the ocean to bring about the end of days. The problem was, it took nearly three quarters of the book to get to any of the real action. Once there, the final pages were a fast-paced, adrenaline fueled read. I only wish the rest of the book had been in this style, instead of being composed of largely mundane activities and trivial details.
One note that I particularly enjoyed was a quote from the expedition’s CEO, Lord Bryan Dunston, regarding the fears of humaity. “They fear the elements because the elements are out of their control….Humans fear the loss of control above all else.” A statement that carries a strong ring of truth, and yet begs the question of “why” he began this quest to begin with.
Overall, I’m giving three stars to FROM BELOW; two stars for the first three quarters, and four stars for the climatic finish.