Published by Burning Willow Press on March 30th 2017
Genres: Dark Fiction, Fiction, Horror, Psychological Horror, Supernatural
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Intenze is the newest designer drug. Take it, and nightmares come alive. -Edging- is a better rush than the Tower of Terror. It's a fraction of the price of a Six Flags admission. And it's the most addictive high the tiny suburb of New London has ever known. For Rick Carlson, the junkies roaming the streets don't even scratch the surface of what worries him. He's trying to win back his cheating wife. He's trying to protect his residents at Belmont Assisted Living from their own drug-addled grandchildren. And he's trying to save his twin boy and girl from their mother's murderous paranoia. But he can't save them all. The fears of all those who edge summon the Thirst-a living miasma that thrives on terror. It is bringing a storm. And Rick is running out of time.
EDGING. That’s what you call it when you take a dose of Intenze. First, you’ll experience your mind’s own little horror movie. You’ll be scared, maybe even terrified, but afterward? You’ll get an adrenaline rush like nothing you’ve ever experienced before. It’s a great premise for what turned out to be a great story!
All of the characters in this book are well drawn, with realistic problems, hopes and dreams. The main protagonist Rick, is the father of creepy twins and husband to a cheating wife. He’s a bit wishy-washy and slow to act on things until his his hand is forced. His wife Trish is unhappy and all too willing to try Intenze at the behest of her new hunk of a boyfriend, Steve. She soon becomes addicted and so do most of the other people who decide to EDGE.
But what happens if you do too much? Will you overdose? What is up with the tall, dark, shadowy man that many who EDGE see while they’re tripping? What would happen if the whole town was EDGING? You’ll have to read it to find out!
This is an intricately plotted story and I loved seeing how everything slowly came together. In some ways it reminded me of Salem’s Lot. We’re introduced to people around town and get some insight into their daily lives. Once events ratcheted up, everything came together beautifully. I do think a few portions dragged just a bit around the 75% mark, but that didn’t bother me too much, as I was so engaged with the characters I had to see what happened next.
There is an element of originality here with the introduction of Intenze, what it did, and how it was used. There are aspects of this tale that touched on why drug use is so popular, and also on bullies and what motivates them, as well as the acceptance, (or lack thereof) of homosexuality in our homes and in our schools. It is often easy to forget how horrible life can be when one is constantly reminded of, and being made to pay for, being “different.” This book takes a hard look at some of those things and I respected and appreciated those bold looks.
EDGING was a nice surprise for me. I’m not sure what I expected, but it wasn’t a book this compelling. It was well written, had engaging and interesting characters, an original premise and an exciting denouement. What more could you ask for?
Highly recommended for fans of dark, edgy, (see what I did there?!) fiction!
*I received a free e-copy of this book in exchange for my honest feedback. This is it!*
About Michael Schutz
Michael Schutz was born and raised in the frozen tundra of Wisconsin, where the macabre tales of Ray Bradbury and Stephen King kept him warm at night. He’s seen way too many horror movies to be healthy and wants to pull you into his warped world of blogging and podcasting with Darkness Dwells (http://www.wheredarknessdwells.com). He is the author of the novels EDGING and Blood Vengeance and the novella Uninoch. His short fiction has been featured most recently in Crossroads in the Dark II: Urban Legends, Dark Moon Digest, Sanitarium, and the anthologies Beasts: Revelations, Beyond the Nightlight, and Cranial Leakage: Tales from the Grinning Skull. He lives with his three naughty cat-children in northern California. You can keep tabs on him at:
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