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.THEY FEED by Jason Parent
Published by Sinister Grin Press on April 15, 2018
Genres: Creature Feature, Crime, Dark Fiction, Fiction, Horror, Thriller
Buy on Amazon
The night uncovers all we wish not to see.
A troubled man enters a dusky park before sunset. A young woman follows, hidden in shadow. Both have returned to the park to take back something the past has stolen from them, to make right six long years of suffering, and to find justice or perhaps redemption—or maybe they'll settle for some old-fashioned revenge.
But something evil is alive and awake in those woods, creatures that care nothing for human motivations. They’re driven by their own insatiable need: a ravenous, bottomless hunger.
The campgrounds are full tonight, and the creatures are starving. Before the night is over, they will feed.
An unrelenting tale of terror from Jason Parent, acclaimed author of People of the Sun and What Hides Within.
THEY FEED, by Jason Parent, is a “fun-filled”, fast-paced creature-feature that reminded me of a large roller coaster–one moving steadily up, until that final plummet which brings your heart leaping into your throat, at the very end.
Tyler Kendrick has just been released from a jail sentence, the result of a dubious conviction from an incident that occurred in Galveston State Park. Despite the amount of evidence that conflicted with the accusations leveled at Tyler, the town needed a scapegoat and quickly had him sentenced.
“. . . The people who’d called for his head, all self-righteous and God-fearing, . . . The difference between Tyler and them was that Tyler knew exactly how little he was worth.”
Unable to get over what he’d been through–before, during, and after, prison–Tyler was still drawn back magnetically to that same park.
“. . . the things he’d seen, the things he’d done . . . They’d definitely turned the chip on his shoulder into a whole bag of Doritos.”
In a creature-feature, there are several key things that I look for. The first being an unrelenting sense of action. The plot should inexorably move forward at a decent pace–preferably with carnage and gore along the way. The next, an atmosphere conductive to the type of creature being presented. In this case, we have a wooded town park with plenty of campers, trails, and woods to conceal those that wish to be hidden.
“What was outside wanted in.”
You also need characters whose plight will feel authentic to you. Whether you’re meant to like or despise them, you want to feel that “connection” with each individual throughout the course of the novel.
“. . . Maybe the prospect of being eaten alive had cured him of his suicidal tendencies . . . “
Finally, I like to read about a “unique” creature, or at least one with unusual physical traits and/or abilities.
Much to my delight, in THEY FEED, Parent easily met all of the above mentioned elements.
When Tyler returns, he’s not the only one in the woods that day. Each character we meet has their own agenda, yet the “monsters” that come out aren’t exactly discriminating about their meals.
“Does anyone else feel like that thing is watching us?”
The characters here are quite the mismatched group. Though some are connected in the most tenuous of ways, they are now forced together by a common enemy–something none of them can understand.
“. . . monsters were the creations of books and movies. In the real world, men were the only monsters.”
When you have all of these features combined in one story–along with a twisted kind of creature that excels at causing gruesome, painful deaths–you have the makings of a memorable horror novel. This one may just make you think twice about camping in the woods again . . .
“. . . There’s something rotten about it . . . It gets worse every year, like whatever’s polluting it keeps spreading . . . “