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.RATTUS NEW YORKUS by Hunter Shea
Published by Lyrical Underground on August 21, 2018
Genres: Creature Feature, Dark Fiction, Fiction, Horror, Suspense, Thriller
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Deep in the sewers of New York City, the rat population is growing. Dr. Randolph Finch is determined to break the cycle. His new rodenticide, Degenesis, doesn’t kill rats. It sterilizes them from reproducing. But nothing adapts faster than a New York rat . . .
City exterminators and soon-to-be divorced Chris and Benita Jackson think they know how these rats think. They know how rats breed. And they fear that Degenesis has only made these rats stronger. More aggressive. More intelligent. And more ravenous than ever . . .
TONIGHT’S DINNER SPECIAL: US
After a noticeable surge in rat den activity, the Jacksons witness something strange. Without warning, the rats disappear—only to reassemble in a massive lair beneath Grand Central Station. Millions upon millions of them. Working together. Operating as a hive mind. Feasting on the flesh of the homeless below—and planning their all-out attack on the unsuspecting humans above . . .
Raves for The Montauk Monster
“Old school horror.” —Jonathan Maberry
“A lot of splattery fun.”—Publishers Weekly
“Frightening, gripping.”—Night Owl Reviews
Quote from David Attenborough:
“. . . The problem with rats is that they have no fear of human beings . . . “
RATTUS NEW YORKUS is the second novella in Hunter Shea’s “One Size Eats All” series. In this one, the master of creature-features takes on the rats in Manhattan.
“. . . Most people don’t realize how smart rodents are. They learn from their mistakes and from watching the mistakes of others . . .”
Chris and Benita (Benny) Jackson–a soon-to-be divorced couple, run a business together as New York City exterminators. They’ve seen what rats are capable of, and are ready for just about anything. When Dr. Randolph Finch–“Ratticus” to Chris–develops a new rodenticide that is supposed to render rats sterile, the exterminators begin using it and monitoring the results.
“A healthy fear of rats kept exterminators exterminating.”
“Maybe they hold little rat seminars . . . ‘You ARE Smarter Than the Exterminator’.”
The problem is that while the new product–Degenesis–is supposed to reduce the rat population over time, quite the opposite seems to be happening.
And then some.
“. . . I’m not normally a claustrophobic person, but there was a definite you’re doomed vibe going on . . . “
Shea takes you into the minds of his characters. Irregardless of their impending divorce, Chris and Benny work well together. They know the tenacious nature of these rodents, and they’re not afraid to use a little brute force when all else fails. We get to see how the knowledge they’ve accumulated begins to crumble in the face of what this new poison actually does to the city’s rat population.
“. . . got me to worrying that the rats could now strategize and plan ahead. It was hard to find a silver lining at that moment.”
The comedic banter that I love so much is clearly in full force here. Let’s face it–if your job was killing rodents for a living, you’d need a large dose of sarcastic humor to get through the day. From their own comments, to the actions of “Ratticus” and the citizens of NYC, I found myself laughing–often inappropriately–throughout much of this book.
“They’re moving . . . ”
“‘They can’t. They’re dead’, Marvin kindly reminded her.”
Of course, no creature feature would be complete without buckets full of gore and carnage at every turn. You’ll find that in the most “inventive” and horrific ways all throughout. While the altered rats are doing their worst to reduce humanity into a large, panicked, “all-you-can-eat” buffet, the humans–mainly Chris and Benny at first–are up for some rodent bone breaking and skull crushing of their own.
I bet you never envisioned some of these unconventional uses for a hockey stick or fireplace poker!
“. . . It was like watching the world’s most horrid game of dominoes . . . “
Overall, in my opinion, the combination of the main characters, NYC residents, and the formidable rat population, makes RATTUS NEW YORKUS one of Shea’s most gruesome–and sarcasm-laced novellas to date. The action started in rapidly, and increased dramatically as the book moved forward. The main characters were impossible NOT to root for, and their darkly comedic outlook gave the story some truly memorable moments that I can still picture.
“. . . Lots of somethings dead.”
So far, RATTUS NEW YORKUS is my favorite in Shea’s new “One Size Eats All” trilogy.