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.THE DEVIL'S FINGERS by Hunter Shea
Published by Lyrical Underground on October 23, 2018
Genres: Cosmic Horror, Dark Fiction, Fiction, Horror, Mystery, Psychological Horror, Suspense, Thriller, Weird Tales
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“Old school horror.” —Jonathan Maberry
WHAT HAS LONG PINK FINGERS AND SMELLS LIKE ROTTING FLESH?
It is a slime-covered fungus known for its pinkish red tentacles and pungent odor. It is indigenous to Australia but has spread to North America. Its Latin name is Clathrus Archeri, also known as Octopus Stinkhorn. Most people call it The Devil’s Fingers . . .
I DON’T KNOW BUT IT’S GROWING ON YOUR NECK.
Deep in the woods of Washington, botanist Autumn Winters stumbles onto a field of the luridly colored fungi. Two of her fellow campers make the mistake of touching it. Now it’s growing on them. Fleshy gelatinous pods. Sprouting from their skin. Feeding on their blood . . .
AND IT’S STILL GROWING.
Autumn watches in horror as her friends are transformed into monstrosities—grotesque, human-fungal hybrids as contagious and deadly as any virus. Autumn knows she must destroy these mutations before they return to civilization. But if there’s one thing that spreads faster than fear, it’s The Devil’s Fingers . . .
Raves for The Montauk Monster
“A lot of splattery fun.” —Publishers Weekly
“Frightening, gripping.”—Night Owl Reviews
THE DEVIL’S FINGERS is Book 3 in Hunter Shea’s “One Size Eats All” series. Simply put, this was amazing!
The one thing I noticed that really set this book apart from its predecessors is the tone. The first two books, JURASSIC FLORIDA, and RATTUS NEW YORKUS were almost all “fun”, dark-comedic tales with bucketfuls of gore and a mass of carnage. These were pure “B-movie” style enjoyment to most horror lovers. THE DEVIL’S FINGERS–while still retaining that dark, sarcastic wit–is a bit more “serious” in execution.
“. . . The gradual uphill climb had seemed easy . . . It was amazing how arduous and stifling things got the second they had to sprint like madmen . . . “
Well, maybe not THAT serious.
The other main difference is that here, we are dealing with seven main characters, primarily. These seven friends are off in a remote wooded area for what is supposed to be a short “memorial” and get-together combined. These individuals ALL stand out to the reader in unique ways. Shea’s characterization is spot-on, as I truly felt a connection to everyone of them by the end of the story.
“. . . Did you think that was Cthulhu’s bastard children out there?”
However, the story still has that sarcasm-laced banter that I love in these books. In this case, not only did it showcase each character’s own personality more, but also served to show their placement in relation to the other friends in this grouping.
When Autumn, the only one still in college, recognizes a mass of rarely-seen-out-of-Australia type of fungus, she identifies it to the others. Although it loses “some” of it’s mysterious and repellant presence in the eyes of the group, there is not a person there comfortable with the sight before them.
“. . . Personally, I prefer their nickname, the Devil’s Fungus . . . “
This infusion of fact and fiction is something Shea excels in. The factual existence of this fungus immediately brings a new level of credence to the story because it does, in fact, exist. I’ll admit the repulsive descriptions had me grimacing in disgust (not to mention checking out the lawn near the woods once or twice . . . ). Building on something nature had already created and making it “his own” kept the novella “real” in my mind. Add to this some dynamic characters, and I devoured every written word in nearly one sitting.
“. . . Someone has to be behind the Frankenfungus.”
The location and atmospheric conditions described were likewise perfect to the continuity of this tale. I can’t honestly think of a single thing that felt overtly “out-of-place” here. The emotions our friends face and change to contend with their altering environment seemed to be a natural reaction when faced with something . . . inexplicable.
“. . . It’s better than saying a fungus field kicked our asses.”
Overall, I was very impressed with Shea’s latest novella. He’s shown us he can tackle characterization, facts as well as fiction, and mix it all up into an incredible story. I sincerely hope these three “One Size Eats All” contributions are eventually combined into one volume for the home shelves. I’m already eagerly awaiting what Hunter Shea comes up with next!