Book Reviews

{Review} X’S FOR EYES, by Laird Barron

{Review} X’S FOR EYES, by Laird BarronX'S FOR EYES by Laird Barron
Published by JournalStone on December 11, 2015
Genres: comedy, Cosmic Horror, Crime, Dark Fiction, Fantasy, Fiction, Horror, Lovecraftian, Mystery, Noir, Occult & Supernatural, Paranormal, Psychological Horror, Science Fiction, Supernatural, Suspense, Thriller, Thrillers & Suspense, Weird Tales
Pages: 94
Format: eBook
Buy on Amazon

Brothers Macbeth and Drederick Tooms should have it made as fair-haired scions of an impossibly rich and powerful family of industrialists. Alas, life is complicated in mid-1950s USA when you're child heirs to the throne of Sword Enterprises, a corporation that has enshrined Machiavelli's The Prince as its operating manual and whose patriarch believes, Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds, would be a swell company logo.

Consider also those long, cruel winters at the Mountain Leopard boarding school for assassins in the Himalayas, or that Dad may be a supervillain, while an uncle occasionally slaughters his nephews and nieces for sport; and the space flight research division of Sword Enterprises "accidentally" sent a probe through a wormhole into outer darkness and contacted an alien god. Now a bloodthirsty cult and an equally vicious rival firm suspect the Tooms boys know something and will spare no expense, nor innocent life, to get their claws on them.

Between the machinations of the disciples of black gods and good old corporate skullduggery, it's winding up to be a hell of a summer vacation for the lads.

X’s FOR EYES, by Laird Barron was a treat to read! Although it began with a Hardy Boys feel–two brothers up against a mystery of some sort–it quickly morphed into something so much more! Add in a scandalous family with no love for even its own, science-fiction/alternate dimension technology, a sadistic school where torture and pain are “useful lessons”, and technological rivals, and you have a very rough outline of what you’ll be getting here.

I’ll admit that I honestly did NOT know where this was going at the beginning, middle, or even near the end. However, that is the beauty of something written by Laird Barron–all the multi-layers and individual threads come together eventually. At least, enough of them do in order for your own mind to make the rest of the connections as you see fit.

One of the things that draws me to this author is, in fact, his ability to give the reader the pieces he or she needs to put the story together, but it is still nearly impossible to do until that final chapter. The anticipation lasts throughout the entire tale.

This one crossed into Fantasy, Horror, Science Fiction, Thriller, Lovecraftian, and possibly a few other genres I’ve either forgotten to add, or failed to identify.

Highly recommended!

About Laird Barron

Born and raised in Alaska, I did time in the wilderness. I raced in several Iditarods. Later, I got the hell out and migrated to Washington State where I devoted myself to American Combato and reading guys like Parker, Ellroy, and McCarthy. At night I wrote tales that smash up noir, crime and horror.

I currently reside in Upstate New York and am writing a novel about the evil that men do.


I am an avid reader/reviewer and collector of books--primarily horror, supernatural, and supernatural-themed thrillers.

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