Today we want to welcome back Lesley-Ann from Housewife of Horror. This time she shares her thoughts on Hunter Shea’s CREATURE. Thanks for sharing with us, Lesley-Ann! If you have an original review you’d like to share with Horror After Dark please click HERE!
The monsters live inside of Kate Woodson. Chronic pain and a host of autoimmune diseases have robbed her of a normal, happy life. Her husband Andrew’s surprise of their dream Maine lake cottage for the summer is the gift of a lifetime. It’s beautiful, remote, idyllic, a place to heal.
But they are not alone. Something is in the woods, screeching in the darkness, banging on the house, leaving animals for dead.
Just like her body, Kate’s cottage becomes her prison. She and Andrew must fight to survive the creature that lurks in the dead of night.
Lesley Ann’s 5 Star Review
“Yep, better it was a figment of her imagination, a bit of spoiled gruel. If the shadow wanted to stay in the kitchen, let it”
It’s never a good idea to go to a cabin in the woods now is it?
I was totally enthralled from the start, the characters, the setting, the relationships, and of course, the monster; it is all blended beautifully in this fantastically creepy book from the exceptionally talented Hunter Shea. A deeply engrossing read from start to finish, exciting, emotional, intriguing – The dream sequences especially.
I found myself emotionally connected to the characters from the start, I felt like I was there, part of the family. The relationship between Kate and Andrew, Kate with her illness, and Andrew taking care of her, this was a very special relationship. It brought up quite a lot of emotion within me, I really felt for them, really cared for them. They are such a beautiful couple.
Andrew wants to do something perfect Kate, so he decides to surprise her by taking a leave of absence from work and whisking her away on a summer getaway to her ideal lakeside cottage in Maine. They are surrounded by beautiful woodland and the neighbours a good few miles away. They won’t be disturbed, or so they believe.
This book was both full of horror and also, full of character. The daily struggles of balancing home and work life. Andrew, working a job he hates (we all know that struggle) so much to pay the bills and take care of his wife. And Kate, suffering with a debilitating autoimmune disease (Lupus and Ehlers-Danlos), struggling every second with her pain, not just physically, but emotionally. She has a constant battle with her inner demons as they manifest themselves into her reality. It was the little things, the tenuous relationship with her mother, who favours her brother Ryker, as well as her close bond with Ryker and his wife Nikki. I loved the little nicknames they have for each other, Andrew referring to Kate as ‘Crip’ was a little adorable.
I appreciated how deep into their personal lives we were taken, the anger Andrew feels at times towards Kate for being ill, and then at himself for feeling that way. It really hit home how difficult it must be living in a situation like that, how frustrating and crushing it must get. How helpless you must feel sometimes when all you want is for the person you love to be well and happy, and how terribly difficult it must be to see them suffer. And it goes without saying, how much of a waking nightmare at times it must be for the person suffering.
The part of the book I found most disturbing was not the monster and the carnage it created, but Nikki, Kate’s sister in law. For me, she was the most terrifying aspect; her change in personality was truly shocking. The nastiness and hate that came from within her when her husband was killed was horrific. What was even more frightening to me was how true this is, after such a traumatic experience, seeing her husband die in such a way, I could very much understand her anger and resentment towards Kate.
This is a wonderful read, one a horror fan will adore I’m sure. This was my second read from Hunter Shea, and they just seem to get better and better. I have ‘Ghost Mine’ up next, soon to be released from Flame Tree Press.
If you are a fan of character driven storylines and horror, then ‘Creature’ is most definitely the book for you.
You can also read Kimberly’s 5 star review here: http://www.horrorafterdark.com/2018/09/review-creature-hunter-shea/
About The Author
Hunter Shea is the author of over 25 books, with a specialization in cryptozoological horror that includes The Jersey Devil, The Dover Demon, Loch Ness Revenge and many others. As part of the new horror line at Flame Tree Press, his novel Creature has gained critical acclaim. His novel, The Montauk Monster, was named one of the best reads of the summer by Publishers Weekly. A trip to the International Cryptozoology Museum will find several of his cryptid books among the fascinating displays. Living in a true haunted house inspired his Jessica Backman: Death in the Afterlife series (Forest of Shadows, Sinister Entity and Island of the Forbidden). In 2011, he was selected to be a part of the launch of Samhain Publishing’s new horror line alongside legendary author Ramsey Campbell. When he’s not writing thrillers and horror, he also spins tall tales for middle grade readers on Amazon’s highly regarded Rapids reading app.
An avid podcaster, he can be seen and heard on Monster Men, one of the longest running video horror podcasts in the world, and Final Guys, focusing on weekly movie and book reviews. His nostalgic column about the magic of 80s horror, Video Visions, is featured monthly at Cemetery Dance Online. You can find his short stories in a number of anthologies, including Chopping Block Party, The Body Horror Book and Fearful Fathoms II.
A lifetime New Yorker, Hunter is supported by his loving wife and two beautiful daughters. When he’s not studying up on cryptozoology, he’s an avid explorer of the unknown, having spent a night alone on the Queen Mary, searching for the Warren’s famous White Lady of the Union Cemetery and other mysterious places.
You can follow his travails at www.huntershea.com.