Author Hunter Shea joins me to chat his forthcoming novel, Creature, as well as success, consistency, expectations, and Flame Tree Press.
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Hunter Shea does seem to enjoy penning thrill rides based in the creature feature sub-genre. Oddly enough, despite my assumptions going in, Creature doesn’t really fit in with the other books I’ve read by him where something big and mythical is the subject.
Creature is wholly different.
Firstly, it’s not an adventure horror. Those are fun reads, but can be pretty formulaic (not complaining, observing the observable). As a reader you take in from A to B while the author runs characters through a host of troubles.
The characters in Creature had their troubles, but the beast itself was secondary to illness and the stress resulting from illness. It really was a surprising and pleasant twist when the fog began to clear and the realities became apparent that this wasn’t going to be a there’s something scary in the woods story.
Rather than rehashing the synopsis (why so many reviewers do this, I have no clue), the story is simply about a sick woman and a broken-hearted man trying to survive. In the personal way Shea offers up this tale, it carries some intangible resemblances to Stephen King’s Pet Sematary, littering a journey with bits and pieces until they manifest into a greater foe.
This is a novel that really cooks once it has laid the groundwork and is wholly engaging. It’s much more than most creature features, it has heart and thought, and a superb, head-on horror conclusion. The best Hunter Shea I’ve read so far and by more than a little.