Blood Island: Tim Waggoner
Reviewed By Brian Bogart
Remember the good old days?
You know the ones I’m talking about. The days when ocean predators stayed in the deep blue, and if you stayed close to the shore-or hell, even in the middle of town- there was no need to run for your life as rows of sharp teeth came barrelling at you, complete with the gory entrails of your best friend or co-worker dangling from the corners of their pink gums…
Yeah. Unfortunately, the film crew in Tim Waggoner’s newest from Severed Press, BLOOD ISLAND, barely have time to think back to those simpler, gentler times. They spend the majority of the book contemplating how to survive and not be eviscerated around every corner. Even while on land.
If the above introduction doesn’t bring to mind a B-movie with all the trimmings and make you smile- there’s a good chance this book wouldn’t even be on your radar. But if- like me- you enjoy a good creature feature with bikinis, blood and can check your believability at the door… there is plenty of good, old-fashioned horror to be had here between the blood-soaked pages.
“The Mass will eat well this day. It will add the ur-tadpoles’ substance to its own and grow larger and stronger. It will save several of the ur-tadpoles to serve as Hunters until such time as it can find better – and bigger – servants. Life here at the dawn of time is extremely good for the Mass.
And it’s only going to get better…”
Enter the Mass, an organic and primitive life form. It has survived hundreds of millions of years, with but one thing in mind. Hunger. It feeds constantly, growing and evolving. It seeks out other creatures to help accomplish this- bonding and connecting to them with strange, snake-like umbilical cords that, when severed, seek out its next host.
No longer content with feeding in the depths, it moves closer to shore. It feels drawn to it, intrigued by the potential it sees. And though humans are weak compared to the predators it usually controls… it does offer a chance to evolve the hunt.
Change is good. Humans are much tastier than it had anticipated. Not to mention, they possess a wonderful thing called imagination. That particular trait opens up many more ways to feed. And it has found the perfect host: a horror movie director with a twisted imagination. No longer constrained by a lack of budget or incompetent special effects artists, the Mass will help her bring her ultimate vision to life.
The book has no qualms living up to that B-movie dream, either. It seeks out to do what it intends to do, fleshing out the characters just enough, right before removing said flesh. Clocking in at under 150 pages, it doesn’t waste time getting there, either. A very quick read, getting down and dirty from the very start.
BLOOD ISLAND is a gory deep sea thriller and gives horror fans plenty to smile about, alongside the occasional “WTF” moment. Especially for fans of the types of movies it pays homage to.
Sex, sand, sharks, psychics and plenty of limbs torn and devoured. Good stuff. A well-written horror romp, with tongue planted firmly in cheek- Waggoner delivers.
The Mass, an island-sized creature formed entirely of mutated blood cells, has drifted across the world’s oceans for millions of years. It uses sharks – the most efficient predators the planet has ever produced – as extensions of itself to gather food. For the most part, the Mass and its Hunters have avoided contact with the human race, but now it’s entered the waters off Bridgewater, Texas, where a film crew is busy shooting a low-budget horror film called Devourer of the Deep. The Mass is about to discover something called human imagination, and the humans are about to learn that battling a monster in real life is a little harder than fighting one on screen.
Brian Bogart is an American author of dark fiction and horror/fantasy. He has written stories most of his life and has been a fan of the genre since the age of seven. His approach to storytelling is a tad macabre at times but tries to capture the nuances of the humanity and sometimes, inhumanity, beneath the surface. He supports the horror community with bloodied open arms and demonic vigor.
Dream Darkly and Keep Writing.
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