Cannibal Creator: Chad Lutzke
Reviewed By Steve Stred
Having been on a cannibal/lost in the jungle kick lately, I reached out to Chad to see if he was still looking for reviewers for his next novella, ‘Cannibal Creator.’
I was excited to see what direction Chad would go, knowing he tends to inject stories with emotion and keep the readers on their toes.
‘Cannibal Creator’ starts off with the standard plot aspect of ‘people are going on vacation and get stranded’ but loops off from there in ways I didn’t expect.
What I liked: With this one, two authors who are collaborating on a novel decide to take their families along with them as they head to the Bahamas in 1980. They want some sun, sand and ideas flowing, but on the way there, the pilot suffers a heart attack and they crash land in a remote place.
It’s here, once they’ve landed that they discover they’re not alone and have to try and work together to survive. Chad does a great job of showcasing Kevin’s desire to keep his family alive, even as others don’t make it and it was interesting to see the real reason for the inhabitants who’re living within the remote location.
The ending, while not unexpected was teased nicely, works well and brings things full circle.
What I didn’t like: I found a few things came off a bit underwhelming and some spots almost rated G instead of NC17 like I was expecting. Case in point – someone gets attacked by a hammer. They get hit in the head, fall to the ground. No other real visceral description and the people around act with muted shock, no real explosion of emotion. Same when the pilot has his heart attack. And when the survivors get attacked, we see one get poked with a spear; ‘in and out.’ For something so violent and so brutal, it came off as more like an inconvenient splinter.
As for the overarching narrative of the ‘why’ of inhabitants being in the jungle, I also wasn’t totally sold on it. I think it might’ve worked more if we learned more, had it expanded upon and discussed, but more time was spent on the relationship issues between the husbands and wives than that part.
Why you should buy this: Fans of Lutzke’s will undoubtedly eat this one up. It features all of his trademarks and his fluid way of telling a story. For new fans, they’ll dig the setting, the events and the fear that a spear may arrive to impale them at any given moment.
When a pair of collaborating authors take their families on vacation to Barbados, their plans turn sour when they find themselves in the midst of quasi-primitive cannibals. As tensions rise and secrets are revealed, survival isn’t the only challenge they face.
Steve Stred writes dark, bleak fiction.
Steve is the author of a number of novels, novellas and collections.
He is proud to work with the Ladies of Horror Fiction to facilitate the Annual LOHF Writers Grant.
Steve has appeared alongside some of Horror’s heaviest hitters (Tim Lebbon, Gemma Amor, Adrian J. Walker, Ramsey Campbell) in some fantastic anthologies.
He is an active member of the HWA.
He is based in Edmonton, AB, Canada and lives with his wife and son.
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