Infested: C.M. Forest
Reviewed By Steve Stred
Not so long ago, I was lucky enough to read Forest’s novella ‘We All Fall Before the Harvest.’ This was my first experience with his writing, but, coincidentally, right around the time I was offered that book for review, I was also contacted about an ARC of his upcoming novel ‘Infested.’ I agreed to both, and read the novella first, excited to see how each piece played out.
I have to say – I really enjoyed his novella, but after devouring ‘Infested’ over this past weekend, this one really delivered. I’m not sure about the writing timeline and when each one was originally completed first, but ‘Infested’ showed a progression in prose over ‘We All Fall…’ which I really loved to see.
What I liked: ‘Infested’ is a claustrophobic nightmare. We arrive in the thick of things. Olivia wakes us, her husband missing, a storm raging and the power out. Shortly, she finds people who’re brutalized and soon she sees the cause – massive earwig-like creatures that seemingly zombify the host body.
Forest does a great job of keeping the pacing high and the tension extreme. We gallop along, and you’ll find you’re flipping the pages as fast as you can, wanting to see just who will survive and what will be left of them.
He also does a great job of wrapping in a familial dynamic subplot, one that really worked well to heighten key aspects but also keep the reader guessing until the very end.
What I didn’t like: I almost found the beginning to be too claustrophobic and scattered. It’s hard to describe and remain spoiler-free, but we get a lot of stuff thrown at us immediately and I wanted the pacing to just back off a touch, learn more about Olivia and others.
Why you should buy this: ‘Infested’ is a stomping, creature-feature that will bring you back to the joy of your youth when you’d read these crazy stories that made you squirm and flinch, but ultimately had you wrapped in its grasp until the very end.
Laforest deftly crafts a dark story with great characters and some fantastic twists and turns that really keep you guessing and wishing the power would just turn back on.
Really well done!
Something sinister is happening inside the New Leaf Building.
Olivia wakes on her bedroom floor in a pool of vomit, head spinning. The power is off and her husband is missing. A vicious storm assaults the building, but it is nothing compared to the storm raging outside her apartment door. A parasite has begun invading–possessing–the residents. Transforming them into twisted, murderous versions of their former selves with one thing on their mind. To kill.
Screams echo from the darkened hallways as Olivia, desperate to find her husband, ventures unknowingly into a world of violence and mayhem. Trapped within the New Leaf’s endless corridors, she must face her fears and discover the dark, ancient secret behind the insanity. She must face the Infested.
Steve Stred is the Splatterpunk Nominated Author of ‘Sacrament’ and ‘Mastodon.’
Based in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, Steve has released over a dozen novels and novellas as well as a number of collections. He has appeared alongside some of horror’s biggest names within some truly excellent anthologies.
He is a proud co-founder of the LOHF Writer’s Grant and an Active Member of the HWA.