Soon: Lois Murphy
Reviewed By Steve Stred
‘Soon‘ was a book that I completely failed on reviewing.
What I mean by that, was at one point it had been selected by a fellow reviewer in our group chat for Kendall Reviews, but for whatever reason wasn’t reviewed. (That person has subsequently left Team KR). Gavin reached out and asked if I’d review it, which I said ‘absolutely, it looks great,’ but after he sent it, I somehow forgot to add it to my list or missed it being loaded and, so, my sincerest apologies to Lois Murphy and Titan Books. I believe this has been on my Kindle since October of 2019.
Now, you may wonder – ‘Steve, how did you rediscover it?’
The answer is sadly BORING! I was clearing my Kindle from DNF files and saw it sitting in my document folder. My eyes went wide when I saw it and realized I had missed it long ago.
What I liked: So, now that we’re done with my apology and we’ve moved onto something resembling a review – ‘Soon‘ initially struck me in a similar way to the book ‘Hex.’ In ‘Hex‘ a town is self-isolated from the world because a witch lives amongst them and they’ve created a symbiotic living arrangement. In ‘Soon,’ the small town of Nebulah has self-isolated itself from the outside world, because every night, a ravenous, killing mist descends on the town, dispatching any living being that is out once the sun goes down.
The story follows retired police officer Pete. Pete moved to Nebulah years before the mist descended, trying to remove himself from the hectic cop life of a big city as well as the failings of his personal life.
Murphy does a great job of making Pete a real character, someone with faults that almost outweigh his positives. We meet the small contingent of survivors, or stragglers. The last people who’ve stayed behind, abandoned by the government and unable to relocate. This group had some fantastic dynamics and Murphy made sure to play each of them perfectly, pitting their own strengths and weaknesses against each other as well as inwards when necessary.
One thing I found was that throughout, the idea of the night arriving and the mist coming for those outside was enthralling. You knew it would happen over and over again, but you absolutely dreaded when it arrived.
What I didn’t like: While the mist arriving was always dreaded, we didn’t get much page time with it actually doing anything. Part of it was from the style that Murphy told the story, while the other part seemed to be a theatrical way of building up the suspense of the ‘what’ of the mist.
I found the character of Xandrea to be completely annoying – which was the point – but to the degree of almost derailing the story at the stage she was introduced, and the others that came with her and I felt Alice was borderline unnecessary.
Why you should buy it: ‘Soon‘ is a book that you’ll know if it’s for you from the synopsis. While I did compare it momentarily to ‘Hex,’ fear not – ‘Soon‘ is night and day superior to what ‘Hex‘ delivered. I found I was constantly pulled back into the story and Murphy created some truly ‘real’ characters, characters that were far from perfect. This allowed me to connect and root for or against them.
At the end of the day, I really messed up by missing this one, and now that I’ve read it, I really hope others out there push this up their TBR!
On winter solstice, the birds disappeared, and the mist arrived.
The inhabitants of Nebulah quickly learn not to venture out after dark. But it is hard to stay indoors: cabin fever sets in, and the mist can be beguiling, too.
Eventually only six remain. Like the rest of the townspeople, Pete has nowhere else to go. After he rescues a stranded psychic from a terrible fate, he’s given a warning: he will be dead by solstice unless he leaves town – soon.
Steve Stred is the author of a number of novels, novellas and collections. He has appeared in anthologies with some of Horror’s heaviest hitters.
He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada with his wife, son and their dog OJ.
You can follow Steve on Twitter @stevestred
You can follow Steve on Instagram @stevestred
You can visit Steve’s Official website here