30 Minutes Or Less – Matthew Vaughn
Reviewed By Steve Stred
For some time now, myself and Matthew Vaughn have interacted on Twitter. It came about randomly/organically, however you want to classify it and it’s been a fun time commenting on each other’s tweets etc. Good rapport.
I finally made the journey into Vaughn’s writing world this past week. I’d previously purchased his release Hellsworld Hotel, which ignited a decent conversation regarding the current state of the ‘Splatterpunk’ genre and when is too much gore and violence too much gore and violence. I myself have never read much that I’d truly considered Splatterpunk, but after reading 30 Minutes or Less I reached out to Cody Tidwell, who I’ve been chatting with a bunch over on Instagram about current reads and life etc. I know he’s a fairly big Splatterpunk fan, and after a bit of a discussion, we came to the conclusion that Barker and Brite from the ‘80s and ‘90s were solid writers of ‘classic Splatterpunk’ and the new entries veer more towards the ‘Extreme horror’ genre. Argue with us if you will, but through that convo I was able to grasp more about what I’d read.
As a caveat upfront – I personally have no problem with gore in any shape or form. I also don’t have any triggers when reading, which may be why I’d never really thought I’ve read Splatterpunk before?
There are triggers a plenty within 30 Minutes or Less though, as at its heart and core this story is an incredibly violent, random home invasion tale. The story is told initially with a detective interviewing Bella, a twenty-something girl who’d invited a few friends over for pizza and some movies. When the doorbell rings and the door is answered all hell breaks loose.
Through a series of questions and replies, Bella relates the tale of what happened to her and her friends as the intruder has his way with them. The story eventually catches up to the ongoing interview and from there we get a final act before it sets up for a part two.
I thoroughly enjoyed the home invasion aspect of the tale. It felt like a mixture between the movies The Strangers and the first Saw. The two things that rubbed me wrong with the story was that it was only 56 pages long and it felt like it took forever for anything to actually start, and I truly and thoroughly hated the character of the detective. It may be part of a long game but within the short time frame of the page count his character drove me nuts and his replies and general lack of caring towards Bella and the disinterest in the situation frustrated me.
Overall this was a decent read for the home invasion tale and I’d be interested to see what the synopsis of the next part will look like, but I’m still struggling with how the detective character played out.
Star Rating (out of 5): 3.5*
30 Minutes Or Less
Bella has the house to herself for the weekend. She invited a couple of her close friends over to watch some movies. They order some pizza and listen to some music. But when the pizza arrives they get more than they were expecting. Now their night of harmless fun has tuned into a night of pure terror.
From the author of Hellsworld Hotel comes an extreme horror, home invasion story in the vain of Slumber Party Massacre and The Strangers.
Steve Stred is an up-an-coming Dark Horror author. Steve is the author of the novel Invisible, the novellas Wagon Buddy, Yuri and Jane: the 816 Chronicles and two collections of short stories; Frostbitten: 12 Hymns of Misery and Left Hand Path: 13 More Tales of Black Magick.
Steve also has a number of works on the go and enjoys all this horror, occult, supernatural and paranormal.
Steve Stred is based in Edmonton, AB, Canada and lives with his wife, his son and their dog Oj.
You can follow Steve on Twitter @stevestred
You can visit Steve’s Official Website here
The Girl Who Hid In The Trees
Something lurks just beyond.
Centuries ago a heinous act created a ripple that still haunts the residents to this very day.
Now the kids who reside near McConnell’s Forest live forever in fear.
Jason lost his brother when he was young. He left with his friends to ‘debunk’ the urban legend and never came back.
Now Jason and his group of friends are fed up and want to discover what is happening, what is the real cause of the terror holding their small town hostage.
But something is waiting for them. She may look sweet and innocent, but the friends are about to find out that pure evil can exist in the smallest of packages.
She’s out there. And while you may not know her name or what she looks like, the local kids will tell you if you ask, that you should fear for your life from the girl who hid in the trees.
From the dark mind of Steve Stred, the author of Wagon Buddy, YURI and Invisible comes this fast-paced, seat of your pants coming-of-age tale. A quick, violent, bleak read, The Girl Who Hid In The Trees will make you think twice about those sounds you hear far off in the woods.