Berserker – Green Hell: Lee Franklin
Reviewed By Steve Stred
I have an odd relationship with war/army/military fiction. On the one hand, I absolutely love that we get these crazy stories set in completely inhospitable settings with characters typically willing to do whatever it takes to survive. On the other hand, and it’s hard to describe or put into words, but I’m not overly a fan of military fiction. I wish I could do better than that, but I’d almost always love to see survivors of a plane crash or a hiking group lost in place of military folks every single time.
Saying that, the author of ‘Berserker:Green Hell’, Lee Franklin has a military background, so going in I was content in knowing that this was going to be in capable hands.
What I liked: ‘Berserker: Green Hell‘ tells the story of a group of Australian soldiers operating in Vietnam. Something else appears to be lurking within the jungle and when it comes for them, they are forced to survive.
We get thrown directly into the middle of an ongoing incident and as things escalate, Franklin does a fantastic job of keeping the tension high and the reader on their toes. We get to feel the sweat on our skin and the stench of our bodies which grows worse and worse as the story moves along.
I liked how we get to see our main character come to grips with their reality. At first, they are stuck on the aspect of them being a soldier for Australia and that means specific rules of war/combat apply. But as that fades they push forward and persevere.
What I didn’t like: The story, for me anyway, took an odd turn with the arrival of the American troops. At first I was thinking this was a fairly straightforward creature-feature in the jungle story, but that kink in the narrative was jarring. As well, I found the start to be a bit jumbled with how many characters get introduced with nothing of detail to really separate who was who.
Why you should buy this: This was a fast-paced survival story that really keeps you humming along and wondering just what was going to happen next. Franklin’s insight made some moments in here really unnerving and fans of jungle-military-horror fiction will be excited for how this plays out.
Berserker – Green Hell
Something lurks in the northern shadows of Vietnam.
Known as the Reapers, Pinny and his special group of soldiers are sent to collect dog tags from their fallen comrades only to uncover the sinister underbelly of the Vietnam War, and a monstrous secret beyond comprehension.
Pinny might survive the war, but can he save his humanity?
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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