Eight Cylinders: Jason Parent
Reviewed By Jason Parent
When this book was announced, I was ambivalent about it.
On one hand, I was excited for Jason. He’s an author who has always been very kind and supportive to myself both with writing and reviewing.
On the other hand, I’m not a car guy or a shoot ’em up guy in the least. Fast and the Furious? Not for me. Car shows and engine specs? I’m fine thanks.
Having read ‘The Apocalypse Strain’ by Parent, I knew he’d make this a fun time, but it wasn’t until Joe Hempel, audiobook narrator extraordinaire, posted about it on Facebook that I was at all excited about it. In an odd coincidence, the very next day this book was offered for review on Kendall Reviews, so I snagged it.
What I liked: Holy Hell. I was just going to read maybe the first 10% last night. I ended up reading it in a single, high-octane sitting.
The story opens up with Seb and his accomplice cornered in Vegas and involved in a shootout. Seb is wounded and manages to flee in his muscle car. He wakes up in a strange town in the desert with no memory of how he got there. Odder still, the people that saved his life.
Parent decided to start this novella with the pedal to the metal and somehow he managed to find another gear. When we learn about the odd creature that prevents the inhabitants from leaving this place, it goes even more full throttle and we get a Mad Max level action sequence that was fantastically done.
The creature in this is stunning and the cover art here really captures the feeling of this read. Parent did such a great job of making me read this on the cusp of hyperventilating that when we get to the end and we see where Seb has arrived I was hoping like hell we’d have a line or two saying there’d be a sequel.
What I didn’t like: This is going to sound incredibly lame, but one thing I found was too many names starting with the letter ‘S.’ We don’t get much time to learn who each new character is and I found I was a bit confused at some moments over who was who.
As well, and again, minor – I wanted to learn more about the area and the creature. Probably for the best we don’t but COME ON PARENT, write a second novella!
Why you should buy this: This was a blast. Parent kept the action racing and the book sped along at 200mph. I really found this setting worked spectacularly for the story and loved how this played out.
When a book grabs me and holds me like this and I can’t put it down, that’s an easy five stars for me.
Sebastian “Seb” McAlister has run out of luck in Vegas. Cornered by a trigger-happy gang and shot through the stomach, he makes a desperate escape in his supercharged Hellcat. Fate guides Seb safely out of Sin City and into the desert, but as his wheels fade into the horizon, he fades into darkness.
He awakes among a tiny community in the middle of nowhere. A mountain range circles the hodgepodge of shacks like prison walls looming high. And the warden that resides in those mountains is big, ugly, and deadly—a creature straight out of a Lovecraftian nightmare.
If Seb hopes to escape that wayward way station, he’ll need enough cunning to outwit a force beyond comprehension… and a fast car. With a little luck and a ragtag group of would-be monster mashers racing alongside him, Seb just might have a shot of making it through the mountains alive.
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