Impossible James – Danger Slater
Reviewed by Steve Stred
Danger Slater was my first foray into true, full-on Bizarro fiction last year, when I read ‘I Will Rot Without You.’ I didn’t really know what to expect and at the time I said I’d probably not read more Bizarro. My brain actually functions very closely to how Danger’s books read, but overall I’m a horror fan through and through.
Saying all of that – Danger Slater is an author and Twitter user whose hustle I admire. He’s honest, upfront and I respect that if he says to message him about something, he’ll message back. There’s no smoke and mirrors with him – what you see is what you get.
Impossible James synopsis is misleading. Actually, scratch that – it is accurate because what Slater says will happen, happens. It’s inaccurate in its marketing approach. Why’s that?
Danger Slater is (gasp, cough, choke) maturing. Maybe not as a person, but as a writer, definitely.
Buried within the totally insane and crazy going-ons in this book are three other narratives. One such arc Slater (when writing as the narrator) breaks the forth wall and tells us directly – it’s a different take on the Frankenstein tale. A mad scientist, a test tube product and a trustworthy assistant. The second arc that really stood out was the sci-fi tale of The Grey Tide. The ‘amazon’ style work place and what happens as Jimmy Watson Jr. finds the cure for death and the world begins to melt down. I was stunned with the depth and fleshing out Slater poured into this part of the tale. He has the writing chops to produce a world-class sci-fi story sitting there already. If he were to expand upon that idea and run with it, I’d be a first day buyer.
The third side arc or plot line that I found utterly fascinating was the mature Danger Slater musing about life and death. There were some of the most breathtaking lines included. It felt foreign to me, that I was reading a book about a man who had a screwdriver impaled in his head and decided to impregnate himself and that I would re-read whole paragraphs regarding philosophy and Slater’s insight into someone with a terminal diagnosis.
And this becomes the crucial part to me as to why I ultimately gave this read a 4-star rating versus a 5-star rating. The stuff that would normally annoy me – I looked passed it, because of both author and genre. I need to remember to suspend my real life feelings towards how professionals should act and societal norms etc when reading Bizarro. I chuckled aloud when James Watson was given only 50 more years to live when finding out about the black spot on his brain. If Slater would have dropped that to 5 years instead of 50 I think he could get some folks emotional and some tears would have been shed while reading this book.
No, what ultimately dropped this down for me was seeing Slater’s capability of writing one of the best sci-fi or even a philosophical dialogue on man’s fragility and then it would be frequently disrupted by the Frankenstein tale. Look, I loved the Frankenstein tale, but now I know what Slater is capable of and whenever he dangled that literary carrot in front of my face, it would be dragged away into an Adam Sandler-esque scene. If the whole book had been just the James Watson storyline of screwdriver-impregnation and aftermath I would have been just fine, but DAMMIT DANGER why’d you have to offer up so many extra feels? Why did you have to make me think about what’s to come, so much?
Overall this book has so much going for it. Fast, bonkers chapters, which I really dug. Slater is so proficient that at times some chapters were merely a paragraph long but the amount of depth it added to the overall story was stellar. The story unravels like a Michael Bay – Hollywood blockbuster with more and more insane twists happening.
Slater never lets up and the ending works well to finish off this totally bonkers story. Slater has elevated himself from his peers with this release and I’m looking forward to seeing what he has in store coming up. I received this book as a pre-release digital ARC so I’m not dinging any stars or anything for some editing issues, I’m going to assume those will be dealt with long before the release date!
Cheers to Slater for writing this book and sending it out into the world. I think this book works well if it’s your first Bizarro read, first Slater read, or if you’ve been a long-time fan of the man known as Danger.
Star Rating (out of 5): 4*
My father was dying. There was no hope. Then he took a screwdriver to the brain. Got pregnant. And found the cure for death.
Impossible? That’s my dad.
Steve Stred is an up-and-coming Dark, Bleak 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, the dark poetry collection Dim the Sun and his most recent release was the coming-of-age, urban legend tale The Girl Who Hid in the Trees.
On June 1st, 2019 his second full-length novel, The Stranger will be welcomed to the world.
Steve is also a voracious reader, reviewing everything he reads and submitting the majority of his reviews to be featured on Kendall Reviews.
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
Ahhh… nothing like the annual summer family camping trip, right?
Malcolm, his wife Sam and their two kids have been staying at the same cabin, at the same campground for years now. Heck, Malcolm’s been coming to the campground since he was a kid.
Miles and miles of groomed trails, hiking, kayaking on the pristine lake. What’s not to like?
But this year… well this year’s different. You see, roof repairs have caused them to have to change their plans. Now they’re staying at the cabin at the end of season, in fact they’re the last campers before it closes for the winter.
While happy to be spending time with the family, Malcolm feels a shift.
The caretaker next door makes it known he hates him.
The trees… move and dance, as though calling him, beckoning him.
Then on a seemingly normal kayaking trip, the family makes a discovery.
YOU TAKE FROM ME
I TAKE FROM YOU
Something’s out there, just on the other side of the fence. Malcolm’s positive it’s just the caretaker trying to scare him, teach the family a lesson.
But what if it’s not…
What if there is something out there?
The Stranger is the second novel from Steve Stred and 9th release overall. The Stranger is another offering following in the footsteps of similar books Invisible, YURI and The Girl Who Hid in the Trees. As Steve describes his works; “dark, bleak horror.”
With this release, Steve has decided to look deeper into what makes humans tick. He confronts two key elements of mankind; bigotry and our environmental footprint.
Featuring stunning cover art by Chadwick St. John (www.inkshadows.com), The Stranger will be a story that will leave you feeling uneasy and have you looking at the trees differently.
Maybe it’s not the wind making the branches sway…