{Book Review} Jimmy The Freak: Charles Colyott & Mark Steensland

Jimmy The Freak: Charles Colyott & Mark Steensland

Reviewed By Steve Stred

  • Paperback: 134 pages
  • Publisher: Bloodshot Books (28 Jun. 2019)

Five stars.

I don’t usually start off a review saying something like that, but five stars, five stars, five stars.

I read “The Special.” Then “In the Scrape.”

Those two are about as far about on the spectrum of horror as you can get. But both were moving and both were excellent.

But for us readers, we’re a pernickety bunch, aren’t we? Was that because of James Newman? Just how much did Steensland contribute? (My personal opinion – who cares?) But a lot of readers wonder. It’s very much like when a band splits with their lead singer. Can the singer deliver on their own?

Short answer – yes.

Much like with Newman & Steensland seamlessly blending together, Steensland & Colyott accomplish the same feat.

Jimmy the Freak will garner numerous comparisons to ‘Of Mice and Men’ and while it’s been many, many years since I’ve read that, I’d say it’s fair. But Jimmy the Freak is an updated, real-life version with a whole heaping of emotional rollercoaster thrown in while you read.

We pick up following Mike and Jimmy as they are on the run. During the story, we’ll find the details of why and why they are being chased and it was a really nice take on Jimmy’s “powers.”

Mike is both the worst character I’ve read in some time but the one you will root for the hardest for redemption. Jimmy is a big, loveable guy and while I kind of felt the “his mom dropped him in the tub” back story was a bit played down it worked for a few other aspects throughout.

This story hums along and I found myself devouring each page. I’ve become such a fan of novellas, especially when you’ve finished and you’ve felt as though you read an 800-page epic – this is one such novella that delivers.

When you write a story that’s 80-100 pages long it can be tough to grow emotionally attached, but Colyott and Steensland accomplish just that and by the end of the story it won’t surprise me if you admit you shed a few tears.

This is why horror is such an all-encompassing genre. It can be creatures and death and gore and destructive violence. But it can also be empathy and grief and caring and tears.

If you are looking for a one sit reading and prefer to read something where you will experience every emotion, well, then I can’t recommend Jimmy the Freak enough.

Thank you, Mark, for sending this my way. Jimmy will stay with me for a long, long time.

Star Rating (out of 5): 5*

Jimmy The Freak

Thanks to being dropped on his head when he was a baby, Jimmy is now both mentally disabled and psychic. This has made him the perfect target for abuse by those who would exploit his wild talent for their own power and glory.

Disgusted by his part in the game, Jimmy’s bodyguard Mike takes him on the run. But Mike’s boss isn’t the sort to let a meal ticket go easily, so he dispatches a brutal hitman named Ash to hunt them down and bring Jimmy back to work.

Winding through a snow-covered landscape of back alleys, cheap motels, and strip clubs, Mike must fight his own personal demons while desperately trying to keep Jimmy free.

You can buy Jimmy The Freak from Amazon UK & Amazon US

Steve Stred

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

The Stranger

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.



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…



The Stranger. 

You can buy The Stranger from Amazon UK Amazon US

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