Remains: Andrew Cull
Reviewed By Aiden Merchant
- Paperback: 214 pages
- Publisher: Ifwg Publishing International (16 Sept. 2019)
I was a bit behind on Andrew Cull, having just read his acclaimed collection, Bones, last month. That being said, it’s better being late to the party than never! His latest novella (or short novel, depending on who you ask), Remains, is quite a disturbing thrill ride. It’s quick, to the point, and frantically exciting. Similar to The Cabin at the End of the World (Paul Tremblay) – in the sense that it is fast-paced and crazily chaotic at times – Remains wastes no time in grabbing you by the wrist and pulling you along like a child at play (only this is not a game you want to share in the “fun”).
As the story moves along, it becomes spookier, bloodier, and more unsettling, the tension ever rising until its closing page. For example, the vehicular death sequence (which made me think of the Final Destination movies) was just brilliant; probably one of the best kills I’ve read this year. The chase that seems to overwhelm the final chapters of the book was truly gripping; I read through them briskly and breathlessly.
If I were to nitpick, there was a large chunk of pages in which Lucy (the distraught mother) repeats the same 2-3 simple lines numerous times, to the point that they became quite tiresome. There were also multiple chapter changes that felt unnecessary and awkward.
These minor complaints aside, Remains certainly establishes Cull as the next horror writer to watch. His ability to write like a movie keeps things lively and engaging throughout, putting you right there on the “set” to witness everything at a distance too close for comfort. Seriously, I imagined a lot of this book in scary detail; it would make a horrific movie topped in adrenaline. Highly recommended.
Grief is a black house. How far would you go?
What horrors would you endure if it meant you might see the son you thought you’d lost forever?
Driven to a breakdown by the brutal murder of her young son, Lucy Campbell had locked herself away, fallen deep inside herself, become a ghost haunting room 23b of the William Tuke Psychiatric Hospital. There she’d remained, until the whispering pulled her back until she found herself once more sitting in her car, calling to the son she had lost, staring into the black panes of the now-abandoned house where Alex had died.
Tonight, someone is watching her back.
Aiden Merchant is an independent author, working under various pseudonyms. He writes horror, suspense, drama, science fiction, fantasy, and whatever else fuels him on any given day. He currently has one collection of short stories available (Dead As Soon As Born).
His next story collection, KILL FOR THEM, will release in September. Before 2019 ends, there will also be some Kindle Singles along the way.
Under his real name, Aiden has been a music journalist since 2008, appearing in such international articles as Alternative Press and Outburn Magazine. Though his days of hitting the road for shows and festivals has since passed, music is still a passion of his that taught him how to write in a critical manner. Reviewing stories is still new to him, but he is very much interested in developing a style of his own.
Aiden is a father of one, married, and living in the Appalachian Mountains of Tennessee (USA). He is originally from further north, as is his wife. He loves to write, read, and explore the outdoors.
Dead As Soon As Born
There is evil inside us all, and no one lives forever.
In this debut collection of short stories from Aiden Merchant, you will bear witness to murderers, monsters, and other horrors.