Severed: Joshua Marsella
Reviewed By Simon Paul Wilson
Severed is the eagerly anticipated prequel to Joshua Marsella’s debut novella, Scratches.
While Severed can be read first, I highly recommend reading Scratches before tackling this tale. By doing so, the horrors within will punch that little bit harder.
In Scratches, we met a seriously vile being called George Hanscott. Severed promises to reveal just why George became so twisted and evil. I was very keen to find out, so jumped at the chance to beta read this story.
I’m very happy to say that Marsella’s second novella did not disappoint.
After a very spooky prologue, we are taken to Northern Vietnam in 1967. Sgt. George Hanscott is leading his small band of troops through the jungles of this war-torn country.
After arriving at a small fishing village, the soldiers of Third Squad learn of an ancient evil that is so malevolent, it taints the very land itself.
Obviously, it’s this force of darkness that spells doom for Hanscott and his men.
Other reviews have mentioned that one of the strong points of this novella is the relationship between the men of Third Squad. I totally agree with this opinion. Marsella does a great job of bringing these men to life and making them believable. It’s so sad that they are all going to face some very terrible things indeed…
While Scratches had some very creepy moments, Severed takes things a step further and throws a few buckets of gore into the mix. There are some very nasty set pieces that I absolutely loved in this novella, one of which will stay with me for quite some time!
Keeping this review spoiler-free, I will just say that this story goes very dark very quickly. I do enjoy a horror that keeps me turning the pages, wondering who will die next, and how. Severed did exactly that. Wonderful stuff.
It has to be said that the ending of this book is a tad bleak. Not that I was expecting sunshine and flowers! That being said, It’s certainly one of those endings that will stay with you.
When I finished this book, I turned to my wife and said “Bloody hell, that was a bit good!”
Personally, I think Severed was an excellent read and am very interested to see where Joshua Marsella goes with this story for book three. I can only imagine the horrors that await.
In this prequel to SCRATCHES, the members of Third Squad are sent on a recon mission to Northern Vietnam in 1967. Their squad leader, Sgt. George Hanscott, has to make the difficult decision to disobey his unit’s direct orders putting his squad’s lives at risk, or help a local fishing village end the terror that’s been plaguing them for over a century. Will his decision backfire or will his squad of US Marines be able to destroy the evil entity they don’t quite understand?
Will we find out how George became such a heinous monster? Do we really want to know?
Simon Paul Wilson
Simon Paul Wilson is a U.K. based writer of horror and science fiction.
He is currently writing a cyberpunk horror trilogy, the first of which is GhostCityGirl and was published by Not A Pipe publishing in 2020.
Click this link for more info: Ghost City Girl
There now follows a list of writers who have influenced his reading tastes and writing style:
James Herbert. Stephen King, Shaun Hutson, Clive Barker, China Mieville, Haruki Murakami, Carlton Mellick III, Brian Keene, and Adam Nevill.
Simon lives somewhere in the middle of England with his wonderful family. He likes to listen to post-rock and progressive rock at loud volumes. He also plays a mean air bass.
Follow him on Twitter: @spwzen