{Guest Book Review} Monster Double Feature: Mark Cassell

Monster Double Feature: Mark Cassell

Reviewed By Mark Anthony Smith

Gosh! You’ll know I’m a busy chap if you follow me on Twitter. I vowed never to review books because others do it so well. But Cassell’s book changed that. I think, when you read something exciting, it makes you want to respond to it. This book is a diamond.

I was expecting, I suppose, something pulpy. Think ‘Night of the crabs’ by Guy N. Smith. The book cover certainly promotes an easy read. It was the stylish cover that made me pick this book up. However, read on to discover my surprise…

What I like about this book

The creatures are genuinely threatening. I also liked the menacing twists. Just when you think Elliot is going to be helped, he is, shall we say, ‘knifed in the back.’ In ‘River of Nine-Tails’, the characterisation is flawless. Even the ‘sudden’ victims draw you in. That is to say, that Cassell’s bit actors have depth too. The pacing is fast. But there is room to breathe too.

For me, Cassell’s Social commentaries are the real unique selling point. The author is ‘bang on the money’ as he compares and contrasts Vietnam with the modern West. For those clarities of thought (and there’s a few examples), ‘River of Nine-Tails’ is a re-read.

Scott, in ‘Reanimation Channel’ is just as insightful as Cassell’s previous protagonist. Here, he responds to creatures that are just as menacing as those in ‘River…’ Personally, I think this second of the ‘Monster double features’ ends on a more Lovecraftian note. It’s certainly much closer to home.

What I didn’t like about this book

I wanted to say something meaningful here. But to be frank, as earlier mentioned, this book roused a ‘call to arms’ to review a book – which I only usually do on Amazon. So, if you’re looking for bad points, then you’d be asking the wrong person. I love Cassell’s prose style, his dramatic timing (as a storyteller) and also his exact social meditations.

Why you should buy this book

It’s a straightforward, punchy read with well-rounded characterizations and genuine dread. The prose is sumptuous and the images are visual. Full marks from me.

Monster Double Feature: Mark Cassell

From the author of the Shadow Fabric mythos comes this 78-page chapbook featuring two stories.

A British traveller desperate to escape his past finds himself at the heart of a Vietnamese legend, and learns why the Mekong Delta is known as “River of Nine Tails.” And a regular parcel collection from a neighbour becomes a descent into terror through the online game, “Reanimation Channel.”

You can buy Monster Double Feature from Amazon UK Amazon US

Mark Anthony Smith

Mark Anthony Smith was born in Hull, East Yorkshire. He is the author of three books. His latest short story appears in ‘A – Z of Horror: D is for Demons’ published by Red Cape publishing. Check out commissioned Horror art and free reads at www.markanthonysmith.com. Follow him on Twitter @MarkAnthonySm16 

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.