I went into this short book based on the title, the cover (it’s a kick-ass pentagram!!!), and the fact it was another tale in the Short Sharp Shocks! collection.
Imagine my delight when I found out the main character was in a metal band! Terrance and his girl, Nicole, visit Oddfellows Observatory, hoping to scope the place out for some band photos. There’s a legend around the place that members of a cult went missing there in the 70s. What’s not to be intriguing about that for a metal band?
Legend has it that this great building expands as the years go by, a room a year. That’s quite a strange concept and things only get stranger and more terrifying as the couple delve deeper into the place.
Well, I say delve, but the decision is taken out of their hands. Before Terrance knows it he’s caught inside the building as it ‘grows’ around him. But he’s alone. He needs to find Nicole.
As the story hurtles along, Terrance finds he’s not alone in the place after all, although he instantly wishes he was. Ghosts flicker in and out of existence around him, and giant insect monster things see him as their next meal. Only when he talks to a weird lady in the mirror who guides him around the building, does Terrance realise there may be a chance of him and Nicole surviving.
The setting of this observatory is frighteningly vivid in its descriptions. It’s like House of Leaves but with blood-hungry ghosts and scary creatures stalking the corridors. Rooms appearing out of nowhere? It maybe sounds a bit ridiculous, but while reading this all sounded horribly believable. It’s a bit like exploring an alien land in a computer game, but a survival horror game, if you know what I mean.
I enjoyed the references to Electric Wizard, Black Sabbath, and Akercocke, as I always do when metal bands come up in stories. Metal horns were thrown by this reader I can tell you!
This story is a horror/sci-fi/bizarro thrill ride that builds up the tension with a delightful chest-tightening and claustrophobic atmosphere.
SSS! have done it again. You need to be checking this one out.
Categories: book review