Wednesday, June 2

Fallen Angel by Amy Grech and Michael McCarty

Now, I know the name of this blog is Paperback Horror, and I swore to myself that I wouldn't go about reviewing anything but paperbacks...but screw it, I lied. If you think about it, within a year about 25% of sales are going to be e-books, so why not jump up and give it a shot?

Darkside Digital's Fallen Angel tells the story of an 18 year old girl - Angel - who was sexually abused by her father. Angel's long time friend, Uncle Brew, comes to visit her and ends up consoling her upon learning of her father's death. Angel moves back into her childhood home only to find out that strange and terrible things await her there.

First and foremost, I must warn those who are interested in this novella that this story deals with very sensitive subject matter. Because of the short length of the novella, delving any deeper than that would mean scores of spoilers.

Grech and McCarty have penned something very daring, and potentially controversial - but have done so with a Laymon/Lee feel that is very familiar to those who prefer their horror to be of the more "extreme" persuasion. If you've read and enjoyed Laymon's more risque novels, you'll enjoy this quick read.

The character - Angel - is sympathetic and understandable, and the villain - Angel's Father - is utterly despicable. The contrast between the two works out well here, and left me almost as satisfied as I would have been had I sat down and watched one of my favorite late 80's/early 90's slasher flicks. The book itself on clocks in at about 50 pages, and really moves along. In fact, I'd say it almost feels more like a movie script than a novella, which is a good thing for the visually minded person.

Fallen Angel isn't the only piece that these two authors have collaborated on. March 2010 saw Grech and McCarty tackle an interview with horror fiction legend Jack Ketchum, in the pages of The Brutarian - a quarterly magazine focussing primarily on "fringe" culture.

Grech, who can be found at her online home - Crimson Screams - is also the author of over 100 short stories and 3 poems. She's also written Blanket of White - a collection of short stories that was published by Damnation Press in 2009 and made available here.

Mike McCarty is the author of 12 books including Liquid Diet, Little Creatures, I Kissed a Ghoul, and Attack of the Two Headed Poetry Monster (which was co-authored with Mark McLaughlin). You can catch him at his MySpace page, and purchase most of his books at The Horror Mall.

The only down side to this little treat is the .pdf formatting. There were a couple of confused paragraph placements, and a few grammar errors, but nothing that can't be overlooked. I can only assume that there will be a fair amount of problems with formatting during the infancy of digital publishing. Not everybody is using the same machines, and a lot of programs are libel to present problems for not only the readers, but the publishers as well. I mean, I read this one on my iPod Touch, so it stands to reason that more people will read on whatever device they can.

All in all, this was a great way to start my adventures in digital reading. And at a measly $3.95 US, who would pass up the chance? It sure beats paying upwards of $50 on a hardcopy of a novella.

Check out Fallen Angel at the horror mall here.


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