Review: Creature by Hunter Shea

Creature by Hunter Shea
Flame Tree Press (September 6, 2018)
282 pages; $24.95 paperback; $14.95 paperback
Reviewed by Frank Michaels Errington

Yes, I consider myself a Hellion. That’s how Hunter Shea refers to his most ardent followers. I can’t say I’ve read every one of his books (he’s remarkably prolific), but I’ve yet to read one I didn’t care for.

Creature is the second book I’ve read from new publisher  Flame Tree Press, who looks to publish both established authors and new voices in horror and the supernatural, crime and mystery thrillers, as well as science fiction and fantasy. It’s also a bit of a diversion for Hunter. It’s easily his most personal work to date. Sure, there’s a monster, that’s evident from the title, but this book is so much more.

From the opening line — Kate Woodson was dying and her executioner was her own body. — the reader realizes there is something different about this story.

For a while, it seemed the horror in the book would be found in the medical treatments Kate would have to undergo. In an effort to get away from the doctors and treatments for a while, Kate, her husband Andrew, and her beloved dog, Buttons, retreated to an isolated cabin in the woods of Maine. It’s not long before they discover they are not alone. I love this kind of story and Hunter Shea delivers a good one. Pure, unadulterated horror.

Despite the serious nature of Creature, the author still knows how to entertain with his storytelling:

She knew lobster was big up here. Too bad she refused to eat something that looked like a cockroach from hell.

I’m used to Hunter Shea’s monster fare but, despite the title, Creature is a more complete book with greater substance throughout. At times the pace was furious and I just couldn’t turn the pages fast enough. This is one of his most entertaining books so far. Be sure to have a box of tissues handy, just in case. A heart-wrenching story with massive amounts of carnage. Dare I say there is something for everyone.

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