Those Who Follow by Michelle Garza and Melissa Lason
Bloodshot Books (July 2017)
206 pages; $14.99 paperback; $3.99 e-book
Reviewed by Chad Lutzke
The moon was rising over the desert on the other side of the doorway, casting its long yellow fingers over the treetops, reaching out to the dilapidated church.
The above passage depicts the main location for the horrors that lie within. The church acts as a prison in another dimension for a group of women who have found their way into the hands of an evil “traveler”—one who has been given other-dimensional property to call his own.
Garza and Lason–-–The Sisters of Slaughter—present an early-Dean-Koontz(ish) tale regarding Celia, a young woman desperately trying to fill a void by way of drugs and alcohol, who is forced to quit cold turkey when winding up prisoner through a portal along a desert road. This is where we meet our first “traveler,” select humans who are given their own area within a parallel universe where they can live an alternate life, doing with their property anything they wish as long as it keeps within certain guidelines. There are rules to follow. One of those rules being to just be cool. Don’t be torturing and killing women, ya’ know? But our antagonist is a fallen angel of sorts who chooses to rebel against the system and do his own thing–-–live out disturbingly dark fantasies. We’ve got a real sicko here that you’ll love to hate.
Caught in her own predicament within a mental hospital is our real-world protagonist, Casey. Thankfully there is empathy there at the hospital, someone who understands that Casey’s auditory and visual hallucinations may be the result of something real, something evil. The two girls and their predicament, we find, are somehow connected, and it’s a race to get them both to safety with the hopes of saving as many others as they can.
The premise to Those Who Follow is unique, the pacing fairly quick, the gore is plenty, and the characters likeable (and hateable). You root for who you should, and the antagonist forces the pages to turn as the reader longs to finally see him get his. Hopefully.