Review: Like Jagged Teeth by Betty Rocksteady

Like Jagged Teeth by Betty Rocksteady
Perpetual Motion Machine Publishing (April 2017)

118 pages, $11.95 paperback; $3.99 e-book
Reviewed by Anton Cancre

Betty Rocksteady appears to be a bit of a newcomer on the scene. I hadn’t seen her name or work prior to this year. However, if Like Jagged Teeth is anything to go on, she’s kicking the door right off its hinges.

Jacalyn finds herself mobbed by a pair of rather unsavory fellows whilst en route home following a night of pretty hefty drinking. Luckily for her, her grandfather arrives in the nick of time to give her a ride. Did I mention that Grampa has been dead for a number of years? Because he totally has. He also seems to want significantly more than to catch up with his granddaughter.

Like Jagged Teeth is a hell of an achievement. It’s weird in that off-putting, nightmare logic sort of way that Dario Argento tried so hard to pull off, yet was rarely able to. It’s unsettling, tense, and grotesque in a fashion that seeps through dendrites and eats away at your sense of reality. It’s also steeped in a palpable, simple and incredibly powerful sense of honest emotion that socked me square in the jaw.

If you are looking for a literary equivalent to that Silent Hills PT demo, a story that builds from the most basic of bricks while twisting them in ways that slink through you and grab tight to your vitals, this is definitely for you. I expect Betty to be Rocking more than a few houses over the coming years.

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