"Mountain Sickness" Book Review
Written by Jennifer Turner
Published by Severed Press
Written by Frank Martin
2017, 299 pages, Fiction
Released on July 6th, 2017
A good book is like a first date, go big or go home, and thankfully Frank Martin does just that in Mountain Sickness. I’m not a stranger to Martin’s work, having previously reviewed his novella Skin Deep/Ordinary Monsters last year.
Two pages into this novel and I knew I was going to like it. A few chapters in, I knew it was going to get a good review. By the time I got halfway through, I suspected a restraining order was in my future because I loved this author so much that I wanted to hang outside his house with a boom box and a Peter Gabriel cassette. That is how much I enjoyed reading this tale.
Mountain Sickness takes place in the neighboring mountain towns of Telluride and Mountain Village, a popular ski resort and tourist attraction. Unfortunately, this sleepy little town is about to get a rude awakening when a rage virus (think 28 Days Later) begins to affect the inhabitants.
Not only do we have a cool zombie story unfolding, but Martin throws a blizzard into the mix. I like the juxtaposition of supernatural and natural horror, which adds more suspense to the story.
One thing I am really impressed with is the character development. I believe that introducing characters is hard enough, but introducing characters that are going to be killed off immediately is a nightmare. Either you give your reader nothing to go on and expect the audience to care when they die or you give way too much backstory to a person that doesn’t really fit in with the rest of the narrative. This author allows you to get to know the characters enough to be interested in them without disrupting the flow of the plot.
If there is any complaint I have, it’s that the ending seems a little rushed. All of a sudden, main characters are killed off in quick succession, with little fuss or fanfare. The explanation for the rage curse is hinted at but never really fleshed out. This makes the ending seem anticlimactic and unfinished. But thankfully whatever disappointments I have do not manage to detract from the awesomeness of this story.
I look forward to Martin’s future works; he’s a very talented writer and is sure to be a favorite among avid horror readers.