"Loch Ness Revenge" Book Review
Written by Shane D. Keene
Published by Severed Press
Written by Hunter Shea
2016, 149 Pages, Fiction
Released on November 3rd, 2016
To anyone who's known me for any length of time, it's no secret that I'm a huge fan of monsters. I'll consume movies and books about them all day every day, whether they're traditional creatures like vampires and werewolves and zombies-oh my-or ones you don't see so often these days, like kaiju or body snatching aliens. But when it comes to beasts of the cryptid variety-Sasquatch, the Jersey Devil, and others of that ilk-it's rare to catch a sighting of them in the wilds of high quality escapist fiction, and it sometimes seems like when you do find them, Hunter Shea is the culprit who's most often guilty of bringing them into existence. With novels like The Montauk Monster, The Jersey Devil, and The Dover Demon, he's demonstrated a knowledge and love of cryptozoology that is matched by very few in the business, and in his new novella, Loch Ness Revenge, he's outdone himself once again with a rip roaring, adventurous tale of loss and bloody vengeance.
Whenever Hunter Shea takes on a monster of lore as his subject matter, it's pretty much guaranteed that you're going to have a hell of a good time. It's also a given that you'll be reading something completely different than what you would expect. Shea always manages to take those legendary creatures he's so fond of and mold them into something entirely his own, creating an altogether unexpected—but always delightful—reading experience for his audience. And in Loch Ness Revenge, he's in top form, building a horrific and adventurous tale of breathtaking action and blood-drenched violence that will give even the most hardcore of horror fans a run for their money.
In Loch Ness Revenge we meet two siblings, Natalie and Austin McQueen, who are hunting for the monster that killed their mother and father years earlier. Aided by Austin's friend Henrik, the fearless pair set out on the Loch in Natalie's boat, which she calls Vindicta, to chase the creature down and end it once and for all. But like all of Hunter Shea's creatures of lore, there's a twist. He builds his tales on the bones of legend but shapes them into something altogether different and engaging, and in this case, bone-chilling. Because, as it turns out, there's more than just one monster and it's going to take all of our hapless characters' resolve and a large cache of destructive gadgetry not just to bring them down, but to survive doing so.
In this darkly comedic, adrenaline-charged story, Hunter Shea weaves the type of character-driven narrative that has served to make him a recognizable name in high-adventure, blood-soaked creature features, giving us a cast of quirky, often humorous players who you begin quickly to care about, and making you largely reluctant to put the book down until you find out what happens to them. With a combination of playful, frequently hilarious banter and naturally flowing dialogue, Shea uses human interaction to move the story along, showing rather than telling his readers what's happening, causing them to feel connected to the events in the story. In addition, when it comes to pacing, Hunter's a grandmaster and he's at the top of his game here, delivering a high octane, pandemonium packed tour de force of chaotic, brutal violence and action charged mayhem that propels you into and through the tale to a climax that, while not altogether surprising, is extremely satisfying. And fortunately for us lovers of hardcore monster horror, he's left this thing wide open for a sequel. It's mentioned early on that Henrik has his own vengeance to deliver to an altogether different sort of beast and the McQueens have agreed to assist him in exchange for his help with the Loch Ness Monster.
I have absolutely loved every book I've read by Hunter Shea—which is to say, every book he's written—and Loch Ness Revenge continues that trend in fine fashion. A true artist in every sense of the word, Shea is an author who only gets better with each successive work. If you love great horror fiction and you're looking for pure escapist fun, Hunter's the guy you're looking for.