RARE BREEDS

PrintE-mail Written by Jon Towlson

British author Hofstatter goes from strength to strength in this new novella, which tells the story of Aurel, a sleepwalker whose nocturnal activities cause the undoing of his marriage - and far, far worse. Hofstatter’s last collection of short stories, Amaranthine, proved his ability to hook the reader into a tightly woven tale, and his previous novelette, Katarina, demonstrated that the best tales of dark fantasy linger in the mind long after they have been read. And so it is with Hofstatter’s latest, another bold and highly accomplished work. 

Rare Breeds presents a world that is at once recognisable, if slightly odd. However, Hofstatter’s great talent is to spiral believable, realistically drawn characters into an ever more bizarre and worsening situation, so that what starts off as clearly defined normality becomes increasingly fantastical and troubling, but always remains believable. Not many authors are able to pull of this trick as well as Hofstatter does here – so without giving anything more away  – there are some delightfully perverse plot twists in Rare Breeds that will draw you deeper and deeper into darker territory as the story goes along. And, yes, the ending will linger long in your mind.

If Rare Breeds merely operated on the level of a good story well told, it would still be worth a read, but Hofstatter gives us more than just an entertaining tale. As novelist Paul Kane writes in his introduction to Rare Breeds, this is a story of ‘not only forbidden love, but what we’ll do for love. A story of “what if the past is coming back to haunt us”, and a commentary on the breakdown of modern families.’ Any more than that would entail spoilers, so it’s best to leave it there and let readers discover Hofstatter’s impressive novella for themselves.

BOOK REVIEW: RARE BREEDS / AUTHOR: ERIK HOFSTATTER / ILLUSTRATIONS BY JACK LARSON / PUBLISHER: DARK SILO PRESS / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW.
 


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