Review: Alone / Author: Brian Keene / Release Date: Out Now
We will admit to being a big fan of Keene’s work. Dead Sea is hands down one of the best zombie novels ever written, and his use of a shared reality and mythos in his novels is incredibly effective. We were therefore rather excited when we heard of his latest work, a self-published novella called Alone.
Dan wakes up one morning to find his partner, Jerry and his adopted daughter missing. The power is out, as are the phones, and he quickly discovers that all of the neighbours are missing and the street outside is filled with a dense fog in which something dark and terrifying lurks.
That, in a nutshell, is the entire plot of Alone. It’s not a long read – around 15,000 words, and for its length it does a very effective job at portraying the pain, confusion and terror experienced by Dan.
There is a problem with Alone, however, and it’s a big one. The problem is that we worked out the twist ending on pretty much the first page. Maybe we’ve just read too much stuff like this, or perhaps it was just telegraphed too much, too soon, but from that point onwards, the story held no surprises for us. Everything that Dan encounters backed up our initial theory, and by the time the big reveal came at the end we were quite disappointed to have been right all along.
The story is well written, and is an effective and subtle horror story when looked at from the perspective of Dan’s reaction to his new found isolation, but having worked out the ending on the first page, the whole thing lacked any sort of tension.