FORMAT: HARDCOVER | RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW
When a storm arrives at the tourist spot of Willerton Castle, visitors and staff alike find themselves having to take shelter. But it’s more than the rain they’re hiding from; strange creatures are also falling from the sky, vile slimy and tentacled things that show no mercy and exist solely to destroy. Paul Kane’s latest will sound familiar to anyone who’s ever watched a monster movie, or read horror stories like The Mist, but there’s a charm that makes it stand out while paying respect to and toying with everything the reader is expecting.
Our hero is Keegan, a military veteran with a troubled past. Naturally he’s misunderstood, in particular by Gemma, the love interest who finds it difficult to completely trust anyone. Add to this the young boy Dillon, tormented by prophetic visions, and you’ve got what could be a cliched collection of characters. Not in Kane’s hands, though; various points of view allow the reader into the heads of all his protagonists, sharing their doubts and fears, their hopes and dreams. As some of them are picked off, there is genuine sadness to be felt; we never linger too much, but Kane’s tight prose is enough to tell us all we need to know and get the emotions flowing.
The pace never falters either, with wave after wave of increasingly powerful creatures attacking. There are some wonderfully grisly deaths at the various appendages of these monsters, and just when you think you’ve seen it all, along comes another, culminating with the biggest and meanest of all. The Storm is a story told with great relish, and the author’s enthusiasm is transferred to the reader; yes, we may have seen these tropes many times before, but they feel fresh here, while at the same being imbued with a sense of nostalgia for similar tales. Above all, it’s huge fun and an absolute delight to read; a superb slice of escapism that is, ultimately, a story of love, sacrifice and courage in the face of adversity.