Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Book Review: Swamp Monster Massacre by Hunter Shea


The swamp belongs to them. Humans are only prey.

Deep in the overgrown swamps of Florida, where humans rarely dare to enter, lives a race of creatures long thought to be only the stuff of legend. They walk upright but are stronger, taller and more brutal than any man. And when a small boat of tourists, held captive by a fleeing criminal, accidentally kills one of the swamp dwellers’ young, the creatures are filled with a terrifyingly human emotion—a merciless lust for vengeance that will paint the trees red with blood.


My Review: 
Rooster loses his temper during a gun deal and kills the son of a Cuban gangster boss. Knowing he has to flee, he takes the guns and hijacks an unfortunate Everglades tour boat. Despite telling the people that he won't hurt them, they launch an attack on him that leaves the boat crippled, the people stranded and a young skunk ape dead. And its family are not very happy now and stalk the survivors with murder on their mind...

This is exactly the kind of book that I enjoy. It doesn't take long to get right into the story and we only get a short description of who everyone is and how Rooster got from killing the man to joining the boat with gangsters chasing him. We get a flurry of excitement as he races to get on the boat with the passengers in terror as the bullets are flying around them. It was an interesting start to the book and I liked the actual hostage drama. It goes on long enough to introduce you to the characters but not long enough to become boring. We quickly get to the attempt to overpower Rooster which sends the boat out of control and headed for the shore.

In the aftermath of the crash, they find the dead skunk ape who was hit by the boat, arousing the curiosity of the wounded and exhausted group. Rooster is frustrated with what the people have done as he had intended to get off the boat near a bolt hole in the Everglades that he knew, leaving them to go back in the boat but now it is too badly damaged to use. He indicates that he knows somewhere in the area that he can call for help for them but until then he wants them all to stay together so nobody gets lost. This becomes especially important when they see the other skunk apes for the first time and witness what they can do to a human. Now they are trying to outrun a tribe that know the woods well and can hunt them down one by one. Only Rooster's weapons will give any of them a chance to survive.

I actually liked Rooster which is unusual as I usually hate criminals as heroes in a story. In this case he is a guy who makes a stupid choice in the heat of the moment and kills a gangster. He knows he is in trouble and decides to flee into the Everglades where the men are unlikely to follow, giving him a chance to escape. He has no intention of hurting anyone else but those on the hijacked boat have little reason to believe him. It is a comedy of errors which leaves the boat crashed and everyone in a pile of doodah as the skunk apes begin to hunt them down. I also liked the twins Liz and Maddie, who are pretty but extremely capable of defending the group. That makes a nice change, not having them as dumb blonde bombshells that need to be saved all the time! As this is a shorter novel, the author ensures that there is enough character depth to tell the story but doesn't go into every detail of everyone's life. The author just gets on with the story.

I love Bigfoot related books and this was no exception. There is just so much menace in Bigfoot and Sasquatch horror stories! The skunk apes are huge and deadly, and seek revenge for the death of one of their own. You can of course understand why they are mad and they are brutal in their killing. There is plenty of tension as the group try to move quickly, sharing out the guns to those who are the best shots. It is a creepy and hostile environment that they are in and you are just waiting for the next attack. When the attacks come, they are brutal and gory and very entertaining. The action is fast paced and there is always something happening in the plot as you wonder if any of them are going to survive. There is also a bit of amusing plot where the survivors have to deal with airborn alligators!

This has got everything I enjoy in a horror plot-not over descriptive, gets on with the story, decent characters and a nice mixture of tension, scares and gore. It is the first book I've read by this author and I look forward to reading many more in the future!
Read March 2017.
star rating photo: Four Star Rating 4stars.png

10 comments:

  1. I read Jersey Devil last year and it was a lot of fun. I have his new one "Just Add Water" slated for a buddy read in June with Stormi. Glad you enjoyed this one and I'll have to see about grabbing it as well.

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    1. Just Add Water sounds like good fun too! I'm gradually getting the books as the plots all sound good.

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  2. For some reason, I think I missed this one by Hunter. Strange, as I love Sasquatch horror stories. Going to go check my shelves.

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    1. If the others live up to this standard I'll be a happy Chuckles!

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  3. Hunter Shea is always a fun read - I just reviewed his newest, Just Add Water, last week.

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    1. I'm certainly keen to read more from him-just ordered a few from Amazon!

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  4. Oh my gosh that cover! I'd be running!!! Sounds fun. Everglades + Sasquatch = yes please. Something about swamps and monsters...

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    1. Scary ass cover huh! I just love the whole concept of dangerous man beasts running around swamps and forests! Who know what is lurking in the Everglades...

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  5. Gonna need to check my KIndle. I think I saw this one, but don't know if I have it. Great review.
    sherry @ fundinmental

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    1. Thanks Sherry! It's a fun horror romp!

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