Review: Oasis of the Damned by Greg F. Gifune

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About Oasis of the Damned

When her helicopter crashes in the middle of the Sahara, Heather Richter, a former Army Captain and veteran of the Iraq War, finds herself at an abandoned WWII military outpost in one of the harshest and deadliest deserts on Earth. But she soon realizes there is another victim of the desert in this empty expanse of endless sand. Owens, a victim of an earlier plane crash, is there as well. An enigmatic and brooding man, he knows the secrets of the outpost, that it was actually built on top of an oasis and a natural well, the only thing that’s kept him alive. But he also knows the darker secrets of this strange and forgotten patch of desert hell.

He and Richter are not alone. And the cruel terrain and relentless sun are the least of their worries, because inhuman things haunt the outpost, hideous and violent things that only come at night. Ancient, evil creatures hungry for human flesh, and no matter how many Richter and Owens kill, they just keep coming.

With little hope of rescue, and tortured by her horrific experiences in Iraq years before, as well as the untimely and tragic death of her younger brother, Richter struggles to maintain her sanity amidst the brutal attacks that occur each time night falls, all the while trying to figure out if Owens is truly what he claims, or something more.

Is anything as it seems, or is there something more profound happening, a shocking wound bleeding deeper than the ancient sands, the dark desert nights and the blistering sun?

Two lost souls…a forgotten outpost in a haunted desert…vicious creatures bent on destruction…

The brutal fight for survival has begun.


About the Author

Called "One of the best writers of his generation" by both the Roswell Literary Review and author Brian Keene, GREG F. GIFUNE is the author of numerous short stories, several novels, screenplays and two short story collections (HERETICS and DOWN TO SLEEP). His work has been published all over the world, consistently praised by readers and critics alike, received starred reviews in Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and The Midwest Book Review (among others) and has recently garnered interest from Hollywood.

His novels include CHILDREN OF CHAOS, DOMINION, THE BLEEDING SEASON, DEEP NIGHT, BLOOD IN ELECTRIC BLUE, SAYING UNCLE, A VIEW FROM THE LAKE, NIGHT WORK, DRAGO DESCENDING, CATCHING HELL, JUDAS GOAT and LONG AFTER DARK.

Greg resides in Massachusetts with his wife Carol and a bevy of cats. He can be reached online at: gfgauthor@verzion.net or through his official website at: www.gregfgifune.com


My Thoughts

The desert has secrets, and it can play tricks on the unwitting. Every night, a horde of evil is unleashed upon the two survivors who find themselves stranded in the Sahara, holed up in an old military fort. These victims of chance and circumstance - both have been lost to this stretch of sand by separate aircraft crashes - must fight for survival.

I have a fondness for survival horror fiction like this, where we have a small cast with innumerable odds stacked against them, set against a hostile environment. I'm typically a sucker for the perils of frigid climates, but between Oasis of the Damned and Michael McBride's recent DarkFuse release, Sunblind, I'm starting to become a fan of the harshness inherit in desert-set climes.

The main threat in Gifune's latest is a combination of extreme weather and ghuls, demonic creatures popular in Arabic folklore for populating burial grounds. While the weather is a threat, it's not quite as up-front and in-your-face as the beasts that attack Owens and Richter night after night. In fact, taking center stage is some pretty solid character development for Richter, a tough woman who lost her younger brother and pulled two tours in the Iraq war. Gifune fleshes her out well, and the story takes place largely from her point of view. She definitely commands attention with her steely resolve and can-do attitude, despite Owens being the more experienced survivor at their small compound.

Gifune also does a nice job of flipping the script roughly halfway through, which gives the story is really nice twist while providing a minor examination on the cyclic nature of life and death. The desert holds a lot of surprises, and, thankfully, so does Gifune's work. Definitely recommended.

Buy Oasis of the Damned At Amazon

Michael Hicks

Michael Patrick Hicks is the author of the science fiction novels Convergence, an Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award 2013 Quarter-Finalist, and Emergence. His work has appeared in several anthologies, and he has written for the websites Graphic Novel Reporter and Audiobook Reviewer. In between compulsively buying books and adding titles that he does not have time for to his Netflix queue, he is hard at work on his next story.


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