Review: The Dover Demon by Hunter Shea

dover-demon-large-coverAbout The Dover Demon

The Dover Demon is real…and it has returned.

In 1977, Sam Brogna and his friends came upon a terrifying, alien creature on a deserted country road. What they witnessed was so bizarre, so chilling, they swore their silence. But their lives were changed forever.

Decades later, the town of Dover has been hit by a massive blizzard. Sam’s son, Nicky, is drawn to search for the infamous cryptid, only to disappear into the bowels of a secret underground lair. The Dover Demon is far deadlier than anyone could have believed. And there are many of them. Can Sam and his reunited friends rescue Nicky and battle a race of creatures so powerful, so sinister, that history itself has been shaped by their secretive presence?


About the Author

Hunter Shea is the author of the novels The Montauk Monster, Sinister Entity, Forest of Shadows, Swamp Monster Massacre, and Evil Eternal. His stories have appeared in numerous magazines, including Dark Moon Digest, Morpheus Tales and the Cemetery Dance anthology, Shocklines : Fresh Voices in Terror. His obsession with all things horrific has led him to real life exploration of the paranormal, interviews with exorcists and other things that would keep most people awake with the lights on. He lives in New York with his family and vindictive cat. He waits with Biblical patience for the Mets to win a World Series. You can read about his latest travails and communicate with him at http://www.huntershea.com.


My Thoughts

Over the handful of titles I've read from Hunter Shea, the man has proved to be an adept storyteller and is capable putting some clever twists in his ideas. He crafts fun little page turners, and over the last year several more of his titles have wound up on my electronic TBR list, with The Montauk Monster and his Jessica Backman books waiting on my Kindle.

When I saw The Dover Demon pop up on NetGalley, it shot up to the top of my reading queue. I knew nothing of the mythology surrounding the Dover demon, but when I saw the cover I was already sold. Here was Hunter Shea writing an alien book!

Thankfully, Shea delivers, as expected. There's a nice bit of extraterrestrial mythology woven into the plot that takes alien conspiracy theories to the next level, and plenty of history on the allegedly real-life 1977 sighting of the titular creature. Even if, like me, you'd not heard of the Dover demon before, Shea brings the reader up to speed and turns this local legend into a strange and terrific pulpy adventure.

Here, Sam Brogna, his friend Tank, and their girlfriends, Kelly and Stephanie, were smoking dope and traveling down the Dover back-roads in 1977 when their car nearly hit a strange creature standing in the middle of the road.

Almost 40 years later, Brogna is now a comic book shop owner and most of his income is derived from selling Dover Demon paraphernalia. Kelly is a drunk and lives in a home outfitted with security cameras, her office study wallpapered in accounts of alien abductions, cryptid lore, and tales of missing people. Tank and Stephanie have married, with the former now an archeologist. During a massive winter snowstorm, each find mysterious tracks surrounding their homes but with no clear trail. They've simply appeared, as if out of nowhere.

The four are forced to reunite under the threat of the demon's return, but their mission is given further urgency when Sam's son, Nicky, goes missing.

I really liked the relationship between Sam and his son, and enjoyed the brief call-outs to current comic book pop culture. Their characterizations really helped solidify the human element, and I felt invested with the group as a whole and sympathetic with Kelly and the fashion in which her life has unraveled since their initial sighting of the cryptid.

I was also frequently surprised at the depth and sense of scope that Shea brought to the Dover demon mythology, and the way he connected it with ancient history using Tank's archeologist viewpoint to great effect. There were a few times that I thought I'd figured out what was really happening here, only to hit another twist.

Fans of alien lore and The X-Files should find quite a lot to enjoy here, and I'd like to take a minute to implore Jonathan Maberry to include Mr. Shea in a future X-Files short story anthology, because the dude would fit right in.

[This review is based on an advanced copy received from the publisher via NetGalley.]

Buy The Dover Demon 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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