My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Hunter Shea's latest cryptid horror-actioneer, Loch Ness Revenge takes us to the mythical creature's Scotland habitat as twins Natalie and Austin McQueen seek revenge on the creature responsible for the death of their parents.
The premise and set-up is short, sweet, and to the point. Shea wastes no time getting into the guts of his story and delivers an action-packed sea tale of man vs. beast. Loch Ness Revenge is a fast-moving novella, with plenty of hearty violence and a fair share of familial heart to go with. I was pleased to see these characters spend a lot of time in the loch, going mano-a-mano with ol' Nessie, and enjoyed spending a few hours with the McQueens and their German compadre, Henrik, who lost his own family to some very different cryptids (Shea sets the stage for a follow-up story with this trio, which we'll hopefully see soon).
While this book is certainly entertaining and fast-paced, I have but one complaint. The ending was a bit too abrupt and rushed for my tastes, and I wouldn't have minded a touch more decompression in the resolution presented. Things wrapped up too quickly, and I found myself having to part from this story sooner than I had wanted. Consider this a minor issue, though, as the other 95% of the book was simply flat-out fun.
Shea's written ghost stories, a supernatural western, and more, but cryptids are clearly the author's sweet spot. He knows the mythology of the various creatures he tackles quite well, as presented in efforts like The Dover Demon and this year's earlier (and quite excellent) release, The Jersey Devil, and always manages to add on a few extra surprises to give these legends a cool little spin.
Shea is quickly becoming a go-to author for me when I need a quick, bloody creature-feature fix, and I'm thankful I still have a few of his other cryptozoology horrors unread on my Kindle, because I'm certain I'll be jonesing for another before too long.
[Note: I received an advanced review copy of this title via Hook of a Book Media and Publicity.]
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