The monsters live inside of Kate Woodson. Chronic pain and a host of autoimmune diseases have robbed her of a normal, happy li...

Review of Creature by Hunter Shea

Creature by Hunter Shea book cover

The monsters live inside of Kate Woodson. Chronic pain and a host of autoimmune diseases have robbed her of a normal, happy life. Her husband Andrew’s surprise of their dream Maine lake cottage for the summer is the gift of a lifetime. It’s beautiful, remote, idyllic, a place to heal.

 But they are not alone. Something is in the woods, screeching in the darkness, banging on the house, leaving animals for dead. Just like her body, Kate’s cottage becomes her prison. She and Andrew must fight to survive the creature that lurks in the dead of night. 

I just recently read Rattus New Yorkus (review here) so this is my second Hunter Shea review on Cats Luv Coffee. However, the two books couldn't be more different. 

Rattus New Yorkus is an over the top creature feature. It's the type of book that would have made a great B movie in the 80's. Horror and dark humor combined, RNY is a book that doesn't take itself too seriously. Creature then is its older, worldly big brother. If Rattus New Yorkus is campy horror movies like Food of the Gods and Lake Placid, then Creature is The Exorcist and The Shining.

You would think that a book called Creature would be pretty self-explanatory. Even though you know from the title that there will be some flavor of monster, there is
substantial misdirection and suspense building. Creature doesn't show all of its cards at once but carefully doles out its intentions. Shea continues slowly ramping up the dread until it becomes almost a presence of its own. It lopes along at a leisurely pace until exploding in the last few pages, yet the ending doesn't feel rushed. It happens exactly as it needs to.

Creature is emotionally visceral. If I found out even a fourth of the way into this book that there was no horror, nothing paranormal, I would have still kept reading. That's how much I enjoyed the characters. Amazingly, the monster takes a backseat to Kate and Andrew and of course, Buttons, the dog. You truly get invested in their lives and their relationship. Kate's illness seems insurmountable. She is so very vulnerable physically, yet her will is unbowed. Andrew's anger at being so powerless in the face of her condition is as palpable as Katie's frustration at being tethered to such an ineffectual body. By the time we meet the creature, we are so sure that we know what to anticipate. Shea takes those expectations and completely shatters them. You won't be expecting a monster book to break your heart, but that's exactly what Creature does.  

This is not just a story about a creature lurking in the woods. Instead, it speaks volumes about the human condition and our propensity to love absolutely.

Get your copy here:

5 Paws Up!

5 paws up

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About the Author

Hunter Shea

Hunter Shea is the product of a misspent childhood watching scary movies, reading forbidden books and wishing Bigfoot would walk past his house. He doesn’t just write about the paranormal – he actively seeks out the things that scare the hell out of people and experiences them for himself. Hunter’s novels can even be found on display at the International Cryptozoology Museum. His video podcast, Monster Men, is one of the most watched horror podcasts in the world. He’s a bestselling author of over 13 (lucky number!) books, all of them written with the express desire to quicken heartbeats and make spines tingle. Living with his wonderful family and two cats, he’s happy to be close enough to New York City to gobble down Gray’s Papaya hotdogs when the craving hits.

I received this book from Flame Tree Press
in exchange for an honest review.

FLAME TREE PRESS is the new fiction imprint of Flame Tree Publishing. Launching in 2018 the list brings together brilliant new authors and the more established; the award winners, and exciting, original voices.