02 October 2020

Review || Blood Lake Monster by Renee Miller




Maribel Daniels is weeks away from escaping her hometown, but vanishes while walking home from work. The same night, a truck overturns on a bridge, spilling chemicals into the lake and turning the water red. 

Her sister, Anya, returns years later to find out what happened to Maribel, but every truth she uncovers reveals another lie. When she finally solves the mystery of her sister’s disappearance, Anya realizes she’s the only one who can put an end to the Blood Lake Monster.

Is she willing to sacrifice everything for the town that ruined her life?

 


  

Blood Lake Monster is Book 12 in the Rewind-or-Die series, a series of novellas giving you that charming nostalgia of the glorious B-movies of the '70s, '80s, and '90s. Number 12, written by Renee Miller, takes its turn by channeling the voice of urban legend. As we are often lead to believe, this urban legend has its origins in the truth—in this case, of what really happened to Maribel Daniels. After Maribel Daniels disappeared, no one knew the reality of that night. Now her sister Anya is back to find the answers that eluded her all these years. 

Miller has written a very character-driven story.  Both Maribel and Anya well-fleshed out and are portrayed in a way to be relatable. What happened to Maribel is horrific and the reader is there to experience it along with her. Afterward, the focus switches to Anya and her drive to discover what happened to Maribel. Her arc and the evolution of her character is no less important than Maribel's. 

While the B-movie "toxic avenger" trope is carrying the weight of Blood Lake Monster, there's a lot more here to be traversed. The trailer park that the girls grow up in and life of poverty is explored in some detail as is the obvious bullying that occurred. While Maribel's ill-timed pressured swim was badly fated to occur at the moment that a truck accident permeates the lake with toxic waste, under all that sludge is a story of a girl turned vengeful lake monster, able to enact her retribution angrily on all of the male species that dare to enter her waters. There's a bit of a twist at the end that didn't particularly sit well, but aside from that, Blood Lake Monster was entertaining and original.