The Raven

Flame Tree. (Fiction Without Frontiers). Sept. 2020. 256p. ISBN 9781787585300. $24.95; pap. ISBN 9781787585287. $14.95. HORROR
Dez is a survivor in a world decimated by a biological weapon, an attack engineered by terrorists who sought to reactivate the long-buried genes of monsters thought to exist only in fiction. Yet while the monsters’ genes may have been suppressed, their markers still lurked in human DNA. Now most people have transformed into werewolves, vampires, satyrs, and other supernatural terrors. And the Latents (people with no special powers), like Dez, must fight to stay alive. Searching desperately for his girlfriend, who disappeared six months earlier, he encounters a terrifying variety of creatures who may or may not be out to hurt him. Janz (Children of the Dark) offers an original take on the postapocalyptic trope, with a dogged focus on detailed worldbuilding and character development. He takes time crafting this possible future so it feels believable, peppering it with exciting fight sequences.
VERDICT Readers will root for Dez’s success and find the species he meets along the way fascinating. A perfect choice for fans of horror-sf hybrids, such as Rebecca Roanhorse’s “Sixth World” series or Josh Malerman’s “Bird Box” novels.
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