Subterranean. Dec. 2021. 144p. ISBN 9781645240532. $40. SF
Popular sci-fi horror author Grant (Into the Drowning Deep) presents an intense page-turner that features two sisters in Evanston, IL as they are swept up in the next earthshaking disaster after a pandemic. Huge rifts tear through the cities of the world and Godzilla-like monsters step out of them. Worse, the sisters are separated, with Susan in the real world and Katharine stuck in a hellish landscape where the laws of nature work differently. Susan dedicates her life to finding a way to free her sister from the exclusion zone, and in the process, she becomes entangled in a government conspiracy and a biological arms race that exploits modified children. The sisters are admirably ruthless and determined, though they bear the pain of isolation and separation. The setting is vivid, and the compelling science explores phenomena that defy the square-cube law. It’s interesting to see how tragedy changes people, and how they try to understand events that are logically beyond human comprehension.
VERDICT Despite the rather abrupt ending, this is a fast-paced and entertaining novella that’s perfect for fans of cosmic horror.
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