That Which Should Not Be
By: Brett J Talley
Published October 7, 2011 by JournalStone
Available Format: Paperback, ebook
My Rating: ★★★★★
That Which Should Not Be is the winner of JournalStone’s 2011 Horror Writing Contest!
As a student at the mysterious Miskatonic University, Carter Weston is accustomed to the well-known reputation of the school’s association in all things occult and supernatural. When Professor Thayerson sends Carter on a secretive search for a dark and powerful book, he doesn’t even blink an eye. Shortly after Weston reaches the seaside town of Anchorhead in pursuit of the Incendium Maleficarum, The Inferno of the Witch, he meets a small group of fascinating men in a local tavern. Deep into the night, the men share their stories with Carter—stories that are chock full of paranormalcy and evil. Two particular stories seem to deal directly with the very item Carter is in search of, proving their chance meeting anything but. Will Weston find what he is looking for, and what could this mean for the fate of the entire world?
I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher for proofing and review.
Since this book is the winner of the Horror Writing Contest, it is indeed of the horror genre. I have not read horror in years…YEARS! JournalStone is corrupting me! Nevertheless, this is a fantastic novel and absolutely worth first place!
For starters, I think this is one of my favorite book covers, at least of the JournalStone published books. It really captures one of the pivotal scenes of the novel and puts a face, so to speak, on the evil that threatens the world.
Okay, so it really wasn’t that scary. Actually, a tremendous amount of the “fantasy” out there could be labeled horror but probably would be read less. The worst this did to me was give me some interesting material for some pretty creative dreams! Yes, there are a few rather gruesome parts in Jack’s trapper story, and the whole psychotic professor deal was a bit disturbing, but the overall plot was first class fiction in my opinion. (At least, I hope it is fiction!)
I love how the different stories within the narrative tied the beginning and ending together so perfectly. It was a truly creative and entertaining way to slowly add pieces to the puzzle of Miskatonic and the darkly magical books involved. There were the necessary twists, turns, and deceptions that I feel are essential to a good horror or suspense novel. You will find no objection from me that Mr. Talley is a fantastic writer!
And, Brett, if you read this, I must apologize…but, WAR EAGLE!!!
Review by Cassie McCown