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Thursday, October 16, 2014

Brian Martinez's Shallow Veins is a Halloween Must-Read!

With Halloween fast approaching, I decided that it's time to unearth a few indescribable horrors.

Creatures from the dark beyond.

Great, powerful entities

Capable of decimating human society.

I was surprised when I actually found that very thing!

image via http://i.imgur.com/ZzdwHoY.jpg

Shallow Veins is the first book within the Obscured series, a horror/ dark fantasy written by Brian Martinez.

So what's it about?

Newly divorced, alcoholic officer Franklin Butcher has transferred to Shallow Creek in hopes of getting as far away from his ex-wife, and the pain attached to their divorce, as possible. Becoming a small town cop is the perfect way to accomplish this - or so he thinks. 
But there's more to Shallow Creek than he knows. When the owners of a recently bought house call the police to complain about a missing plumber - one that seems to have vanished without a trace - Butcher marks the incident as nothing important. Just a neurotic couple adjusting to their new surroundings. 
But then his partner disappears, as well, and Butcher begins to realize that the town of Shallow Creek is is riddled with more secrets than he ever could have dreamed.

I'm going to start out by giving one simple statement:

Holy crap, this ebook rocks!!!

Not just a little, either. I very nearly ended up making my daughter late for school, because I was so deeply entrenched in this novel that time seemed to move at a much faster rate than normal. I'd swear that only 5 minutes had passed while I was reading...

If it wasn't for the fact that my clock said it was fifteen.

As I'm sure you've already guessed, I've finally found another

A Treasured Tome!!!!
Treasured Tome!!!

This one had me in its grip from the first chapter. It's not often that a writer can get my heart beating rapidly and cause me to hold my breath within the first chapter. Add to that the fact that I had absolutely nothing to be scared of, something I discovered before the chapter ended.

Seriously. All I'm going to say about that is... Dumb grasshopper.

I'm still embarrassed about that one.

I do need to warn you, though, that this ebook is graphically violent. It's not something I'd recommend for anyone with a weak stomach. The creature - creatures? - within this novel are disturbingly grotesque.

Martinez has a talent for timing and pacing, and his ability to lead the reader from one chapter to the next without coming up for air is absolutely skillful. I found that I didn't just want to keep reading - I needed to keep reading. Martinez is not one to waste words, choosing each one with care.

The funny part?

I didn't expect to enjoy this one so much. I liked the first few paragraphs enough to give Shallow Veins a shot, but I figured it would just be, well, 'kind of good.' I thought it'd be a book that would make me say, "Yeah, this is nice, but I was expecting more."

I tend to do that with books that I would classify as horror.

I tend to roll my eyes at the cliches, internally throttle the characters that always make the same stupid decisions, and scream at them, seeing every choice they make as completely useless, remarkably ignorant, and overused.

Martinez, though, seems to realize that. Every time a character did something that I'd be frustrated with, he'd point that very fact out in some way, thereby making what would normally seem ridiculous appear to be the only option.

I flipping LOVED that.

Shallow Veins is billed as a dark urban fantasy, and I agree with that choice, though it would appeal to a larger group of readers, as well, since it shares some classic horror traits:
  • a house with a mysterious background
  • a priest that sees the truth while everyone else is oblivious
  • dark, evil creatures
  • Unending suspense that causes a reader to hold his or her breath
  • The dumb woman that makes bad choices
Yeah... I had to add that last one in. Let's be realistic - women making stupid choices is a pretty big staple of the horror genre. There's a reason that spoofs all use that to their advantage, after all.

And before you push the idea of reading this ebook aside because of it, I want to remind you of what I mentioned earlier: he made ridiculous choices appear to be the only necessary ones.

Also... the dumb woman I refer to actually has some pretty good reasons for the stupid choices she makes, making her the, uh... well... not-so-dumb woman? I really liked her.

Just trust me.

Or don't.

But do read this one. It has mention of cruel gods from other realities within its pages, complete with their descendants, which would satisfy those of us that enjoy dark fantasy, and it has grotesque and terrifying creatures with the ability to destroy an entire town, which makes horror fans smile with satisfaction.

It's a win-win situation.

And it's a Treasured Tome. Don't forget that part. I haven't selected one of those for a while. This one is a Must-Read.

And it's just in time for Halloween. It's even set during the days right before Halloween, which makes it a perfect choice. So get this ebook. Read it. Enjoy it.

Yes, I'm being pushy.

But I really flipping loved this one! And that's what a Treasured Tome is: an ebook that I can't stop trying to get people to read.

Because it's that good.

And because I'm that crazy about it.

Shallow Veins can be found on Kindle, Nook, and Smashwords.

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