Saturday, September 24, 2011

Book Review: That Which Should Not Be

That Which Should Not Be, by Brett J. Talley, is a love-letter to Lovecraft fans. It takes place around the turn of the 19th century, ending in the mid-1930s. Carter Weston is a college student at Miskatonic U and is sent on an errand to collect an ancient tome that has turned up in a nearby town. There, he hears tales of encounters with otherworldly creatures - each story leading to the conclusion that The Rising of the Old Ones could be taking place soon.

I enjoyed TWSNB better than original H.P. Lovecraft stories. While the novel seems firmly entrenched within the Lovecraft lore and takes place a hundred years ago or more and the writing is meant to evoke those stories, the plotting and structure are more modern and easier to read.

I'm generally not a fan of first-person novels, especially ones with multiple characters all telling their own story in first-person, but TWSNB clearly separates each narrative so it's not confusing who's telling what story. Also, I enjoy suspense sometimes, but not gore. There's only one particular scene of a graphic nature early in the book that bothered me - the rest of the story didn't stray into graphic gore too much.

Fans of Lovecraftian fiction should love this, especially if you wish Lovecraft were a bit easier to read.

The publisher, through LibraryThing, provided an e-copy of the book for my review.

That Which Should Not Be: 3.5 stars out of 5. I liked it.

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