2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars
Everyday Horrors, 13 July 2005
If you begin to read the prologue of this book and it suddenly stops make sense, don't worry, keep reading: there is a reason for this confusion, and discovering it will be well worth your time. Time is very much out of joint in this story, and something very old is very keen that there should be no suriviving witnesses to its existence.
There are no world-threatening apocalypses in this book, but the charcters all have real enough personalities for you to genuinely care when they find themselves in danger. Although the prose does on occasions get a little purple- Kiernan has a nasty habit of creating ugly compound adjectives- the writing is generally rich and intense, with vivid, everyday world of geology labs, cheap appartments, back roads and laundrettes nicely setting off the chthonic nasties, all against an evocatively sticky Southern backdrop. In fact, the Lovecraftian horrors are all the more terrifying for frequenting municipal parks, greyhound buses and civic waterworks rather than mysterious ruins or sinister catacombs. Time warps, latter-day Grendels and alibino monster-slayers are much easy to take seriously against this background.
Despite my fears of crashingly dull info-dumps when I saw this book had a technical glossary, Caitlin Kiernan manages to interleave her knowledge of paleontology seamlessly into the book. My only complaint is that a lot of the exposition is blink-and-you-miss it: pass over the wrong line and the ending won't make sense. But in general, this is a superbly sinister book.