Publisher: Severed Press
Publication Date: 1st November 2016
REVIEWED BY CHAD
A copy of Loch Ness Revenge was sent to Confessions of a Reviewer by the author, Hunter Shea, in exchange for an honest review. This is said review.
Since the name of this site is Confessions, I figured one would be called for here. I wasn’t completely sold when I began reading this book. Maybe it’s the way my brain has been molded in the Sharknado vs Frankenturtle culture we live in. But my immediate response upon seeing the cover and concept of Loch Ness Revenge was that it was a story better left to a late-night time slot on the SyFy channel.
Still, I persisted.
Mainly because I firmly believe that if the author is of the right kind, any concept can be made to sing. There isn’t a story out there that hasn’t been told before and if the driver steering the bus knows what they are doing, the ride still has the potential to entertain.
I’ve read Hunter Shea’s work before, and on the strength of what I had read, I was willing to give this one a chance. I do love a good monster story. And while I have spoken extensively about the advantage of novellas in terms of the horror genre, the other upside is that you aren’t taking as much of a risk on stories you aren’t as sure about.
I should say up front that I don’t really consider this to be a horror story. It features a monster as its main antagonist but I would classify this as more of a thriller.
Shea does a great job establishing the primary characters of the story. Natalie and Austin are brother and sister, having lived through an incident in which their parents were killed by a creature that crawled up out of the lake. Flash forward to the present and Natalie, now grown, has devoted her life in the pursuit of something that most people see as a facet of her own insanity.
I could feel the desperation in Natalie’s life, of her daily struggles to stay on the road to finally find this thing she knows exists. From a very early stage in the book, I felt like I was right there with her and Shea did a fantastic job showing the life of a person who is kind of broken, desperate to close the book on this stage of her life.
The other characters are brought into the fold in a way that feels natural. Austin is a great character to function as a demonstration of how differently the siblings’ lives have come out. While Austin hasn’t committed himself in the same way as his sister, he still seems invested in seeing this thing dealt with.
One interesting aspect was that I kind of felt at times like I was reading an origin story for a kind of monster-hunting super team, but made up of actually believable characters.
In the grand scheme of things, I don’t recall the Loch Ness Monster getting a lot of love in books so I was interested to see how Shea took on the mythology. He does a good job incorporating a lot of information about the legends into the book. Some of it does feel a little info-dumpy, at times, slowing down the pace. Those moments when I felt that way were few and far between and I wouldn’t say it detracts from the book. Ultimately, there are times when you have to communicate information to the reader and this is how you do it.
If I had one criticism, it would be that I would have liked the group in the book to have taken a little longer before they came across the monster. For as much as Natalie is treated like she’s crazy for believing in this thing, it doesn’t seem to take very much work to get it to show itself. It just seemed to me that in this day and age, other people would have come across it. Maybe if the book had started a little earlier in Natalie’s journey, the work to reach the goal might have felt heavier.
Still, the book is tremendously paced. The action is well done and exciting in its execution. I felt invested in the characters from the start and at no point did I feel my attention wandering from the book.
This is a fun, quick read. Get on it!
If you would like to help support Confessions of a Reviewer, then please consider using the links below to buy Loch Ness Revenge or any other books from Hunter. This not only supports us but also lets us know how many people actually like to buy books after reading our reviews.
Deep in the murky waters of Loch Ness, the creature known as Nessie has returned. Twins Natalie and Austin McQueen watched in horror as their parents were devoured by the world’s most infamous lake monster. Two decades later, it’s their turn to hunt the legend. But what lurks in the Loch is not what they expected. Nessie is devouring everything in and around the Loch, and it’s not alone. Hell has come to the Scottish Highlands. In a fierce battle between man and monster, the world may never be the same.
Praise for THEY RISE:
“Outrageous, balls to the wall…made me yearn for 3D glasses and a tub of popcorn, extra butter!” – The Eyes of Madness
“A fast-paced, gore-heavy splatter fest of sharksploitation.” The Werd
“A rocket paced horror story. I enjoyed the hell out of this book.” Shotgun Logic Reviews
CONFESSIONS REVIEWS HUNTER SHEA
Hunter Shea is the product of a childhood weened on The Night Stalker, The Twilight Zone and In Search Of. He doesn’t just write about the paranormal – he actively seeks out the things that scare the hell out of people and experiences them for himself.
Publishers Weekly named THE MONTAUK MONSTER one of the best reads of the summer in 2014, and his follow up novel, HELL HOLE, was named best horror novel of the year on several prestigious horror sites. Cemetery Dance had this to say about his apocalyptic thriller, TORTURES OF THE DAMNED – “A terrifying read that left me wanting more. I absolutely devoured this book!”
Hunter is an amateur cryptozoologist, having written wild, fictional tales about Bigfoot, The Montauk Monster, The Dover Demon and many new creatures to come. Copies of his books, The Montauk Monster and The Dover Demon, are currently on display in the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, ME.
He wrote his first novel with the express desire to work only with editor Don D’Auria at Dorchester (Leisure Horror). He submitted his novel to Don and only Don, unagented, placed on the slush pile. He is proof that dedicated writers can be rescued from no man’s land. He now works with Don, along with several other agents and publishers, having published over ten books in just four years.
Hunter is proud to be one half of the Monster Men video podcast, along with his partner in crime, Jack Campisi. It is one of the most watched horror video podcasts in the world. Monster Men is a light-hearted approach to dark subjects. Hunter and Jack explore real life hauntings, monsters, movies, books and everything under the horror sun. They often interview authors, crytid and ghost hunters, directors and anyone else living in the horror lane.
Living with his wonderful family and two cats, he’s happy to be close enough to New York City to get Gray’s Papaya hot dogs when the craving hits. His daughters have also gotten the horror bug, assisting him with research, story ideas and illustrations that can be seen in magazines such as Dark Dossier.
And for more about Hunter, visit his site or find him on social media: