EARTHWORM GODS II Deluge – Paperback, Brian Keene
Pros: A fast paced, quite interesting story
Cons: Very dark, but then again, it is an apocalypse!
For those of you unfamiliar with Brian Keene’s work, he specializes in writing books in the Stephen King genre; horror, suspense, supernatural and post-apocalyptic scenarios. What I like about his writing is that he doesn’t pull any punches and his stories move along at a frantic pace without feeling the need to fill endless pages with “fluff” just to make the book look thicker, while retaining the talented writing style of a veteran author.
To recap the previous book, Earthworm Gods, our planet had been destroyed by global super-storms, and endless rain for 40 days has placed much of the world underwater. If that weren’t bad enough, mankind faced a new threat from below the newly formed oceans – horrific creatures of all shapes and sizes bent on destruction of the entire planet. A small band of survivors come together to fight for their very existence on the mountaintop, slowly disappearing beneath the waves. A strange “white fuzz” fungus seems to be growing on everything exposed from the waters and infects those who touch it with disastrous results.
Now you’re somewhat “up to speed” on the story, we continue on with Earthworm Gods II Deluge, where the last of the land disappears beneath the ever-growing oceans and nightmarish threats from “The Great Deep” and on the remaining vestiges of land threaten earth’s extinction. The story continues with Sarah and Kevin, survivors from the first book as they make their way to the top of the mountain to the forest ranger tower to plan their next move.
We also meet a new character, Henry who is trapped in a grain silo in the town buried beneath the waves and the ever-rising water threatens to swallow him whole. In the second part of the book we also meet more survivors who are adrift on the ocean in a catamaran and are facing their own terrors of survival. Ultimately it seems everybody’s paths may cross sooner or later as they face their very extinction as the world succumbs to the Great Deep.
I found this story quite entertaining, and at only 255 pages it didn’t drag on unnecessarily like other writers of the genre seem wont to do. Brian Keene paints a morbid outlook and future for our stranded heroes and at no time offers a glimmer of hope for their survival. The story just oozes of despair for the most part, and plenty of “God-bashing” takes place. Keene seems to fit this in several of his novels and loves lines like the “God won’t save you” and “Where is your God now?” kind of thing. It just reeks of Atheism and I find it quite off-putting at times.
I believe he self-edits his own work and there are several glaring spelling errors throughout the pages but nothing that detracts from the story. The pace was frantic and the story never dragged or dulled. It just kept me wondering how the hell they were going to get out of the “next situation” they were in. If a story does that from start to finish then I find it a very good read. There is plenty of gore and Keene is very descriptive! Believe me, his descriptions can turn many stomachs…
I’m not sure the latter chapters worked for me though, as it took a turn from the un-natural to the supernatural (yes, I see these as two entirely different things) and took a bit getting used to. In the end I just left my brain at the door and ran with it! It was a lot more fun that way.
The second book reveals much more about the denizens of the deep and ties them into the story superbly to where it makes perfect sense. Overall I can recommend Earthworm Gods II Deluge to anyone who likes Stephen King, Dean Koontz or Richard Laymon’s work. I do however, recommend the original “Earthworm Gods” first before reading this sequel as it will make much more sense. A pretty good sequel here, but it definitely was nothing like what I expected. There were some good surprises here and some bad, but it was satisfying enough overall.
Earthworm Gods II Deluge
Publisher: Deadlite Press
Paperback, 255 Pages