Thursday, December 31, 2009
Book 79 of 2009: Strange Magic by Gord Rollo
Gord Rollo's latest release, Strange Magic, tells the story of former magician Wilson Kemp. Wilson has been trying for years to escape his past, going as far as changing his name, moving, and giving up his career as a magician. His wife and daughter know nothing of his past life, but unfortunately, his past has finally caught up with him and he may not be able to keep it hidden any longer. Someone in town known as "the Stranger" is killing both humans and animals, leaving messages at the scene of each crime for "The Iceman", which happens to be Wilson's old stage name. Wilson is now scared for the life of himself and his family. He is not sure who "the Stranger" really is, but fears it may be his old partner, "The Heatseeker". The problem with that scenario is that "The Heatseeker" has been dead for twenty-two years!
Intense, imaginative, well-balanced, fast-paced... you name it and Rollo has accomplished it in Strange Magic! Ever since Leisure started putting out Rollo's work I've been grabbing them up off the shelf immediately and I haven't been disappointed yet. Strange Magic may very well be my favorite so far. A couple of the characters' actual identities are kept secret through a good chunk of the book. Usually it is hard to keep up such a "front" that well without the reader figuring it out prior to the big "reveal", but Rollo managed to accomplish this without a hitch! I was ultimately pleasantly surprised, and a bit disturbed, with both of the characters once I found out who they really were. In addition, the death scenes within the book aren't overly gruesome, yet still cringe-worthy enough that both gore lovers and those of the weak stomach should be able to enjoy them. It is truly a well-rounded book and I feel that Rollo has definitely written something that all horror fans will love.
In addition to reading the Leisure addition of Strange Magic, I also had the pleasure of reading Rollo's short story, "Peeler", a tie-in story to Strange Magic. This story can currently be found in the limited edition of Strange Magic published by Bad Moon Books. Peeler is the name of one of the side characters from Strange Magic who happens to have what you might call a weird "fetish" for peeling off his own skin. In this short story, we get to learn what causes Peeler to mutilate himself and where he was at prior to the time-frame of Strange Magic. The story is a bit gross, yet definitely ties into the whole magical element playing throughout the novel. It's a must-read for die-hard Rollo fans, and it's a shame that Leisure couldn't have included it in their edition of the release. Hopefully, this story will be released in a short story collection from Rollo, for those that are unable to get their hands on a copy of the limited edition of Strange Magic. I highly recommend reading both Strange Magic and the tie-in story, "Peeler"!
Contains: Adult Language, Adult Situations, Mutilation
Review also posted at MonsterLibrarian.com