From Aaron Ross Powell, author of the apocalyptic horror novel The Hole, comes this collection of six stories of crime and terror.
"Snowed In" tells the story of three people with secrets to hide who meet at a roadside bar during a storm - and learn that there's nothing deadlier than each other.
In "Helix" a detective takes a case that leads him into the twisted world of genetic modification and artificial intelligence.
The violent noir "Let Sleeping Gods" features a bad man doing very bad things to prevent the end of the world.
"What the People Want" is an alternate-history legal mystery about what happens when the law becomes a product of popular culture.
"Traffic Light" is about a carjacking with a terrible motive.
In "Old Lady Prideaux's Terrible Menagerie", an ex-cop is asked to investigate the odd old lady who lives across the street - and discovers truths far weirder than he could've imagined.
All of these stories can be found in Animus: Six Tales of Crime and Terror.
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A fun read
I recently finished Animus. I consumed all six stories over two days—about 3 hours of listening. I enjoyed all six stories and I hope Powell creates more of them.
The anthology consists of six very different tales. Some stories are closer to the horror end of the spectrum like “Old Lady Prideaux's Terrible Menagerie" and “Snowed In”. Other stories like “Helix" and “Traffic Light” are noir themed. The remaining two stories, “What the People Want" and “Let Sleeping Gods,” have a political tone.
My three favorite stories are “Snowed In”, “Old Lady Prideaux” and “What the People Want”. In “Snowed In” Powell takes an otherwise traditional horror story of murder and plays with the narration to create a more suspenseful story. In contrast, “Old Lady Prideaux,” is just a fun supernatural horror story with a likable hero. Lastly, in the story, “What the People Want” Powell demonstrates the affect pop culture has on the legal system by creating that very system.
I hope Powell’s next book expands on his political ideas but better intertwines them with horror and noir rather than have them as separates. All in all, Animus made me remember how much fun it could be exploring a fictional world.
Scott F. Feighner does a good job at narrating. He does just the right amount of voices without distracting from the story.
I received a coupon code for the audible version of this book from the author after responding to a request to read the collection.
- Joshua P