When the lights go out in America and civilization falls apart, a small group of teenagers living in a cabin in the woods must find a way to fend for themselves. Finding food and water is hard enough, but when their closest neighbor starts acting a little odd and one of the boys finds a freshly dug grave near the neighbors home, questions start to arise and it is not long before the kids find themselves facing a monster in their midst. Can they survive the end of the world? Can they even survive the madness that comes with the people who coming looking for food and shelter? What about the madmen they once called friend?
Billie Sue Mosiman’s new thriller, The Grey Matter, takes a microscopic look at life in rural America when there is no more electricity and the modern conveniences we take for granted are swept away in an instant. Set in the foothills of Alabama, the story follows the lives of a group of runaways that came together before the apocalypse and are forced to survive in the world left behind afterwards. As if mere survival were not hard enough, when they find their friend, John Grey, is also a sadistic murderer, the terror kicks into overdrive and they must decide if they can make it in a kill or be killed world.
This is a refreshing take on the Post-Apocalyptic genre with the added twist of the murder in the midst of the young protagonists. The short time frame of the story and microcosm represented in the story makes for a tight story in a global arena. The characters are well developed and easily distinguished from one another. The writing is crisp and compelling, setting a pace that keeps the reader invested and turning pages in anticipation of what is to come.
If there is anything that might have been improved with the book it is that the anxiety level could have been ratcheted up a bit higher than it is. The climatic moments fell a touch short, often because of the introduction of some unforeseen element that added to the chaos of the atmosphere, but took away from what was potentially a nail biting moment. This is a case where less would definitely have been more.
This was an excellent book and I would definitely recommend it to anyone who is a fan of the posy-apocalyptic genre. It is a fun, quick read that is hard to put down.
- The Road Meets Half-Life In Post-Apocalyptic Survival-Horror Ashen Rift (indiestatik.com)
- John Hodgman explains the end of the world to you (io9.com)
- If SHTF, should you head for the city or country? (globalresearchreport.com)
- A Guide to the Post-Apocalyptic You (mademan.com)
- Albrecht Dürer, Apocalyptic Self-Publishing Pioneer (hyperallergic.com)
- Post-apocalyptic Skin Woes. DIY Beauty In Case of Survival (dermadarling.com)
- City Dwellers or Country Folk: Who’s Better Prepared for a Disaster? (allstate.com)
- Apocalypse | BlogEveryDay (paralyticsoul.wordpress.com)
- Billie Sue Mosiman – The High Priestess (wordwebbing.com)
- The All-Time Greatest Horror Writers – Billie Sue Mosiman (sekhmetpress.wordpress.com)