The Ash - by Dan Soule
I’d seen Dan Soule’s work on Twitter, and it made an impression - the cover of Savage, in particular, stayed in my mind for a long, long time, and I knew that at some point I was going to work around to reading him. If memory serves, I believe an offer was made on The Ash, so I jumped at the opportunity, and snapped up Savage at the same time (which is on my summer holidays reading list – in two books' time if we are sticking to the plan) which speaks of how much I enjoyed The Ash.
Dan’s descriptions of physical harm and damage are exemplary. Highly evocative, it pulls absolutely no punches. It’s clinical in its presentation – exactly my thing. The build-up in The Ash is wonderful – both the background world tension and the in-the-moment tension of the horror occurring on a macro-scale – are sublime. Not only does the MC have to cope with a horrific situation he finds himself in within the first couple of chapters, but the larger-scale horror upon which that plays out reduces that horror, quite rightly, to background noise. Nuclear war (or at least what appears to be a nuclear war) is right on your doorstep as you alongside a policeman taken down by gangsters in a car crash pile up.
I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough.
The character work is perfect, the violence sudden and brutal, Dan’s descriptions raw and unforgiving. This first (for me) book has propelled him way up my list of need-to-read authors.
As the novel progresses, the true horror of the novel comes into play – a field of Ash from the fallout of the explosions coats the land in a blanket of Ash – a wall of possibly radioactive debris that acts as a blanket and smokescreen to the real horror – because there’s something in the ash – and it didn’t come alone…
This book was a radioactive blast of entertainment, I couldn’t devour it quickly enough. Soule turns relationships upside down and inside out – enemies become hardened comrades as something even worse stalks them. The nature of the beasts that lie in wait in the Ash breaks down humanity's trust and reliance on each other. And at the beating heart of the novel, Soule keeps us clinging on with hope, as the MC fights his way single-mindedly to his goal of returning to find his son, lost in the Ash.
The Ash had everything I could want in a horror book.
Don’t hesitate, buy it. If you haven't already, you’ll be thrilled to discover Dan, just as I was.
5 out of 5 heart-pumping, terror-inducing, frantic page-turning ⭐’s, and Mr. Soule has a new fan.
You can buy The Ash, by clicking the appropriate link, below:
You can visit Dan's website, HERE.
You can find Dan on Twitter, HERE.
You can find Dan on Facebook, HERE.
You can find Dan on Instagram, HERE.