The Cursed Caves - by Adam Hulse
Ok. It’s been a long time since I read anything as breakneck-paced as this starter (for me) from Adam Hulse. I love that horror has so many faces, and this (and I hope the continuing novels from Adam) is a pure adrenaline-fueled creature feature, a survival novel. It takes no prisoners. It is an unashamedly gore-filled, full-color death, big-screen action novel. You read it, and it’s pretty much the horror novel equivalent of Formula One motor racing – ACTION! ACTION! DEATH! ACK!
I’m going to say straight up - I loved this. It’s so not-my-usual fare in horror novels, not that I have a usual fare, of course, but this is visual in ways that some other horror books just aren’t. I could compare it to something like Tim Meyer’s Paradise club – but for me this hit home a lot more satisfyingly – Adam steers clear in this first outing of the series, from explanations for the creatures (how are they still alive?), the parasite, the behavioral patterns of the creatures – there’s so much here that can be expanded on in the following books, that the questions the book raise are almost enough to make you buy the following books in the hope of some answers– but honestly, that’s not at all why you are going to buy the following books. You are going to buy them to dip into that manic world again to see just how badly wrong it is all going to go.
It is voyeurism done at its best, it’s a full-screen surround sound movie of a story, with the reader hanging on for dear life and watching with malicious glee (schadenfreude) as every single character you like or don’t like, gets their untimely end.
I loved the fact that no one is sacred. Everyone, likable or not, becomes fodder. The creatures don’t give a shit. It’s an eat-or-get-eaten world, and the apocalypse is here. It reminded me of Matthew Reilly’s Ice Station to a degree – it has that same big-screen non-stop action feeling to it all. It reads like a movie, you know when the unlikable characters get their comeuppance that you are going to actually be happy enough. There’s a sadistic pleasure in seeing dumb people die. This book is popcorn, it’s a well-spent Saturday evening at the cinema. It’s a blast. Great job, Adam.
The ending is sudden, and not an ending. It’s a cut-off point. The curtains swing in, and on the screen, the words “to be continued” offer no solace. You are pissed off with the damn audacity of the man. He left us in the middle of a desperate action sequence with the world hanging in the balance. No answers. Damn you, Adam Hulse. Take my money. Shut up and get out of the way as I buy book two. What a scam! Shit. There’s a book three too…
It’s pop gore, it’s self-ironic, it’s irreverent. You realize that the full story is going to be revealed over all of the books (I am a fan of this, let the readers piece things together themselves). Or I hope that is the case. I have a long memory and a list of questions just waiting on closure. Just sayin'.
This gets an easy 5 popcorn boxes (not stars. You left me hanging, Hulse) out of 5. It’s a no-brainer “buy the next novel” and if I hadn’t so many other TBRs on my list (and my obligation to read them) I would have just dived into the next one. Dammit.
I had a blast, Adam. Lovely to have read you🤜🤛
You can buy "The Cursed Caves", by clicking on the appropriate Amazon link, below. But be warned, by doing so you are committing to getting all of his damn books. I think I need to make that clear from the get-go:
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You can watch Adam being interviewed on YouTube, HERE.