Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Succulent Prey - Wrath James White

Across the internet I've seen this book rated both 1 to 5 stars... people have loved it, people have loathed it, people have called it the next step in horror, people have called it literary torture porn... so of course with all of the varied reviews, I had to read it.

Short Summary: We follow Joseph Miles from his childhood, where he is abducted, tortured and then released, to his college years where he begins having terrible urges to gnaw on lovely co-eds. He belives that being a serial killer is a contagious disease that he caught as a child... and now he's hunting for a cure before he starts chomping on the woman he loves.

This is the first book by Mr. White that I have read, and he has a very interesting style. This book is VERY gory, and filled with sexual deviance and perversions, cannibalism, rape, sodomy, and just about any other type of sickening thing you can imagine reading about. I don't consider myself actually hardened from all the horror I have read, Ketchum and Masterton have made me squemish before... so I was confused at first as to why all of this gore didn't really affect me. And there is a LOT of gore, just about every page is smattered with it. I almost wonder if there wasn't too much gore, actually I'm almost sure there was too much gore, it hit a point where the reader just ends up numb to it and all of the shock value is gone.

I also didn't particularly care for any of the characters... we follow the serial killer as our main character... but we never really get to know him so we're not all that worried if he gets caught or killed... perhaps if this had been more first person, or if our character had shared more thoughts with us beyond his cannibalism. There were no dreams, hopes for a future, relationships or anything for the reader to root for. Our Heroine was almost likeable, but any hope she had of being memorable in the long term ended with the second to the last scene. Speaking of which... I would have probably given this book 4 stars had the last two scenes been cut from the book. They were both completely unnecessary and they blew much of the premise that the book appeared to be working toward. I would have rather not known where certain people ended up then to have their ending seem so oddly out of line with where it felt like it should have been.

I can't go into much more then that without mentioning any spoilers, so I apologize if it seems vague. I think there are a lot of people out there who will really enjoy this book, Laymon fans in particular may now have a new author to thrill over. I will probably read more by Mr. White, though I hope in his next book he tries harder to scare me rather than just gross me out.

No comments: