Richard Laymon Same Vein


Date of Release: 1997

Publisher: New English Library

Review Source:

KING BLOOD by Simon Clark

Simon Clark's 4th novel, KING BLOOD, follows up on the apocalyptic theme first explored in his acclaimed 1995 release, BLOOD CRAZY. While KING BLOOD may not have the furious, lean pacing of its predecessor, it's a finely-crafted tale whose 500-plus pages allow for a more involving experience in a world that is literally burning up.

Told in the first person - a style in which Clark has truly mastered all the potential nuances such an approach can offer - KING BLOOD begins with a party in which the protagonist in reunited with his older brother. However, the festivities soon come to an end as people begin to fall victim to Earth itself. Choking natural gas floods the streets, cities erupt in flame, lakes boil and flood, the forests wither and burn. Survivors search desperately for refuge and food in a landscape growing hotter beneath their feet. The narrator, Rick Kennedy, and his older brother, Stephen, lead a group of survivors in a quest to survive the burning land, cannibalistic bands of marauders...and the mysterious Grey Men whose increasing presence foretells more death and destruction.

While KING BLOOD could have stood a more thorough editing to cut 100 or so pages and better focus the tale's intensity, this is a novel not to be missed and should only garner more acclaim for this hot, new horror writer.
-- Ron Clinton, USA

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