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Review: Blood Red by Paul Kane – Rob Ridenour

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Paul Kane has become one of my favorite writers of late. I feel ashamed that I’ve come across his written work so late in the game, but like they say there’s no better time than the present. After reading his wonderful short story collection Monsters, I quickly followed that up with his upcoming werewolf novel Blood Red which is a fast, mean-spirited, action-horror ride from beginning to end. It’s not as good as Monsters, but pretty damn close.

Blood Red is a sequel to Kane’s earlier story simply titled RED which was an interesting take on the Little Red Riding Hood tale. What I most enjoyed about the follow up was how Paul Kane manipulated the reader. You really didn’t know what the hell was going on until something happened. I felt like one of the characters from John Carpenter’s The Thing as I turned each page. Could I trust any of these characters? It was a question that kept popping up in my mind as I was reading it. I never knew what to expect and as a reader I found that to be some damn good writing on part of the author.

The werewolves themselves were big and nasty which is the way I like them. These beasts would devour the likes of Lon Chaney’s Wolfman or even the Lycans from the Underworld movie franchise in one gulp. They don’t mess around when getting what they want. They’re mean and enjoy toying with their victims before they move in for the kill. I sure wouldn’t want to run into these things on a cold dark night.

Speaking of killings, the author also doesn’t leave anything to the imagination. Just like Clive Barker, he gives the reader every detail when a werewolf rips into a victim. The ending is nothing but one big gore-fest with bodies being torn to sheds and limbs flying everywhere. Let’s just say Blood Red is a very appropriate title for this book and I’ll leave it at that.

Most of the characters were very engaging as well. Hunter was the standout for me because I related to him the most. I loved the internal conflict that Paul gave him. I’ve always loved the loner type characters with big hearts. Rachel Daniels was hard to get into at first but as the story played out I began to really care about her. But it was her mother who stole the show from everyone. She’s the classic protective mother who’s going to make sure nothing happens to her daughter. She also has a scrappy side to her that I liked. The female characters in this book are not written as hopeless victims. They’re strong and can kick some ass. I like females characters like that.

So once again Paul Kane has delivered another great novel that should please fans of his work and of the genre. It’s a very strong follow-up to RED and I hope he’ll give us another Red story in the near future. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!


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