The Horror Honeys: The Haunted Bookclub ~ EXPONENTIAL

The Haunted Bookclub ~ EXPONENTIAL

A Hardcover Honey Book of the Week Review by Jocelyn

Exponential - Adam Cesare

Friend of the Horror Honeys Adam Cesare sent me a book last year – Video Night – which I liked a lot (Read my review HERE) and was kind enough to send Exponential for a read as well. After reading my second Adam Cesare book, I have to tell you – this guy can write, and it’s a shame he isn’t as well-known as some of his less talented cohorts.

This is a standard set-up, very similar to The Blob, or Splinter, wherein a hardy band of survivors is holed up in a dive-y remote location while an external menace stalks the outside – but this one had a pretty fun twist to it. It starts off small – very small – as lonely lab custodian Sam Taylor smuggles one tiny little white mouse out after hours. He dubs the mouse “Felix” and puts him in a little cage in his sad bachelor apartment near Vegas. Shortly thereafter, Felix swells up, his “skin going springy and the mass underneath soft like a wet sponge to the touch” <shudder> and shortly after THAT, things go even more sideways when Felix bites onto Sam’s hand and then goes even further by fully integrating into Sam’s body, burrowing inside <double shudder and a gag reflex> all the way up into Sam’s brain, killing Sam in the process.

And we’re off to the races as the former Felix races through chapter after chapter, absorbing the unlucky people and animals he crosses paths with, including the lab representative sent to check on Sam, a high-school sophomore skipping school to ride his motorbike, a bear, a random guy working on some satellite dishes out in the desert, a hungover screenwriter, etc. These chapters were hugely entertaining, although a bit scattered until I caught on that I shouldn’t get too attached to any of these characters before their bones are pulled out of their screaming bodies.  

Interspersed with the random kill chapters are chapters focusing on our aforementioned hardy band of survivors, including tough chick Vicky Quail (loves guns and gambling), former Navajo Nation cop Dvid Nez, and methhead junkie pair Ken and Kate (tragic backstory, on the run, etc).  When they all land at a dusty roadside bar called “Rose’s Tavern” at the same time as Felix arrives on the scene, the stakes are raised. When all parties learn that Felix doesn’t love the taste of meth-tainted blood (shades of Peter Stenson’s Fiend, another favorite former read of mine), will they be able to turn that knowledge to their advantage? What about the mysterious government (maybe) man who is tracking Felix on his gore-filled journey – will he arrive at Rose’s in time to save this little group?

I don’t want to spoil anything for you – but I will tell you, our Horror Honeys readers will love this cinematic novel – and I am eagerly awaiting the next Adam Cesare book to show up in my mailbox!

Hardcover Honey verdict: 4 out of 5 icky lab experiments for this fun and fast read.

What are YOU reading this week?
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