January 20, 2014

They Grow Up So Fast--and Furious: a review of Jonathan Janz's "Savage Species Part 2: The Children"

Savage Species Part Two: The Children

by Jonathan Janz

Samhain Horror (2013)

107 pages

ISBN13: 9781619217195

Leave it to Jonathan Janz to name some of sickest monsters to step onto the pages of one of his stories "The Children." These aren't your Children of the Corn types though, no sir. These Children have claws and fangs and the most depraved appetites imaginable.

At the end of "Night Terrors," all hell had broken loose in the Peaceful Valley Nature Reserve. The Children emerged from whatever dark recesses they'd been holed up in for only god knows how long, wasting no time in maiming, devouring, and defiling the unsuspecting campers. Jesse, Emma, and Colleen, the trio of journalists visiting the park for a feature story, escaping with all ten fingers and ten toes is a precarious exercise, because these beasts are everywhere. As for Charly and her now missing son, she must rely on Sam to help her find him and the monster that took him, but her domineering husband, Eric, is aware of their budding relationship and is out to end it one way or the other.

The pace is frenetic and the action is fierce. What character development exists at this stage in the story is nothing short of astonishing, since there is hardly a chapter not chock-full of guns blazing, claws tearing, and blood spilling. That said, it became a little overwhelming at times, like a sensory overload. The humor that comes in the form of Jesse and company seeking refuge at the home of Frank Red Elk is welcome, helping let off some of the pressure before things kick into high gear once more.

"Dark Zone" is the third installment in the serial novel, which seems poised to offer some kind of convergence between the two storylines, and maybe offer some glimmer of hope in defeating the Children. Because at this point, these monsters are unstoppable and people are dropping like flies. Bring it on.

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