*squints at Google Docs*
Ever since I accidentally refreshed my WP draft page (and lost my entire review), I’ve begun to write all my WP post drafts in Google Docs before transferring them over here. But since I also write my shorts and AO3 drafts there, I had to make sure “untitled document A” was actually a review and not mixed with “untitled document B” which is a random fic…
Happy Thursday my lovely peeps🐥! This has been an eternally long week. I still need to do my 2022 taxes for the entire household…I’m procrastinating of course…
If you recall the spotlight for this book last week, well…I promised a review and here it now is! TA-DA!
So, for this week’s book review, we’re going to be featuring Wrath of The Land by Oli Jacobs!
Title: Wrath of The Land
Author: Oli Jacobs
Genre: Fiction, Horror, Comedy/Humor
Length: 269 Pages
Published: 7th March 2023
Amazon UK – [LINK]
Amazon US – [LINK]
Goodreads – [LINK]
Author Website – [LINK]
Newsletter – [LINK]
Disclaimer: Thank you Oli for this review copy! An e-copy was provided to me in exchange for a fair and honest review. All thoughts are my own.
Book blurb from Amazon US
When the plumbing around the centre of West Crumb starts to overflow, everyone believes the problem is a series of badly blocked drain.
What they don’t expect is a fatberg the size of a double-decker bus.
Council worker Ronald Pile is tasked with clearing the horrible mass, but soon finds himself dealing with a bureaucracy that works deep behind the scenes of the local council. Meanwhile, student Laura Bennett begins to notice how the fatberg seems to be influencing those around town.
Then, the reality of what the fatberg contains is revealed, and it begins to sprout.
The first time I came across Oli’s work, it was as an excerpt in BBNYA. I quite enjoyed it and I really enjoyed this book as well. I hardly read horror (because I’m a chicken) but because it was listed as a horror comedy, I was happy to give it a try. I’ve only read anything eldritch related once before so I can’t really comment on that aspect, but I must say (this book at least), things sure go from zero to one hundred in a snap of a second!
That’s why I just stuck around for so long. The plot was so crazy, my mouth hung open the entire time. I mean, the book started with me annotating “wow, blocked toilet for no reason. It happened to me just the other week back, due to main pipe issues too, and I watched with great fear as the water level rose just as the people of West Crumb did. SO real and relatable. Much wow!” I gave it another couple of chapters and things dropped so far into chaos and insanity and that was probably the MOST amusing thing about this book. With just how quickly things went nutty, I knew I was in for a fun time.
This book starts off with and is told from the perspective of Laura Bennett and Ronald Pile, a student and a city council official, as they view this…situation from different lens. It starts off with blocked toilets and investigations into the cause of this leads city workers to discover a fatberg the size of two buses. I didn’t know that the blockages caused by people flushing non-biodegradable stuff down the toilet even had a name. OK. Things are still relatively sane at this point. Totally normal stuff. Again, relatable even. Realistic too.
Until this 2-bus sized lump of yuck begins to grow tendrils and takes over the town.
You know how I said I started the book off with “Wow, so relatable!”? Yeah. Throw that out the window now. Things took a turn for the weirdest worst and the sanity level of the townspeople plummeted. The most baffling part of this event(?) is that people started to consider the giant “monster” down below as the new norm. People just…accepted that there was this great growing tumor below their feet, that it’s there, that it’s not going away anytime soon, and that it’s the end of days…and booze and stuff is all that’s left. People just…saw tendrils in town and went about their day! And the MOST baffling part, was that I, the reader, didn’t even notice that I myself took it as a the new normal because I didn’t comment about it until 80% of the way through. I was so hooked into the book, that I just went with the fact that there’s a monster below ground and waited to see what was to happen next. Which was exactly what the townspeople did. They sat around and waited to see what happens next (because what else are you gonna do?).
This review is turning out to be a bit of a ramble. But I guess, to summarize in a single statement: I was so hooked into the book and story, so involved with the progress of the fatberg that I began to feel and act like the West Crumb citizens; I sat and waited for it to progress and see how the government and officials were going to deal with the monster because I’m just an ordinary random human and what am I going to do against a near-invincible creature that I can’t even describe besides “otherworldly”?
And if a book can get me to be so immersed that I feel like I’m a West Crumb civilian, that’s a book that earns all the good stars on its own.
The actual violence itself is kept pretty contained, nothing too horrifying. I think it was mostly more of a disturbing tale than anything, especially when cults form (but when are cults anything but disturbing?). I enjoyed the writing and dialogue though and it made for an entertaining and smooth read. A great book that was wild and imaginative.
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