I guess you can tell that I’m a pretty big fan of author Hunter Shea’s work, seeing as how I’ve reviewed several of his books over the past few months. What can I say? The guy can certainly entertain! Samhain Publishing recognizes my fandom as well, for they put a quote from one of my reviews on the cover of Shea’s recent offering, THE DOVER DEMON (you can’t see it in the picture above, but it’s there). In the quote, I said, “Shea’s work is smart and inventive, in both scope and merit. His themes are universal and his horror is, well, horrifying. You can’t ask for anything else.” I said this about Shea’s 2013 book SINISTER ENTITY, but the statement rings true for everything he has written. THE DOVER DEMON is yet another interesting and unique entry into Shea’s bibliography. And just like his previous books, this offering is extremely entertaining.
If you are not familiar with THE DOVER DEMON, here is the plot synopsis courtesy of Samhain Publishing:
The Dover Demon is real…and it has returned. In 1977, Sam Brogna and his friends came upon a terrifying, alien creature on a deserted country road. What they witnessed was so bizarre, so chilling, they swore their silence. But their lives were changed forever. Decades later, the town of Dover has been hit by a massive blizzard. Sam’s son, Nicky, is drawn to search for the infamous cryptid, only to disappear into the bowels of a secret underground lair. The Dover Demon is far deadlier than anyone could have believed. And there are many of them. Can Sam and his reunited friends rescue Nicky and battle a race of creatures so powerful, so sinister, that history itself has been shaped by their secretive presence?
I am honored to have a quote on the cover of one of Shea’s books. He is rapidly approaching celebrity status in the horror world, and being associated with his name is a major accolade for me.
THE DOVER DEMON is written with Shea’s trademark, easy-going style, and thus flows smoothly. The story is rife with originality and unfolds like a carefully constructed puzzle, revealing just enough information to keep the reader enthralled. This book, however, has a nice twist towards the end that I never saw coming. I have to confess it threw me for a loop at first, because it is a drastic ‘reveal’ that takes the book in a different direction. But as the story progressed, I realized this is a very good thing.
The characters are just as we like them in horror novels: damaged but likable. There are a couple, like Kelly Weathers, who are more damaged than others…but this vulnerability is part of what makes them so relatable. I found myself laughing at Kelly’s antics one moment, and then feeling sorry for her the next.
As I mentioned above, the story of THE DOVER DEMON is what really wins here. I had heard a bit about the legend prior to reading the book, however I never dreamt it could go in a direction like Shea takes it. I am continuously impressed with how sharp of a mind the author has, and I love where his imagination takes us as readers.
THE DOVER DEMON is a huge win for me, and I once again suggest every horror fan pick up a copy soon. If you’ve never read Shea’s work before, now is the time. If you are already a fan, you’ll enjoy this one as much (if not more) as his previous work. The book is available now in a variety of formats.