Two men, however, will enter that high-rise deathtrap and brave its horrors.
One man is searching for a missing woman.
The other is trying to deliver a pizza.
Short stories and novellas are often tricky little beasts. By its very nature, the shortened format requires the author to set the mood, tell the backstory, introduce the characters and pace the plot with fewer words.
Done poorly, a novella can end up tasting like a bowl of plain vanilla ice cream. There’s nothing wrong with vanilla ice cream, but it’s usually more satisfying with hot fudge, whipped cream and nuts (maybe even a cherry, if you’re lucky). Stephen King is a master of short stories and novellas, but in my experience, he’s the exception to the rule. Even skilled writers often struggle with them. Which is why I was a bit nervous about Isosceles Moon. I’m a huge fan of Keith Blackmore, and I didn’t want to be let down if he wasn’t able to pull it off.
I’m very happy to report that I wasn’t disappointed in the least. Isosceles Moon was a fantastic novella with just the right amount of build up and a brisk but smooth pacing. In retrospect, I never should have doubted. One of Keith’s biggest strengths with the Mountain Man series was his ability to help readers get inside the head of his characters and understand their point of view. That skill served him well throughout Isosceles Moon with its limited but interesting cast. His decision to provide insight into the relationship between the two “creatures” hunting their human prey was an especially interesting twist that added a richness to the story.
While the book didn’t necessarily end in a cliffhanger, I had to dock it a half-star because there are a few loose ends left dangling. I’m hoping there’s a sequel or maybe even a full-length novel that continues the story. It definitely feels like there’s more to tell. Overall, this is an exceptionally entertaining tale well worth the effort for horror fans everywhere.
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