October 20th, 2009

book 1

Angry Ghosts by F. Allen Farnham

Series: Angry Ghosts
Publisher: Cadre One, 2009
Genre: Science Fiction
Sub-genre: Military
Rating: 3 1/2 pints of blood

This is a great cover (and title, incidentally) for a horror novel. The issue is that this book is decidedly not a horror novel. This book is science fiction, with spaceships and aliens and genetic experiments. Creepy angry eyebrows coming out of the dark draw my attention if I'm looking for evil vampires or zombies, something dark and likely gory. Military space opera does not even cross my mind, and it took some major mental adjustment when I started to get into the story. Even the cover copy sounds like a dark post-apocalyptic story:

Humanity is wiped out in less than two months. Hundreds of strange vessels appear, unleashing an assault both methodical and efficient. Bombardment vaporizes building and bone. Invasion clears out the larger pockets of survivors. Plague finishes the last few clinging to life. Extermination complete, the azure skinned beings journey home and resume their normal lives. Seven hundred years later, a cargo ship goes missing. A burst of static precedes the disappearance, but investigations find no trace of ship or crew. Decades pass. Then another vessel vanishes, again with the burst of static. Another decade. Another disappearance. Never a trace. A rumor begins in the dark alleys and religious communities, spreading like fire. Most laugh when they hear it, dismissing the speaker as superstitious or overly pious; but all tremble inside. In their hearts, they know the genocide was a great crime; and where all of their technology and power has failed to provide answers, the rumor may be true. “Angry Ghosts have come to revenge.”

Sure, there are shades of sci fi in there, but it's rather common for horror novels to contain some paranormal elements, and there's often a fine line between a dark post-apocalyptic novel and straight-out horror. Ever read EE Knight's Vampire Earth series? Yeah, excellent example of what I'm talking about here. Angry Ghosts is nothing like this, though, and after chapter two closes, we hear nothing about the titular angry ghosts.

Confused? I was. Collapse )