The monsters live inside of Kate Woodson. Chronic pain and a host of autoimmune diseases have robbed her of a normal, happy life. Her husband Andrew’s surprise of their dream Maine lake cottage for the summer is the gift of a lifetime. It’s beautiful, remote, idyllic, a place to heal.
But they are not alone. Something is in the woods, screeching in the darkness, banging on the house, leaving animals for dead.
Just like her body, Kate’s cottage becomes her prison. She and Andrew must fight to survive the creature that lurks in the dead of night.
Creature by Hunter Shea. Published September 2018 by Flaming Tree Press. I received my advanced reader copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Right up front, this is not a typical Hunter Shea novel.
Normally Mr. Shea has lots of crazy creature action and a real quick pace. Creature was not like that at all. It was a very, VERY slow burner, extremely heavy on character development and light on any actual creature. I was actually a little bummed out about that, honestly. I’ve read several books by this author and the creature feature is what I love about his work. It takes about 50% through the book before anything really even happens. At the 70% mark, the creature finally appears.
Creature wasn’t really about a creature, but more about the loving bond between two people who are in a really difficult situation. The book heavily focuses on Kate and how sick she is. A very sympathetic character and you do feel bad for her. On one hand I think it is great having a character that is dealing with health problems. On the other hand, it began to get a little too repetitive and never felt like the story progressed until the very end. A majority of the book was basically about Kate and Andrew’s day to day life. I understand that this was a very personal book for the author and that he has been going through a similar situation as the 2 main characters in the book. I understand why he wrote the book the way he did, I just personally do not like stories like that. I don’t like slice of life character heavy detailed stories. I also do not like horror that is “real life” horror. Creature was very much about the horror that was Kate having to suffer from her illness. I’m not saying this is a bad book, but it was a bad fit for me. When I read a book, I do it to get away from that kind of thing. Not hyper focus on it. I just do not find real life horror entertaining. For me, Creature was very slow and a little bit too repetitive with too little of a creature. If you don’t mind real life horror, you should definitely check out this book.
As always, I like to give disclaimers when there are animals involved in the story. I always like to be warned about any animal death or cruelty before hand so I always make sure to put that in my reviews for other readers who feel the same way. Several wildlife animals- birds, squirrels and rabbits- are killed. The author handled it well though, nothing was too graphic and Mr. Shea did not dwell on the details. It was mostly mentioned in a few sentences and that was it. Something along the lines of “That squirrel doesn’t have a head.” and that was it. There is also Buttons, the pet dog, who was actually a main character himself. Do not worry about Buttons. He does not get killed.
Overall, I had a hard time getting through Creature because it just wasn’t a good fit for me. Anyone who does enjoy real life horror mixed with a little bit of creature horror, this will be a good book for you. Not a bad book at all, just not what I was hoping for.
2 thoughts on “Review: Creature by Hunter Shea”
Your opinions differ from mine, but I always enjoy reading reviews from another perspective. Very fair!
Yes, I noticed on Goodreads that everyone else seemed to really love Creature. That’s ok, I am glad others enjoyed it and I’m glad that Hunter was able to write something so personal. 🙂