Four teenagers awaken in a scorched cornfield with no memory of how they got there. All they know is that there were five of them when they found the carcass of the mutilated cow.
Forty years later, Eric Devlin sends a cryptic email to the other three survivors: I remember everything.
Karl Doering has spent the majority of his life trying to understand what happened that night and learn the fate of his missing friend. He responds to the mysterious message and finds that Eric has killed himself in a decrepit barn, behind which is a cornfield filled with mutilated cattle.
When a local girl goes missing, Karl realizes that he and the other two survivors are her only hope. To find her they must confront repressed memories so traumatic they’d driven Eric to take his own life…and creatures straight out of their worst nightmares.
Unidentified by Michael McBride. Published by DarkFuse, January 2017. Novella, Kindle edition is 86 pages long. Triggers: animal death and mutilation. I read this for the Goodreads group Creatures, Creatures Everywhere! group read for January 2019.
I am a big fan of the author Michael McBride. I have not read everything by him -yet- but everything I’ve read so far has been right up my alley! He does a lot of creature feature horror, which is probably my all time fave subcategory of horror. The books I’ve read by him are also populated with other themes I find super fun to read about- aliens, ancient aliens, ancient civilizations, and conspiracies just to name a few. You can tell the author does a lot of research for his topics. I have not been disappointed by his work yet. His books are gory, dark, spooky and highly entertaining. So when Unidentified was picked as a group read for Jan 2019 on one of my horror Goodreads group, I could hardly wait!
Unidentified did not disappoint. It was a super quick read, clocking in at 86 pages (for the kindle edition). This novella had a great plot. At the end, when it was finally revealed as to what was out in that corn field… CREEPY!! The chapters zig zag back and forth between present time and 40 years ago when the main characters were teenagers. The story of what happened when they were kids reveals itself piece by piece as the present time closely mirrors those long ago events. At first it took me a few chapters to wrap my head around that sort of play by play, but after I got used to it, it was not a problem.
This story was DARK. Don’t expect a happy ending with this one, because you aren’t going to get it. It is pretty messed up from the very first chapter. There is a decent amount of gore, but it is not overly gory. Warning though, there are cattle mutilations and dead animals in this story. The deaths happen all off page, so you only see the remains, but Mr. McBride does go in to a lot of details about what the dead bodies look like or how they were killed. I have an easier time when it happens off page like this, but I just like to give out a warning whenever there is any sort of animal deaths in a book. I know there are other people out there like me who draw the line at animal deaths, especially pet deaths.
My biggest problem with this story is that it was just too damn short!! I flew through it in just a couple of hours and I didn’t want it to end! There were so many things I wanted to know at the end about these creatures and their history as well as their future! I wish it had been a full length novel instead of a novella. Unidentified took a common alien topic of cattle mutilations and really gave it a fresh, unique take. Man, this book would make a pretty epic movie! 😮
I really enjoy this authors work and Unidentified was just as fun to read as his other stories. Fans of aliens and creatures definitely should check this out! It’s a very quick read and totally worth looking in to! There is a decent amount of gory and animal deaths in this novella, so just be ready for that if it is something you are not a huge fan of. A very unique take on aliens and it was a rather creepy little story.
2 thoughts on “Review: Unidentified by Michael McBride”
I have the audible to listen to over the weekend. So excited after reading your review. I’m thinking I should read it also and get two experiences for it.
Ooh! I didn’t know it was available for audio! :O Sounds like that would be fun!