Something is wrong in the small outback town of Morgan Creek.
A farmer goes missing after a blue in the pub. A teenage couple fail to show up for work. When Patrick and Sheila McDonough investigate, they discover the missing persons list is growing. Before they realise what’s happening, the residents of the remote town find themselves in a fight for their lives against a foe they would never have suspected.
And the dry red earth will run with blood.
The Roo by Alan Baxter. Paperback novella, 130 pages. Published January 28th 2020 by Alan Baxter.
**Possible triggers: Blood and guts. Child deaths. Strong language. Animal death. Domestic abuse.**
Now this…. THIS is my type of story! 😀 As soon as I heard about this book, I had to get my hands on it! I didn’t even need to read the plot blurb…. All it took was one look at that gorgeous cover ( I mean, just LOOK at that epic cover!! ) and two little words- Evil kangaroo. Well alright, I am in! I mean, seriously, what more do you need after that, right?
So let’s talk about the creature feature part of this novella first. Crikey! This is a violent Roo! If you are squeamish or just don’t like a lot of blood and guts, then this is definitely not the book for you. This kangaroo does not hold back. Men, women, children… it does not matter. He will decapitate you, crush you, rip your body parts off, impale you, and pull out your innards! There are a lot of details and I guess some people might find it graphic? I don’t know? I love that kind of stuff and it doesn’t really bother me, but I guess it might bother some? *Shrug* So… just something to keep in mind.
Now, I don’t want to say too much about the kangaroo and what made him act like this because, you know… spoilers. I will say that I thought it was extremely interesting. I really liked the idea behind the evil roo. I was not expecting that at all. I thought it was a unique idea and I enjoyed being pleasantly surprised my the turn out.
Now, this little creature feature novella is much more then it looks. I’m sure some people would take one look at it and think, ok, it’s just going to be blood and guts and that’s it. Well, it’s not. It actually packs quite a bit of social commentary in there. While the majority of the story is, yes, blood and guts and evil kangaroo… The author also touches on what life is like in rural Australia. It is a hard, tough life. Farmers struggle, often turning to drinking and cruelty. There is a lot of domestic abuse in these areas. Suicide rates for adult men are extremely high. The author makes it clear about his message. Men, show your emotions! Work together! Show you care! It’s ok to cry, it’s ok to be scared. Don’t just bottle everything up until you are so depressed and frustrated that you lash out to the ones you love.
Baxter also has other social commentary messages hidden within The Roo. In the author’s note at the end, Alan talks about how men need to start treating all women better and that fathers need to start setting a better example for their sons. Show them that women are equal and that you treat them that way. They are just as strong and capable as you are. You don’t have to treat them like they are less. The author subtlety shows how sexist things are, and creates some strong female characters in this story. Without the main female character, the whole town would have died. 😮
The Roo was an extremely entertaining read. I had so much fun with this book. Lots of creature feature coolness that also had several strong messages within. You really can’t ask for more! Except… maybe a sequel?? 😀 The author leaves it open at the end…. so…. yes please? 😀 I asked the author if he was going to do a sequel. He said he hadn’t planned on it, but he left it open for a set up to another book, so you never know! 😀 That’s not necessarily a no! We want evil Kiwi! Evil Kookaburra? Evil Platypus! Aren’t they already poisonous? Come on! Sequel please! 😀