Review: When it Rains by Mark Allan Gunnells

It may be dangerous to go out in the rain…but it may be even more dangerous to stay inside.

Just after noon on a sunny spring day at Friedkin University, a layer of strange clouds smudges across the sky, and a mysterious rain begins to fall. This isn’t just a surprise spell of rain—this substance is slimy and gelatinous… and it’s not letting up any time soon.

The rain spreads across the country, the hemisphere, and the globe, with growing ripples of panic and paranoia gathering behind it. Is it a natural, undocumented phenomenon? A chemical weapon? Some kind of bacterial contagion? As fear turns theories into conspiracies and no clear answers are given, factions start to form between those who have been exposed to the rain and those who stayed dry. Who is safe? Who is marked? Who is dangerous, and who is not?

The rain keeps falling, and at Friedkin University, the sanctuary of the campus bookstore swiftly becomes a dangerous battlefield. Is it man versus nature? Or man versus man?

When it Rains by Mark Allan Gunnells. Published by Crystal Lake Publishing, March 2022. Total of 118 pages.

*Thank you to Crystal Lake Publishing for letting me read this in exchange for an honest review*

I love a good weird, unsolved mysterious event. Odd signal from space, rocks that move and leave trails, bleeding glaciers, etc. The world is a weird place, and sometimes we come across stuff in it that we just can’t explain.

When it Rains uses the real unexplained 1994 mystery of strange slime rain and twists it into a wild whisker twister filled with toxic assumptions and paranoia. This is a super short novella but is filled with a lot of mounting anxiety and dread. The twist at the end is great and tragic all at the same time.

What I love the most about this story is the characters. Everyone felt very realistic. Not everyone is likeable… just like real life. Everyone just felt so real, with honest different reactions to a crisis. Hey, not everyone is going to do “the right thing”, you know? People have flaws. They have fears and emotions that can get the better of them. Everyone felt so human.

When it Rains is a fun, fast read. This is the first time I’ve read this author. I enjoyed this novella a lot and really look forward to reading some other work by him. 🙂


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