Kill Hill Carnage
By Tim Meyer
Published by Sinister Grin Press, July 15 2018
4.5 Stars (Rounded up)
A few pages into Kill Hill Carnage by Tim Meyer, published by Sinister Grin Press, I knew I was holding one of my favorite horror books to be released this year. I was in the mood for something gory, lively, with a little humor and a lot of heart, and I found that in this book and so much more.
Kill Hill Carnage draws from the splattery depths of 80s horror, with creature and mad scientist throwbacks, campground massacres, and classic tale of “group of friends go into the woods and get more than they bargained for”. At face value, that’s enough fun to keep your attention through this novel. However, Meyer, with a knack for writing witty dialogue and palpable action, brings these fun tropes into a league of their own.
The plot of this book is thoroughly amusing, requiring page turn after page turn with an inability to be put down. The story travels non-linear paths, describing the monster-led massacre of a camp decades earlier, switching back and forth to the current-day group of young adults seeking thrills in those same woods. At no point did I feel lost in the story, each timeline and character perspective serving to push the story along at relatively breakneck speed.
One of the aspects I enjoyed most from Kill Hill Carnage was that there was a dynamic range of characters in the story. Meyer created realistic, interesting, and complex characters in the group of friends who are at the heart of this story—Jenna, Seth, Fiona, Dave, and Warren. While this group of friends are tied together in a twisty web of bffs, partners, wannabe-lovers, and acquaintances, Meyer does well to illuminate relationships in compelling directions. The other characters in the story—rough and gruff Frank and the scientists of Kill Hill allow for additional character development in well-written personalities. In addition to the solid cast at the center of the story, Meyer treats the reader to plenty of fodder to live up to the titular carnage.
Speaking of slaughter, while Meyer’s is talented in his ability to portray likable (and appropriately unlikable) characters with fun and often humorous dialogue, his ability to make me feel a little ill is to be equally lauded. Kill Hill Carnage was wrought with gore and the grimace-inducing action that causes it. This book is sharp in its descriptions of mayhem, with tense, gooey moments to fill the gaps between action as well.
I could go on and on about how this book is something close to a perfect read, but instead, I’m going to go light a candle and wish to the splatterpunk gods for a sequel.
(Disclaimer: Review copy received from publisher. Thank you!)