Written by: Drake Morgan
As climate change becomes an increasing point of fear around the globe, it’s natural to expect horror writers to take up the mantle. There is so much fertile ground for truly monstrous ideas, but so far there hasn’t been a rush to delve into this new arena. The few attempts I’ve read have really missed the opportunity to explore this theme of the evil Man is creating by greed, consumption, and a lack of concern for anything but ourselves.
Mark Teppo’s latest release Earth Thirst takes on an apocalyptic view of a globe on the verge of collapse. In a world where humans have over-populated and allowed corporate greed to run rampant and unchecked, an ancient race of vampire-like creatures known as Arcadians sleep deep in the earth waiting to rise to protect the planet. With elements of science-fiction, horror, and a hint of old noir, Teppo gives us a disturbing look at our future, but like the other eco-horror works I’ve read, misses the mark on truly capturing the monstrosity we’ve unleashed on ourselves.
The story begins with a horrific fire aboard a ship. Our protagonist Silas is betrayed and exiled. He discovers however, that the government is testing a weapon to destroy the guardians of the Earth for their own greed and gain. Teppo creates some pretty nasty bad guys who stop at nothing. They easily cut people up for parts, use private armies to crush opposition, and a whole host of other dastardly deeds. The story is heavy on action, but the narrative meanders and at certain points, falls off the cliff of any believability or logic. By the time I reached the discussion concerning Talus as the plant, Nigel getting a chemical dose meant for Silas, and Secutores designing a new trap, I was lost.
Teppo had an idea that seemed to get away from him here. There is an eco-horror/ science fiction story in this environmental nightmare somewhere. It’s just waiting to be told. Earth Thirst is not that story. Entertaining, action-packed, but it just did not come together in the end.