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Dan Padavona ‘The Island’ Review

Written by: Chad Lutzke

Dan Padavona barely gave his new readers a month to read his debut novel, Storberry, before he released a double dose of horror in the form of two short stories.  His latest e-book, The Island, starts with isolation and ends with the destruction of human life at the hands of an unexpected killer.

The first story is centered around a man and his son who struggle to survive an attack from melon-sized arachnids while newly stranded on an island.  I will admit to getting the “heebie jeebies” a few times later that night well after reading the story.  With spiders on the mind, it made the simple task of reaching into a dark cupboard bring to mind the potential for attack from any eight-legged creatures hiding in the shadows.

Story number two takes place in the cold autumn of a college campus with students falling prey to a string of mysterious deaths.  Where this story lacked the suspense that the opener contained, it made up for atmospherically, and ultimately, psychologically.  I’ll stop there so I don’t give too much away.

Though I liked the way these stories read over Storberry (which could have something to do with one of them being written in first person, which flows nicely), the endings left me a bit unsatisfied; however, I should note that when it comes to short fiction, I’m a rather selective reader with high expectations.  For example, I love King’s novels but think most of his short fiction is nothing but filler.  Some people appreciate the whole ride, but I’m in it for the ending.  I like the Hitchcockian endings, the thinkers, the stunners.  I feel that the stories in Padavona’s book would appeal more toward the “riders.”

Padavona’s language has clearly ripened between his two releases, and I have a very strong feeling Dan will one day give birth to an idea that, when mixed with his maturing prose, will make pure literary gold, finding itself among many a bookshelf.

Order it here.

Rating: 4/5


About The Overseer (1669 Articles)
Author of Say No to Drugs, writer for Blumhouse, Dread Central, Horror Novel Reviews and Addicted to Horror Movies.

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