Written by: Matt Molgaard
Gregory Lamberson is one of those authors that grows on you. He’s like a tumor of perfection. Yeah, he really grows on you!
On a serious note, Lamberson has been an established creator of terror for years. And somehow, after all of this time contributing to our glorious genre, he only seems to get better with every out. The last two books in his Jake Helman Files saga were excellent, with the finale being completely mind blowing. It became an immediate favorite for me, but Black Creek just completely blew it out of the water. Completely.
The story focuses on a small community that find themselves in a heap of trouble when the storm of the century descends. The roads are covered in snow. Gusts tear through the streets, capable of lifting a man right out of his boots. The power goes as the threat of the weather intensifies. It’s the kind of storm that can easily kill, but what comes out during that storm – something that’s been living beneath the surface for generations – is even more prone to create a horrific body count.
Can a small group of savvy survivors overcome the odds and win a war with an enemy never seen? Is this small town doomed to become a collective victim of a flesh-eating menace?
Brilliant. Effin brilliant!
Lamberson does something very unique with this story: he creates two antagonists for a group of unlikely heroes overcome. The first is the weather. It’s nasty. It’ll kill with absolutely no remorse. It’s Mother Nature, after all. But the other villain of this tale, a horde of deformed monsters, are no doubt the more intimidating obstacle standing between our few living humans and what feels like a gruesome but inevitable finale.
Everyone in this story is forced to fight with everything they’ve got, and a lot of them won’t live to see the final page.
Lamberson’s smooth storytelling and excellent grasp of character personality, location and obligation to the narrative is beautiful. Lamberson’s writing style feels as though it’s an intricate extension of a screenplay, and that helps keep the story moving in many different directions, despite the fact that we all know our final destination is the same. I love that quality. It’s endearing, it makes for thrilling reads. And Black Creek isn’t just a thrilling read, it’s a complete mind-blowing tale full of carnage and brutality. Above that carnage and brutality however, ranks the human element of the tale, which is excellent, bringing familial bonds and selflessness to the surface to shine.
We’re now nearly halfway through 2016 and Lamberson and his sinister creation Black Creek have found a home on my “Year’s Best” list. Kudos, sir. Kudos!