Obsidious means besieging, besetting or obsessional. A rare adjective used to describe author Lucas Pederson’s latest novel, Obsidious, which is a relentless “hunter being hunted” story reminiscent of earlier works by Hunter Shea. But the twist comes in the form of female protagonists. This is where Pederson breaks from the garden variety clichés and cements himself as an author with a very distinct voice. The female protagonists are all ex-military, and they’re moms. Powerhouse tour de force? Tick. Strong characterization? Tick. Harrowing narrative arc? Tick. Monstrous delirium? Tick. Pederson ticks the boxes like a hungover manic person with poor eyesight who impatiently fills out forms at the DMV. Obsidious is a genre-defining monster novel. Harrowing, haunting and oh so damn excellent!
At this point in the review I’d usually list the book’s copious amounts of faults, but in Pederson’s case there is none. The dialogue is efficient, succinct and meaningful. The characters are neither formulaic, nor tedious – they are alive. It takes special skill to simulate a fictional horror universe. Many authors completely lose the plot (literally and figuratively) at the halfway mark: certain plot devices become unhinged, the characters lose their humanity and the narrative arc burns like a bombed bridge before crashing into a pointless climax and a half hearted denouement. I’ve witnessed this anti-climactic disaster ad nauseam.
Pederson didn’t fall prey to this formula and I thank the good lawd that he didn’t, because I firmly believe Pederson could be the one to watch this year. He could be the breakout horror writer we’ve all been waiting for. His work is underrated. Obsidious needs to be read and it definitely needs to be seen by as many eyes as possible.
Lucas Pederson is a horror writer with finesse. He doesn’t dilly-dally with verbose descriptions and a menagerie of half-idiotic characters speaking sloppy dialogue. He gives us what he promised and that, dear readers, is what writing is all about.
Food undergoes quality control before it gets sent out. Unfortunately, some horror writers send out the food cold and half-rare. Pederson is the Gordon Rasey of quality control. His food deserves a Michelin star and a spot at the Terry M. West table.
Obsidious is buried treasure. So let’s all go and find it, shall we?
Reviewed by Renier Palland.
Renier started his writing career as a film critic in the early 2000’s. A few years later, he was employed as a Senior Entertainment Writer at one of the biggest entertainment websites on the planet. He worked alongside celebrities, Hollywood agents and entertainment bigwigs for more than seven years. He received an international publishing deal in 2017. His debut splatterpunk trilogy, War Game, is slated for a 200 000-print USA and European release in March of 2018. The official launch will be held at Barnes & Noble in New York City.