The first time I became acquainted with Clegg's work was through this Harrow series with a novel called "Mischief" and let me tell you, the man can write! I still remember reading the book through the night and simply being unable to put it down. Just as with the other book, his writing is very smooth, easy to digest and simply impossible to put down. This book is really two short novels in one. The first being a 170 page story about an Aztec monster out for fresh blood in the desert and the second, an introduction to the Harrow series, about a man who was reborn as a monster with insatiable appetite for lust and sacrifices. Each one is so very different but it showcases Clegg's intense way of conjuring ideas and his ability to translate them into books that are easy to read. He's slowly becoming a staple on my bookshelf and I can always count on him for a fantastic mix of horror and fantasy that somehow feels real.
The first story is called "The Attraction" and its strength relies on the sharp and spot on character development. I adored the relationships he build between the five friends who went on a road trip though the dry, hot desert, somehow getting stranded in middle of nowhere, close to danger. I got to like some, dislike others and then I got to read about them coming across an ancient Aztec mummy, said to be the scraper of the bones who drank the blood and danced for rain in the ancient times on top of the pyramids. Its no secret that something happens and the monstrum comes to life, what happens next is the real beauty of the story. Be prepared for some gruesome devouring, the tale is good but ends a little tame for my tastes. Overall I love the characters and enjoyed the imaginative new nemesis that I have never read about before.
The second novel is about a very bad man who gets entangled in some very dark magic; it's a little intro to the wonderful Harrow series, about a haunted private school with many skeletons in its closet. It was a really dirty and intense story but really good at the same time, perhaps it's a good thing it was short because it was immensely dark and rich with truly horrific ideas.
I engulfed this book over the weekend and can't wait to get back to reading some more of Clegg, he's a real diamond in the rough and his stories entertain both the mind and the imagination.
- Kasia S.