DarkEcho Horror
deccoclock by Rick Berry
Book Review

James A. Moore
Meisha Merlin/ $16/ Soft cover trade/ 408 pp.
ISBN 1892065401

Collier, Georgia is the microcosmic small southern town invaded by the fearful and destructive unknown. A monstrous UFO literally crashes the town's Independence Day celebration killing and injuring hundreds. This horror brings something even more horrifying -- martial law and the soldiers of Project ONYX, a secret governmental agency intent on containing Collier and retrieving the bogey. The men in black survival suits -- accompanied by matching helicopters and every other piece of special forces equipment and gear imaginable -- are more paranoid than a bunch of hyped-up crank addicts and just about as friendly. But this is America, folks, so naturally misunderstanding, violence, prejudice, terrorism, and stupidity result -- but so does heroism, loyalty, and love.

cover Moore writes in a straight-ahead style with a tendency toward cliché ("little piggy eyes," "weak as a kitten," "still as statues"). But the style is appropriate and sympathetic to the locale and characters. Tension, more than suspense, mounts as the story moves along, changing effectively from one character's point of view to another. The citizens and soldiers are well-drawn and believable. Their humanity makes the graphic descriptions of disaster all the more horrifying. Except for the grue, Moore's twist on alien invasion stays in the mainstream. Very little can be said to be unexpected, but the novel still manages to be both disturbing and thought-provoking. (May 2001) -- Paula Guran, originally appeared in Cemetery Dance #36

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