Sorry for the delay in a review for this wonderful novella. Family, medical and obligatory excuses out of the way, we should start with the facts:
This is a good story.
Mr. Lucia's depiction of Hiram is that of a haunted man, struggling to come to grips with his past transgressions. Grange puts up a mask of invulnerability, hiding dreams about his mother and a woman named Sadie (I need to read the previous novellas to appreciate the whole thing, but it works very well to bring his past to life momentarily). I won't give away details, but the nightmares are vivid and the small snippets put you in touch with the emotions of the main character.
Kevin's descriptions are flawless. The monsters are real and tangible. I could smell when I wanted to breath in, feel what I wanted to touch. Nothing was overdone, leaving just enough room to imagine.
The ending of the story could have been explained just a little bit more, but that is just personal preference. The writing is crisp and you can see, in the end, how he put little details and Easter eggs for observant readers.
Hiram reminds me of a suicidal comic book character with bravery mixed in with complexity. I could easily see him fighting along side Sherlock Holmes or the Ghostbusters. The last one may seem strange, but it would make a crazy pair - though not a family fun version. Hiram's problems with drugs, girls and life can be understood and it gives us some sympathy for a character that will risk his life for a world he seems to care little about.
Each chapter in Hiram Grange is a small 1-4 pages. This makes for a very fast read. When I took the time to sit, it breezed past.
There's also great artwork in some chapters. It reminds me of old fantasy books I read as a child. The drawings really did add to the scenes, though one picture gave away what would happen on the page after it.
Most of all, I was impressed with Kevin's writing. As he delved further along in the book, everything that seemed out of place began to make sense. Everything that doesn't click together when you first read ends up being explained, without telling it all and shoving an explanation down your throat.
I was left to believe it, which I ultimately did.
Will it scare your pants off? Possibly. But it will try.
Overall, if you like tentacles, sex-demons, faeries, explosives, action, horror and mescaline, this was a novella worth reading from an author I will continue to watch. If you don't know much about Kevin, you can read an interview with him here.
Also, this is his website.
Thank you for reading everyone.