Entropy in Bloom

Jeremy Robert Johnson. Night Shade, $25.99 (272p) ISBN 978-1-59780-895-8
There’s nary a dud in Johnson’s chilling collection of 15 reprints and one original novella. “The Gravity of Benham Falls” turns the classic ghost story on its head, with satisfying results. “Snowfall,” about a little boy waking to a new world, is short but packs a heartrending punch. “When Susurrus Stirs,” about a man who lets a parasite take over his body, isn’t for the faint of heart. “Luminary” is an appropriately luminous story about a young man with a beautiful and terrifying power. In “Cathedral Mother,” an ecoterrorist plots to derail a plan to clear redwoods from an Oregon forest, but the forest has other plans for her. The crown jewel is the utterly terrifying new novella “The Sleep of Judges,” in which a suburban dad, plots revenge against the people who burglarized his home but soon finds out they’re not quite people anymore. Johnson is a master of mood, seamlessly combining the literary with the grotesque. Horror fans will find much to chew on, and these stories will certainly reach a wider audience. Johnson (Skullcrack City) deserves to be a household name, as this superb collection makes clear. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 02/20/2017
Release date: 04/18/2017
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