The Lure of Devouring Light

Michael Griffin. Word Horde, $16.99 trade paper (332p) ISBN 978-1-939905-19-2
In 11 weird tales gathered for this promising debut collection, characters step outside their comfortable ordinary routines and inadvertently plunge into strange worlds beyond their control or comprehension. “Far from the Streets” tells of a suburban couple whose move to a cabin in the woods opens them up to dislocating time shifts, physical mutation, and confused identities. In “Diamond Dust,” the protagonist is horrified when a corporate makeover reveals the hellish machinations behind his job. In “Arches and Pillars,” the characters’ sense of déjà vu as they court each other is an eerie portent of a tragic outcome. Griffin ably parallels the increasingly surreal experiences of his characters with their troubled personal psychology, notably in “The Black Vein Runs Deep,” in which the narrator’s descent into a mine that harbors supernatural menaces mirrors his efforts to excavate his past emotional traumas. This book is a solid outing from a rising star in horror and dark fantasy. (May)
Reviewed on: 03/21/2016
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