That Which Should Not Be
By Brett J. Talley
Carter Weston, a student at Miskatonic University in New England, is intrigued when his professor, Dr. Thayerson, asks him to retrieve a book from a nearby village. The book, the Incendium Maleficarum, is thought to be able to control inhuman forces, and is supposedly a legend. Carter is amazing to find out its real and now he’s both excited and worried as he sets off to find it. Upon arriving in the small village of Anchorhead, he finds lodging and a tavern to wait out the snow storm that is burying the village. He befriends four men and being interested in folk stories, he listens to their tales and slowly realizes there might be more to this book than he can handle.
The stories of the four men were interesting (and in some ways the best part of the book for me) but for a short while I did wonder how they would tie into the main plot. They set the stage and there isn’t anything wrong with that but it felt like the story started one way, moved slightly sideways, and then came back to the center. Almost as if they were preparing Carter for what he would find. And in fact that is the case.
October is when I want to read creepy, scary books and when this one arrived I looked forward to it with an almost sense of glee. The cover looked promising — its got a cthulhu on the cover; how can it not be creepy. I love stories that have an element of the unknown and by unknown I’m good with the paranormal and in this case I’m going to include otherworldly creatures too. And, yes, there were some creepy elements to this story. I wasn’t so much sold on the ending but the stories along the way are what caught my attention. As I said above, the men he meets at the bar regale him with tales and encounters of their own, and these stories, short as they were, were more interesting to me than the main story of the book. While it was promising, it didn’t do much for me.
Overall though, it wasn’t a bad read for October and if you enjoy horror, this did entertain.
I won this book from the Librarything Early Reviewers Program.