When Diana – an American defector to the Soviet Union – blows up her own platoon in an act of terroristic defiance, she finds herself shuttled to a secret military laboratory deep in the Siberian tundra. There she melds with its community of workers and finds herself at the mercy of shady Director Ivanov’s bizarre and restrictive policies. Their experiment is a crossbred hybrid of man and ape, reared to be the ultimate soldier.
The BookViral Review: Genre – Horror Fiction
Readers looking for a genuine nerve shredder need look no further than Carlson’s Simeon! A novel that makes the reader feel like an active participant in its unfolding horror it’s one to be read with the lights on!
The best horror novels work because readers feel fully invested in the fate of the characters and Carlson easily achieves this. Demonstrating a confident command of composition and economic storytelling as Diana finds herself locked in a nightmare from which there seems little chance of escape.
Simeon isn’t one of those novels that falls back on trite and tired tropes or overreaches for the shock factor. Carlson’s narrative is refined, playing with character perspectives to illuminate the terrifying nature of his subterranean setting as tensions rise to meet the expectations of his readers. More importantly, he’s careful to balance the genres requisite shocks with scenes that set up the emotional stakes for his key characters. This being particularly true of Diana who is given a powerful backstory told through flashbacks as she finds herself under the constant, inescapable threat of death.
With a cracking and perfectly pitched denouement, Carlson has delivered a superb debut and Simeon is recommended without reservation.