Posted on June 3, 2010 by Steven Dawes
Written by Eric S. Brown
I’ve been put through the literary meat grinder recently with really great & really intense books like Darkness on the Edge of Town and On the Third Day. So I figured it was time to read something a little lighter of subject; something not quite so epic this time around. You know, something frightening… but fun! To that end, my reviewer’s copy of Bigfoot War couldn’t have come in the mail at a better time!
I’ve never read a Bigfoot horror story before; to be honest, most of my experience with Bigfoot comes from either watching Harry & the Henderson’s or watching the car crushing eponymous monster truck. I knew nothing about author Eric S. Brown either, but fortunately he spilled his own can of beans in the book’s introduction. Growing up in rural North Carolina, Eric apparently had Bigfoot as his mythical neighbor when you consider all of the sightings and stories about the big cuddly lug in his hood. No doubt this was the sort of fertile ground where Eric’s garden of terror would allow a story like Bigfoot Wars to sprout from!
Our story begins with young Jeff Taylor, who lived in the small rural town of Babble Creek. Notice that I used the word “lived” (as in past tense.) You see, according to Jeff, he witnessed his family being slaughtered by the legendary Sasquatch! Understandably, he fled the small town… but he left as a soon to be “man on a mission”. Fast-forward fifteen years later; with two tours of duty in the Iraq War under his belt, Jeff has now returned to Babble Creek a very different person, and he has a score to settle with ol’ Bigfoot.
Jeff’s return to town understandably concerns the town proper immediately. Between his old friends, the Police department and other locals, an unfortunate series of events takes place which stirs up the proverbial hornets’ nest. It seem that “the one and only Bigfoot” isn’t quite so one & only. As fate would have it, a whole tribe of Sasquatch lives in the nearby woods… and they’re enraged & aiming to put their collective bigfeet in Babble Creek’s hinny!
At only sixty two pages, this is a short story that starts fast, goes straight to warp speed and doesn’t hit the brakes till the last page. Its fast, it’s furious, it’s frightening, and it’s fun! Eric turns the theories and beliefs of this popular cryptid on its head as these are not the docile, gentile creatures were led to believe they are. They are fast, they are strong, they are dangerous, and they’re just fuming & frothing at the mouth over their homonid neighbors. Game over Babble Creek… game over.
For all the fast paced fun I had while reading this tale, Eric still found the time to add a few patches of visceral, primal horror to grimace and groan over. This clan of Bigfoot is taking no prisoners and the town is woefully unprepared for them, so you can imagine the potential carnage being set up here! I’ll never look at a Sasquatch the same way again (not that I’ve ever spotted one before, but you never know!)
Any bones to pick with this war? The only bone really worth picking at is the editing department. It didn’t happen often, but I do recall a few times where a period was missing, and once or twice a word was either missing or incomplete (Example: used “some” instead of “someone”.) I noticed these mistakes enough that they tripped up the tale a few times, not the best thing to do with a story that wants to race you to the finish line. One other bone to pick is a personal one, but I would have loved to have read a more fleshed out version of this story. I know and fully understand that this was supposed to be a quick and enjoyable tale (and it’s appreciated as is), but the mook who’s typing this slop here wanted more; MORE I TELL YA! So really, this is a positive bone that I’m picking on, but I still had to say it.
When all is said and slaughtered, Bigfoot War is a very fun and entertaining ride. With its new spin on the Sasquatch, the truck load of brutality and carnage dumped in your lap and the quick pace of the story, you can get in and get back out (hopefully in one piece) within an afternoon! Sign up for this war, big feet are not required to enlist.
Review by Steven Dawes