Wednesday, November 5, 2014

A ghoulish delight

Oasis of the Damned

By Greg F. Fifune

Publisher: Darkfuse

Pub. Date: December 9, 2014

Rating: 3 & 1/2 out of 5 stars

Oasis of the Damned by Greg F. Gifune is another short fiction work published as an eBook by horror specialists Darkfuse. I will be reviewing two more in succession in these next few days. Darkfuse seems to like these novellas and so do I. So I am delighted they keep throwing them out like little French pastries for the horror fans to gobble up. Oasis at the Damned is about 71 pages of nightmare and doesn't waste time getting into the horrific groove. It starts with a plane crash in a desolate part of the North African desert. The survivor of the crash is met by another person who states he also crashed weeks ago. He takes her to a ruined fort that has enough water and food to survive. He also seems hurried to be in the fort by night. Why is quickly discovered and it brings us to the harrowing meat of this novella.

I have heard of Gifune before but this is the first thing I have ever read anything of his. His name is one of those that comes up frequently when the discussion turns to the future lights of horror and supernatural literature. It becomes obvious why that is so as I read his precise descriptive prose and realize how much he can pack in a few paragraphs. Oasis of the Damned is nothing if not frightening, riveting and a bit rough on the nerves. At first it seems like a zombie survival story yet through the use of some dream sequences, the reader gets a hint that there is more than attacks and screams to these zombie, or more precisely ghoul or ghul, story. The ending is quite satisfying. However I felt the overall affect was a little too Twilight Zone to say I was bowled over. It had the curious consequence of being a tightly knit and powerful but somewhat predictable story by a writer who can write the pants off of an ant. But there is no getting around the fact that it is an excellent story by someone who deserved to be read by anyone who loves the genre. it definitely gives me the urge to read more by Greg F. Gifune and that is high praise indeed. Three and a half stars.

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