Monday, December 21, 2015

Weird Tales meet private eye

The Dream Beings

By Aaron J. French

Publisher:  Samhain Publishing, Ltd. 

Pub. Date: January 5, 2016

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars



I have always liked Aaron J. French's writings but I often fear he is a bit too esoteric for the mainstream reader, even those into the supernatural and horror. He is clearly influenced by the Lovecraftian Circle and in particular, with his love of parallel worlds and dream states, exhibit more than a taste of Clark Ashton Smith,. A good example of this is his previously published Aberrations of Reality, a collection of short fiction that highlights both his love of dark dimensions and his sometimes florid, even metaphysical style style. But I always wondered how far an author can go by clinging on to that Lovecraft element and not slamming into the contemporary "real life" dead on. I love Lovecraftian and Weird Tales fiction but it is a bit on the fringe, so to speak.

I can now relax a little . The Dream Beings is both a modern tale and one that melds his parallel dimensions and other worldly demons into what is ostensibly a suspense story and a hunt for a killer. It starts a bit like a detective story with the ever threatening serial killer. When Private Investigator Jack Evens is called to the scene of a murder , he is shocked to find that his name is written on the walls. It appears someone is calling out to him and that someone is a serial killer who not only likes to kill women but has "partners" from the dreamworld. Evens has psychic ability and this be what attract the killer and his new creature friends to him . Throughout this all too brief tale, we find out more about Jack and why the Dream Beings are so obsessed about him.

There is a good level of excitement in the story. jack Evens is an very interesting character. So interesting I am hoping that he may show up again in future stories. We have the hook , the chase and the pay-off all nicely laid out with just the right amount of tension to keep the reading glued to the pages. French manages to create not only a likable and sympathetic hero but also deservedly hateable villains. Overall, we have a story that pleases the suspense and horror reader but still stays in that multi-dimensional, mildly Lovecraftian world that the author is fond of. I hope the author will continue wth stories like this. He is an excellent writer so matter what world he is in but I hope he visits this combination crime noir/ dream world mixture again.

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