Caution: This book is not for recommended for sensitive readers. It is Splatterpunk – a sub-genre of horror that strives to make your stomach twist and turn in the most revolting of ways with extreme graphic material.
“It came from space…
Something virulent. Something evil. Something new. And it is infecting the town of Falls Breath.
Carried to Earth in a freak meteor shower, an alien virus has infected the animals. Pets and wildlife have turned rabid, attacking without warning. Dogs and cats terrorize their owners, while deer and wolves from the neighboring woods hunt in packs, stalking and killing their human prey without mercy.
As the town comes under siege, Lauren searches for her boyfriend, while her policeman father fights to restore some semblance of order against a threat unlike anything he has seen before. The Natural Order has been upended completely, and nowhere is safe.
…and it is spreading.
Soon, the city will find itself in the grips of mass hysteria.
To survive, humanity will have to fight tooth and nail.” (Source: Goodreads)
Wow. Okay, I honestly felt I should have received some sort of warning before I opened this book! That aside, once I swallowed the surprise I received and accepted the book for what it is, I actually enjoyed it. Mass Hysteria by Michael Patrick Hicks approaches the days after the apocalypse with a complete overhaul of social hierarchy in the most gruesome of ways – with an entirely unexpected ending!
In the wake of a meteor falling and bringing with it a virus appearing as an airborne variety of rabies (which is a much appreciated change from nuclear disaster and zombie outbreaks), several members of a small community in Michigan quickly find themselves fighting for their lives. Hicks’s gorefest begins shortly after and readers quickly discover that this is a writer that doesn’t hold back – my kind of man, honestly.
One of the things that strike me as most disturbing and simultaneously teasing of Hicks’s work is the sheer fact that he introduces us to several characters in intimate ways. Readers are given just enough of a taste of the good guys, too much of the bad, and justice? Well, there sure isn’t enough of that after the world’s ended.
I cannot stress enough how graphic this book is, just as I cannot think of any words devoid of spoilers to prepare readers for the journey they might embark on when they open Mass Hysteria‘s pages. What I can say is this: under all the horrific elements that bury this book, Hicks explores the most depraved of all: human nature at its worst.
I gladly look forward to reading more of this author’s work. A special thanks to NetGalley and High Fever Books for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.