Thursday, July 15, 2010

Book Review: Jade by Gene O'Neil

Jade By Gene O'Neil
Bad moon book
101 pages

I reviewed O'Neil's award winning collection “the Taste of Tenderloin” last September. I jumped on Jade because of the strength of that book. Jade is a rare case where when I closed the book I wanted another 100 pages. This is a charming post apocalypse story, yep you read that right. O'Neil is a talented story teller through and through and this story set in the ruins that had once been San Diego is emotionally gripping from the first page to the last.

I am a huge fan of 100 to 140 page novellas in print. I mean those were novels back in the day before New York dictated that you need so many pages to justify cover price. What is nice is that I read this book in one sitting on a flight.

Since I lived in San Diego for several years mere blocks away from one of the settings of the book, I enjoyed this book deeply. The story of a slightly deformed child of a post collapse woman named Jade. She was adopted by a woman who survives in the ruins by being psychic for hire. Jade discovers she too has a talent for communicating with and easing the stress of animals. On personal level some of the ways she communicates with animals I found did not work for me. Since I don't view non-human animals as slaves for humans and suspect Jade might not either. Most horror fans would not feel that way, but it was my only small problem with the book.

The book also looks nice, Limited edition with beautiful black and white illustrations. Libraries should follow Gene O'Neil he is a bold new voice in horror that has the ability to perfectly blend the light and the darkness of horror fiction seamlessly.

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