Sunday, October 27, 2013

Book Review: Lesser Creatures by Peter Giglo

Lesser Creatures by Peter Giglio

E-book edition/Paperback/ Limited hardcover Dark Fuse Publishing

Lesser Creatures is a dystopia with a lower case d set 15 years after the dead started returning to life. not even close to a traditional zombie novel the returned dead share some traits with Romero zombies, mostly brain dead and slowly decaying but mostly they just hang around. They are not hungry from brains or flesh. This not a zombie apocalypse, more of a new zombie reality.

These people become known as second-lifers, they are gathered in group home environments that reminded me of the housing our society currently makes for the mentally Ill. There are second life rights advocates and people who hate them. Our main characters are a pastor from the Glory's children church who sees a divine purpose in the second lifers and Eric cooper whose Ex-girlfriend is walking dead after trying to kill him.

Lesser Creatures is a truly odd novel, one thing I loved is it shared no tropes or any common structure with any other horror novels or the zombie subgenre. This is a very original feeling novel. In that respect someone looking for a paint by the numbers zombie novel is going to be bummed. Anyone looking for a challenging weird exploration of loss and love will be stoked.

Having just finished reading the book ten minutes ago I am struggling with the many themes that Giglo explored and I think the best thing I can say about this novel is that I think I might need to read it again someday. These are not Romero rules and in many ways this novel defies just a horror label.

I have said alot of nice things, is there anything I didn't like? The novel is marketed as being Phillip K.Dick like, and the author dedicates the work to him. I can see the similarity in the odd nature of the second lifers that reminds me of things like the talking beds and android animals in Do Androids Dream Electric Sheep for example. Not that Lesser Creatures goes that far into satire. While Giglo nails the weird concept feeling of PKD it lacks the broken paranoid insanity of PKD. Of course that is hard to do.

In the end I thought this was a fantastic novel, I am really excited to explore more of Giglo's work after reading this.

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