Charles Stross, "Overtime"


Saturday, July 9, 2016

Review: The Jersey Devil

The Jersey Devil The Jersey Devil by Hunter Shea
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review of THE JERSEY DEVIL by Hunter Shea

The common thread in Hunter Shea's stories is that a reader learns to expect the unexpected. [Just read I KILL IN PEACE.] Every cryptid he writes of is never the cryptid we have learned to expect, but something different, stranger, "meta." Here the common, ordinary legend of "The Jersey Devil" transforms into something far more terrifying (as if the original Jersey Devil and its purported origin wasn't frightening enough).

Another factor in Hunter Shea's books is that he manages capably to juggle a sizeable number of characters while rendering each and all actual individuals, deeply definining them and then turning them loose to interact with others in the cast. In THE JERSEY DEVIL, I was impressed by the family ties of multiple families, and found myself wishing these could be true for families everywhere. Also, Mr. Shea's portrait of the "Lone Cryptozoologist" and his cat (and his failings and foibles) is both endearing and enlightening.

Surprisingly, Hunter Shea's THE JERSEY DEVIL is, I think, the first book-length treatment I have read on this topic. I'm certain it's going to color all the others I've yet to read.

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