Review copy provided by the author in exchange for an honest review
I’ve been following Sean Seebach for a year or so, reading his work and enjoying the flavor of his writing. With the number of writers I read I’m sure I miss his stories from time to time but when I’m lucky enough to catch a new one I know I’ll enjoy it. A number of weeks ago Sean asked if I would read and review his debut novel Our Monsters are Real: The Pig Man. Well of course I said I’d be happy too, I’m always interested in reading the latest from writers I follow and enjoy . I was pretty excited to get the chance to read his novel because I wanted to see where longer pieces of his work would take me. Sean uses a small Midwest town named Edlund for the setting of Our Monsters are Real. Missing girls, a mystical harmonica and a farm boy named Daryl who dreams of playing in a band at the local dive bar are just the beginning of this adventure.
Diana and her daughter Penny are on their way home after getting ice cream. Penny is happily eating her ice cream in her seat while Diana is struggling with eating her cone and driving. Diana drives a bit close to the edge of the road, freaks out and over corrects causing the car to flip and crash leaving her badly hurt and unconscious. When she wakes up she notices that Penny missing. There is no sign of her anywhere and it appears her seatbelt has been cut. She struggles to get free from the car and remain calm but she is too badly hurt and her last thought before passing out again is I hope Penny is safe and went for help. Right from the beginning Sean Seebach sets the scene with action, tension and horror. It’s that awful feeling any parent gets when they don’t know if their child is hurt and more importantly safe. The car is upside down on a quiet stretch of country road. Nothing but miles of field on either side, well almost nothing except for an old farm house. A farm house that is the subject of a nasty rumor, the place where the pig man lives.
Daryl recently won a harmonica at the carnival playing the game where you swing the over sized hammer and hope you ring the bell. Hes always wanted to play on in a band and decides to give it a go in an audition at the local dive bar. He spends his afternoons practicing and thinks he is darn good. Every time he blows into it the best music flows from the harmonica. Every time someone else gives it a try they can’t even make a sound. Now Sean has added another layer of mystery and has me wondering. I love the way something as innocent as a harmonica from a carnival can be made mysterious. Daryl works as a cashier at Jimbo’s Market, not the best job but not the worst. He doesn’t mind the job as much especially since his checkout lane is next to Samantha. For Daryl she is the best looking girl he knows and makes the time fly while working. At least until one day when she doesn’t show up for work leaving everyone wondering if her disappearance is connected to Penny.
Sean Seebach has brought magic and plenty of horror and the best kind in my opinion, the psychological kind. He sets his story in a small town in a rural part of the country and fills it with a desolate old farm house with a rumored history of a pig man. He builds up the story with characters who have lives, histories, and dimension. As the legend of The Pig Man unfolds Penny and Samantha’s predicament is pretty disturbing. The monsters are real and there are plenty of them in this story. The pig man is disgusting and I’ll never think of pigs in the same way. Sean writes characters that are easy to connect with and the kind you can get invested in, ones you love and hate. The action is suspenseful and I couldn’t believe how quickly I finished the book. The ending left me wanting to find another chapter on the next page, when a writer leaves me wanting more it’s always a good feeling.
Length: 176 Pages
Publisher: Thought Catalog Books
Release date: March 11th, 2016
A fantasy/horror novella, Our Monsters Are Real takes place in the summer of a small, Midwestern town called Edlund. Daryl, the farm boy hero, is soon to graduate high school and uses an unknown source of magic against a morbid family. Teenage adolescence, desire, and rock and roll all play their part in discovering secrets that affect the lives of the Carters as they settle into their new life.
Sean Seebach, biography
Sean Seebach is a horror/thriller author whose work appears regularly on Creepy Catalog. His first book, Our Monsters are Real, was published in March of 2016. He currently lives in Ohio with his wife and son.