Publisher: Black Hill Press
A Stalled Ox, looks at faith, human consumption, morality, addiction, and the basics of human desires. The story unfolds at a time when a mysterious disease has wiped out the majority of the world's livestock.
An isolated religious cult has reportedly been consuming meat while the rest of the planet has been forced to live a life without it. Presuming this sect has resorted to cannibalism, two agents from an organization known simply as The Agency are dispatched to investigate. Will they find evidence of humans eating one another? Or is something even stranger taking place?
REVIEWER JONATHAN HULS
WHERE TO FIND JONATHAN:
Dean Moses strikes hard in his novella, A Stalled Ox. So much so that I put the book down believing that I might now know what people with schizophrenia must feel like – just the slightest, at least. The characters are well crafted and enjoyable to read about. The overall storyline is intricate, intriguing, and grisly, drawing the reader toward finishing the book in one sitting. The story is original and the artwork for the cover fits perfectly. Mariya Suzulki’s cover illustration sets the tone from the moment you pick up the work, giving you the creepy, semi-apocalyptic feeling that is further accentuated by the author’s tone throughout – a sort of feeling an atheist might sense walking into a Church of Scientology for the first time.
On the negative side, Dean has a proclivity for using the same handful of descriptive words throughout the book. His use of the word “gigantic” to describe the size of things is just one example of this. My eyes were drawn to this immediately at the end of the first chapter when the author uses the word to describe a set of eyeballs. Immediately after, the second chapter begins with the use of the word again to describe the font used in a newspaper. From that point on, my brain continued to find pairings of descriptors throughout the book like a crazed lunatic.
A Stalled Ox is a mind-bending novella that is easy to get through, well executed, and will have you questioning your sanity, your place in religion, and your position in the world.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
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