Publisher: Montag Press
The redbugs are coming, and they bring death to those they touch.
But first you may suffer from intense sweating, hives all over your body, violent seizures, skin necrosis.
It’s possible the redbug won’t kill you.
It may burrow inside your neck, turning you into what the CDC calls a “nest person.” Drifting in and out of consciousness, you could have the cognitive abilities of someone who’s gone through extensive electroshock therapy.
David Massengill’s debut novel follows the struggles of a handful of survivors in the infested Pacific Northwest. A Homeland Security exterminator seeks his estranged cousin while completing a tour of duty in the Washington desert. A young woman volunteers at an urban refugee center to keep constant watch over her nest person mother. A man journeys south from a research lab in ravaged Seattle and discovers a mansion occupied by a 19-year-old megalomaniac and his female nest person servants.
Can these people live through the extermination days? Can the government eradicate the redbug with insecticide and bombs? Or will all succumb to theRED SWARM?
REVIEW FROM JONATHAN HULS
WHERE TO FIND JONATHAN:
David Massengill’s novel will bring readers back to the cult horror movie days of the 50’s and 60’s by injecting them with intrigue, terror, and disgust. Starting with seemingly random occurrences that propel the main characters into more and more realistically frightening situations, then rocketing them well past the boundaries of reality into events that converge with the downright weird, David blends it all together and creates a story that readers will enjoy from beginning to end.
Many of the situations the characters are placed in, paired with the amazing descriptors used, made me reach for and brush nonexistent creatures from the nape of my neck several times during my reading sessions. When my wife mistakenly repeated a word in one of her responses during a conversation over dinner, I found myself leaning in to make sure her neck was vacant of any red marks. It was minutes later when I realized I was still holding my fork in a ready-to-attack pose.
The characters in Red Swarm are so well crafted that there were times I felt they were dismissed too quickly. The captivating story of Carlos fills the first third of the book but is subsequently ditched for Tess as it enters the second section. Though the reasons surrounding Carlos and his eventual loss are described to the reader, there was still a part of me that wanted more of a connection with his departure than the mere tidbit offered up. I wanted to intimately read about his ending; I wanted to experience his love and further losses surrounding his part of the larger story. Instead, what I got was an abrupt ending to his portion. Then another for Tess. Then another for Cliff.
Red Swarm is a fantastic read but it is also one of only a handful of books that I feel would work even better on the big screen. I want the script sent in a time machine to Roger Corman or Bert I. Gordon so they can direct it the only way it should be done – like a true cult horror classic from the black and white good ol’ days.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
AUTHOR LINKS: Webpage | Facebook | Twitter @davidmassengill