What do you get when you mix airships, gargoyles, vampires, supernatural love spells, fallen priests, and a desecrated church (designed by none other than Charles Addams)? Well, if you're reading What's Dead Pussykat by Sam Stone, then what you get is a whole lot of creepy, sometimes romantic, paranormal fun.
The opening chapter here is particularly thrilling, with a pair of priests unwittingly battling the forces of darkness within their church. Visions, dreams, and portents of a blasphemous future all serve to set the stage for an unusual mix of supernatural themes and monsters.
If I were to have one complaint here, it's the way we're denied several crucial parts of the story in an effort to build some additional suspense, then fed those parts in a rush towards the end, revealing the truth of what we've to that point only suspected. It's not necessarily a bad way to tell a tale, I just find it a bit artificial. That said, Stone uses the narrative device to full effect here, exposing an early tease at romance to be supernaturally fueled . . . but still leaving significant doubt as to whether that's all it is.
The monsters here are well done, with the gargoyles a nice touch indeed. The vampires don't offer anything original, but they're used well, coming across as equal parts erotic and terrifying. As for the 'big' monster behind it all, that I will leave you to discover for yourself, but it was a twist I honestly didn't see coming, and a great way to bring the story full circle. It's a quick read, easily lending itself to a single sitting (or, perhaps, two), and one that flows naturally on the page. Also, as you might suspect from the title, What's Dead Pussykat has it's share of humor as well, keeping it all from getting too dark, and serving to carry the reader along.
Paperback, 172 pages
Published August 28th 2014 by TELOS