Horror Review: Night Things: Undead and Kicking by Terry M. West

It seems like with every new Night Things tale, the world of Terry M. West gets both bigger and deeper. He's already established his world of Magic Now, where creatures of legend have stepped forward to openly coexist with the mortal world, but Undead and Kicking ups the ante a little bit in terms of literary legends.

Having already met Dracula and Frankenstein's monster, this installment of the series prominently features Dr. Herbert West, Dr. Jekyll, and Jack the Ripper. While they are instantly recognizable from their fictional origins, West subtly tweaks and twists their stories, giving them a more robust role within his universe, and allowing their lives to more naturally (or supernaturally, as the case may be) intersect in contemporary times.

While this one doesn't attain the same taboo perversity of Monsters and the Magic Now, I did find it an altogether darker, more robust tale than Dracula versus Frankenstein. There's some real drama to the story this time out, a nice central mystery, and even a very weird sort of romance. Dr. West is a fantastic character, serving both as a pivotal figure in the mythology, and a driving force in the story. He offers an interesting glimpse into the power and potential of zombies, and his legacy reminds us of the monstrosities still lurking in the darkness.

In terms of sheer spectacle, the climax here may be the strongest in the series. It's a relatively quick battle, but that's perfectly alright, as it's better to (as they say) burn out than fade away. Clearly, there is still a lot more story to be told, and even a few side stories set up as well. If you're new to the series, do yourself and favor and start from the beginning, but if you're already a fan, you'll be thoroughly satisfied with West's latest.

Kindle Edition, 213 pages
Expected publication: July 17th 2016 by Pleasant Storm Entertainment, Inc.

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary ARC of this title from the publisher in exchange for review consideration. This does not in any way affect the honesty or sincerity of my review.