WTF Friday: Primitive by Hannah Heat

Well, another WTF Friday is upon us, which means we once again turn the Ruins over to my dark half. As regular visitors will know, Foster Medina has a passion for messed up literary diversions - books that are bizarre, twisted, grotesque, and kinky - and he's only too happy to splatter them across the page.

Much like the Victorian horror novels from which it draws its inspiration, Primitive is written as an epistolary narrative, consisting of a series of letters written by Charles Karolis Drake III to his son. While it works well in some places, it unfortunately falls apart in others. Never mind the question of who actually writes letters anymore - how the hell does he manage to keep writing and mailing them while fleeing through the forest?

That narrative flaw aside, this was a well-orchestrated piece of erotic horror in which Hannah Heat explicitly asks many of the questions left within the subtext of Frankenstein. It's a story about men and monsters, good versus evil, and biological urges versus free will. Naturally, it's also a novel about human arrogance, with a group of scientists crossing the line in their search for answers.

There's not a lot of suspense here, with most of the 'surprises' telegraphed early on, but that's fine. The elements of horror work well, with some really grotesque scenes of fire and mutilation, and the erotic aspects work just as well. At first I found them to be a little cold and clinical, lacking something in the emotion department, but I realize that may be a deliberate attempt to emulate Victorian authors like Shelly, Stoker, and more.

As for the gender aspect, it wasn't so clearly tagged in the title when I purchased this, so it was a genuine surprise. The transformation itself was a little too quick and easy, and lacked the kind of detail I suspect many readers would be looking for, but the consequences (which are what matter) are explored quite nicely.

Kindle Edition, 45 pages
Published February 18th 2015 by Scarlet Flower Publishers