Book Review: Sow by Tim Curran

18043337Title: Sow

Author: Tim Curran

Genre: Dark Fiction, Horror

Age Group: Adult (18+)

Rating: 3 stars

Purchase: Goodreads

Review copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Holly is not herself.

She was once a pretty young woman, healthy and strong, completely devoted to her husband Richard. When she became pregnant, he was ecstatic. They would finally have a child to complete their love.

But then Holly began to change.

She began reading strange, old books and consorting with a mysterious midwife named Mrs. Crouch. Day by day, she becomes less like the woman Richard married, slowly degenerating into something evil and monstrous.

The child she carries is not his. In fact, it’s not even human.

Holly is about to unleash hell into the world.

Sow is a disgusting, vile little thing of a book. Surprisingly, those are its most redeeming qualities. If “The Exorcist” made you squirm, then Sow will definitely make you gag.

Richard’s wife, Holly, is pregnant. At first, everything is just peachy. Holly and the baby are doing great, and Richard couldn’t be prouder. But then, Holly begins to change. She goes through horrible episodes where she acts like a completely different person. Even her features begin to change. When other people are around, she still resembles the Holly Richard knew and fell in love with. But when they’re alone, she sometimes turns into a horrific, terrifying monster that makes Richard scared out of his mind.

If you’re looking ofr subtle horror, then I’ll tell you straight on, Sow isn’t for you. If they ever made this into a movie, it would be a lot more along the lines of “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” than “The Others”, in terms of horror, gore, and the what-the-fuck-oh-gross effect. Richard is a sorry character. At the start, it isn’t clear if he’s simply losing his mind, or something terrible is really going on. Nevertheless, his unwillingness to give up, also shows that he has more qualities than I first grave him credit for. Holly’s transformation is truly gruesome and frightening. I’m not usually scared of possession stories, like “The Exorcist”, but Sow hit a nerve with me. Now, on to the list of ‘scary stuff’, I’ll get to add pigs. Oh goodie.

What didn’t work for me, was the swearing however. When Holly completely turns into the Sow, there’s a lot of swearing, most unnecessary, and some scenes that are just plain yuck. They’re not even scary. Just ew. Also, the story of how Holly got possessed is predictable and bland.

There were some original elements here that stood out, and the writing was decent as well. However, there weren’t enough unpredictable twists and turns to make this a truly outstanding book. Especially at the end, the gore and disgusting events often overruled the scary aspects of the story.

A decent horror read, but not ideal for fans of subtle horror. I liked it, but it’s not one of my favourites.


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