Today on The Tattooed Book Geek I am pleased to be taking part in the blog tour for Savage Species by Jonathan Janz.
My thanks to Anne Cater for the tour invite, Flame Tree Press and Jonathan Janz.
- Paperback: 304 pages
- Publisher: FLAME TREE PRESS; New edition edition (10 Jan. 2019)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1787581098
- ISBN-13: 978-1787581098
- Amazon UK
Jesse thinks he’s caught a break when he, Emma (the girl of his dreams), and her friend are assigned by their newspaper to cover the opening weekend of a sprawling new state park. But the construction of the park has stirred an evil that has lain dormant for nearly a hundred years, and the three young people―as well as every man, woman, and child unlucky enough to be attending the Algonquin Falls grand opening―are about to encounter the most horrific creatures to ever walk the earth.
Excerpt from Savage Species.
It was a week before the grand opening. A week before the bloodbath.
Shane Dulin slowly climbed toward consciousness.
There was a smell like raw hamburger and a silence so complete he was sure someone had shoved wads of cotton in his ears. Weakly, he pawed at his ears, and though there was a stiff, crusty coating on the side of his head, there were no cotton balls to obstruct his hearing.
Shane opened his eyes, but everything remained black. A sickening dizziness grabbed hold of him. His chest tightened, his breathing grew labored and shallow. Wherever he was, it wasn’t just dim, it wasn’t just dark, it was blacker than fresh tar, blacker even than the goddamn slash marks his mom used to make on his papers even when he brought home a Cor, on a few glorious occasions, a B. What kind of mother was that? he wondered. What kind of mom graded your papers afterthey’d been graded and invariably reduced the score?
He felt cold all over. Cold and weak and frightened. He realized with growing distress that his lungs wouldn’t work properly.
Shane tried to suck in air to fight off the encroaching panic, but his attempt was futile. Jesus God, it felt like some huge object was sitting on his chest, but as the nerveless feeling in his limbs began to dissipate he realized he was lying on his stomach, and that was why his breathing was restricted. He was laid out face down on some rough, moist surface.
What the hell wasthis?
Shane made to push away from the dank rock floor, but as he did a holocaust of pain gusted through his legs. Shane howled, flopped down on his belly and pummeled the slimy rock with palsied fists, but now that the floodlight of pain was glowing nothing would diminish its merciless brilliance. Shane cursed, thrashed his head in the slime and sobbed harder than he had in his life.
The pain continued to intensify.
A long time later—or perhaps it was only a matter of minutes—Shane grew accustomed to the agony. Or rather he created other pains so his mind wasn’t wholly focused on his shrieking legs. He’d bitten clear through his bottom lip, the teeth easily shredding the soft tissue until his incisors ground together like bits of gravel. He’d awakened a throbbing ache in the side of his head, which told him the crust he’d fingered earlier was dried blood. He knew this should have alarmed him—he couldn’t imagine bleeding from an ear being a good thing under any circumstance—but it did help him stabilize his caroming thought processes and begin to analyze his situation.
You’re on your belly, he told himself, and though you’re near water, you’re not in danger of drowning.
At least he didn’t think so. Shane swallowed, made himself go on.
Your ear hurts, you’ve beaten the shit out of your fists and bitten through your bottom lip and on top of that there’s something seriously wrong with your legs.
Shane speculated about his legs but forced himself to stop. Things were already bad enough without adding to his catalogue of miseries. A wave of dizziness steamrolled through his head, but Shane forced himself to continue assessing…
Though it’s a struggle, you can breathe. You can’t see, but your other senses are working.
Yes, Shane thought. He realized this was true. His hearing wasn’t impaired—it was simply thatquiet. He couldn’t imagine a place this silent existing on earth, but wherever it was…
Shane sucked in startled breath. He had it.
Holy Mary Mother of God, he thought, his sluggish thoughts quickening. You’re working on the new state park, the one that’s opening next weekend. You’re behind schedule, and you’re tired of that bitch park ranger Linda Farmer driving you and the rest of the crew like a bunch of damned mules.
Shane made a face in the darkness. It wasn’t like the goddamn park couldn’t open if the walking bridge wasn’t completed on time. But to hear Linda Farmer tell it, constructing a rope bridge over a half-flooded river was not only necessary for the park to be complete, it was also the easiest job in the world. As if she’d ever built anything before in her life. The woman wore so much makeup she looked like a deranged clown. If she couldn’t even make herself look presentable, what the hell could she know about building bridges?
Shane shook his head, his anger elbowing away some of the pain. If Patterson, the foreman of the crew Shane was stuck working with, had any balls, he’d have told Linda Farmer to take her demands and her clown makeup and jump in the river. The image actually brought a half smile to Shane’s face, agony and all.
Then the smile vanished and his eyes grew very wide.
He’d shared with Patterson his thoughts on the matter of the rope bridge, and Patterson the Prick had elected Shane to paddle across the river in that damned canoe to find a good spot where they could begin staking out the opposite side of the bridge. Like there was any good place. The river was wide enough to begin with. But with the flooding and the muck it dredged up, Shane had been forced to climb out of the boat and slog an extra fifty feet before he found relatively dry ground. He’d stopped—pant legs soaked to the thighs and his work boots weighted down by water and mud—to take a piss and to curse Tom Patterson and Linda Farmer and his mother, who’d caused him to hate school so much he barely graduated and never even applied for college. He’d been thinking about how unfair it all was, how nobody saw his potential or understood how smart he really was, when he first noticed the cave.
Patterson had told them there wouldn’t be any surprises. Though the land was low-lying, the beady-eyed foreman had informed them, the Peaceful Valley Nature Preserve’s terrain was fairly uniform.
Eyeing the cave entrance, Shane had chuckled. Uniform, my ass, he thought.
About Jonathan Janz.
Jonathan Janz is the author of more than a dozen novels and numerous short stories.
His work has been championed by authors like Joe R. Lansdale, Jack Ketchum, and Brian Keene; he has also been lauded by Publishers Weekly, the Library Journal, and the School Library Journal.
His novel Children of the Dark was chosen by Booklist as a Top Ten Horror Book of the Year.
Jonathan’s main interests are his wonderful wife and his three amazing children.
You can sign up for his newsletter (http://jonathanjanz.us12.list-manage….), and you can follow him on:
About the publisher.
FLAME TREE PRESS is the new fiction imprint of Flame Tree Publishing. Launching in 2018 the list brings together brilliant new authors and the more established; the award winners, and exciting, original voices.
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