CriminOlly thinks: Thoroughly enjoyable slasher, dripping with suspense and gore 4/5
Halloween Slaughter is book that’s better than it probably has any right to be. It isn’t terribly original (in fact it deliberately derivative at times), its plot is standard fare, its characters (with one exception) two dimensional and its prose unspectacular. And yet in this book, Sergio Gomez has created something that is so hugely enjoyable that I’m already salivating at the prospect of the next entry in the series. There’s a magic here that laughs in the face of all the criticisms I made above. Things like that don’t matter when a book has that indefinable something that lifts it above the competition. Halloween Slaughter definitely has that.
This is a sequel to 2019’s Camp Slaughter, but you could enjoy it without having read the first book. I liked the original quite a bit, but I liked this one even more. It’s a stripped down slasher about a brutal killer on the run who settles in a small town and proceeds to kidnap some of the local young women who he keeps as playthings. There’s a secondary plot about a Halloween party in an abandoned house near the killer’s hideout. A party that naturally end in carnage.
What makes the book so great is the killer. Half the time he’s mild-mannered Ignacio, a gentle giant, the other half he’s Varias Caras, a hulking maniac who eats his victims wears their faces as a mask. Both sides of the character are great fun to read. Ignacio is innocent and almost sympathetic at times. Varias Caras is a badass slasher who comes across as a combination of Jason Vorhees and Leatheface.
The plot is straightforward, but moves at a really enjoyable pace. The supporting characters do their jobs (mostly getting killed) and the violence is gorily entertaining but never sadistic. Gomez does a great job of ratcheting up the suspense and then tying all the parts of his story together with an ending that was a joy to read. The sequel, Final Slaughter, can’t come soon enough.
Title: Halloween Slaughter | Series: Slaughter Books #2 | Author: Sergio Gomez | Publisher: Self-published | Pages: 448 | Publication date: 11th October 2022 | ASIN: B09VH8BJGZ | Source: Kindle Unlimited
With the campgrounds destroyed, Ignacio has found a new place to take refuge. A new place to turn into hunting grounds. He has his eyes set on a very specific target that reminds him of his past. But hunting in a small town in PA will be different than in the isolated campgrounds.
Ignacio will have to be smarter. More patient. And wait for the right moments to strike…
The perfect time, he’ll come to find out, is on the night of ghouls and goblins and witches. On the night when everyone else is wearing masks and disguises, Ignacio will don his own mask and let the monster out like never before.
Content Warnings: Kidnapping/imprisonment, cannibalism
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