Ex Libris The Eyes of Madness presents “Simple reviews from a simple reader…”
“A porch light shouldn’t be on once the sun has risen. In the natural order of things, outside lights are switched off once night has gone; the bogeyman has been kept at bay, at least for the time being.
Unless something unforeseen and unwelcome has come along and upset the natural order. Such as what happened at 6 Hooper Crescent, Park Orchards, one Saturday night a week before Christmas.”
I need a drink. Something stiff to calm my rattled nerves. Thank you Mr. McBean for giving me something to keep me awake at night.
Being a victim of a home invasion is one of my more prominent, and more realistic primal fears. When I was younger, nearly thirtyish years ago, an elderly man died during a home invasion attack in my neighborhood. The assault wasn’t extremely close, in terms of proximity, but close enough for discomfort. It was easy to see that my grandmother, my caregiver, was shaken. As was the entire family. This was at a time when home invasions (and blatant public violence, and mass shootings, et cetera, et cetera…) weren’t a weekly news story.
All these years later the idea of someone, or a group of someones barging into my sanctuary and destroying the fragile sense of security, and more than likely causing bodily harm to me, or god forbid, one of my children, still rattles me to my core. Guaranteeing a sleepless night.
And then I read The Invasion. Willingly, eagerly, might I add. And for a few nights those fears rear their ugly head and take control, sleep broken by nightmares.
Brett McBean has offered up a mighty fine, and very unnerving home invasion yarn. After a small bit of ambiguous foreshadowing the main narrative kicks off with solid setting of mood and introduction to our dramatis personae. Living and breathing within the walls of this home (a location that is a character in its own right) is a cast of fully formed, interesting and believable characters.
I connected with this read immediately, finding myself concerned for the well being of all parties involved as the relaxing, yet melancholic solace set up in the opening chapters is breached not with a bang but a quiet disconcerting menace. An adversary not acting out of chaos but a calculated, single minded purpose. Destroying livelihood for the sake of destroying livelihood. That’s a dark, heavy subject my friends. It’s an attitude becoming more prevalent in this day and age.
And with our adversaries, the Fear Squad, Brett does a phenomenal job defining this generation’s complete emotional detachment from the world around them. Living vicariously through a phone screen, hungry to be social media superstars. This is a cold group of kids and a powerful statement as to what we seem to be headed towards, a world of vicious indifference and emotionless brutality.
It makes for a bleak future, it also makes for a great read. You go into this book with a firm expectation that not everybody will survive, but quickly the worry sets in about anyone surviving at all. Well, do they?
I’ll never tell.
Lock you doors, friends. And sleep easy.
P.S. A blueprint layout of the home is included at the front of the book, it’s a nice touch. With each chapter breaking as the characters enter different rooms, you can visually keep track of the movent and the carnage. It adds to the realism.
“Hearing these young people talk was like listening to robots talking about love: there was no emotion, no understanding of the words they were saying. They sounded disconnected from reality.”
**NOTE: normally I put this ahead of the review but I feel that the official synopsis gives a lot away. So move ahead at your own risk, or better yet pass it up. Head into this read as fresh as possible, it’ll be all the more enjoyable.**
It was supposed to be a quiet end to a long day: five close-knit family and friends settling in for some much-needed sleep after coming together for an early Christmas party.
Instead, it’s the beginning of a shocking night of brutality when six intruders break into the sprawling residence of Debra Hillsboro, a middle-aged romance novelist with a fierce devotion to her loved ones and a strong kinship with her home of almost thirty years.
Armed with smartphones and a modern brand of madness, the intruders – an internet-age cult disconnected from humanity and addicted to causing fear and mayhem – have come to the secluded property for one purpose: to terrorize, and ultimately kill, everyone inside all while filming their heinous crimes.
Outnumbered and cut off from the outside world, the terrified occupants find themselves trapped in a fight for survival as a once place of safety is turned into a deadly maze of darkened rooms and forbidding hallways. On this sweltering summer night, they must somehow find a way to escape before the cult turns the beloved home into a house for the dead.
“Nobody was coming to save them, and there was no way she could fight against such monsters. These people had no soul, no emotions. They seemed utterly disconnected from the world. How could you possibly win against that kind of inhumanity?”
Overall score: 5/ 5
Zakk is a big dumb animal!
**Note: I received a review copy of this book from the publisher/ publicist on the promise of an honest review. These are my unbiased feelings.
Brett McBean is an award-winning horror and thriller author. His books, which include The Mother, The Last Motel and Wolf Creek: Desolation Game, have been published in Australia, the U.S., and Germany.
He’s been nominated for the Aurealis, Ditmar, and Ned Kelly awards, and he won the 2011 Australian Shadows Award for his collection, Tales of Sin and Madness.
He lives in Melbourne with his wife, daughter and German shepherd.
Find out more at: brettmcbean.com
Praise for Brett McBean
“McBean’s voice is one that should be heard – a hint of Laymon and Koontz, yet distinctly his own.” —Brian Keene, author of The Rising and Terminal
“Brett McBean is as brash and brutal as a young Jack Ketchum. He visits the dark rooms inside us all.” —Scott Nicholson,author of The Manor and The Farm
“The Invasion, by Brett McBean, is a startlingly bleak home invasion story, but one that is wonderfully written. McBean relies on his characters and atmosphere to bring the biggest scares, along with the frightening threat of home invasion that many readers will bring to the reading all by themselves.” -Michael Patrick Hicks, author of Convergence