Sunday 11 July 2021

Dark Book Review: Creatures of Clay

Dark Book Review: Creatures of Clay

Review by Casey Douglass

Creatures of Clay

I must admit that I enjoy finding out how something that looks so perfect or quaint is actually quite flawed, fake, or even evil. Patrick Moody’s supernatural novel Creatures of Clay is set in one such place: Stark Falls. Stark Falls is a seemingly idyllic small town in the mid 80s, the kind of place where everyone knows everyone else, and wholesome community events bring people together on the streets to celebrate whatever is going on. I’m sure that you’ll be astounded to hear that all is not actually as it seems.

The events in Creatures of Clay revolve around Quinn Katz and his two close friends Hector and Wendy. They are the “Crypt Crew” and they like nothing more than spending their time writing and illustrating horror stories, and of course, reading horror comics and watching horror movies. On the way home from a street celebration, they stumble upon a house that looks like it has been burgled. What they find inside is just the beginning of their own genuine monster mystery to solve, one that sees town members abducted, property destroyed, and one that leaves copious amounts of clay and strange foot prints as its main clue.

Setting the story in a small town like Stark Falls gives a pleasing stage for a range of characters to take part. There is a tall, scary rabbi, a bossy, deaf gossip, and a group of bullies who like nothing more than picking on the Crypt Crew. The town itself is also never far from nature, providing a number of creepy environments for the crew to explore and to chase the monster. Setting the tale in the mid 80s also gives the chance for a bit of nostalgia, such as Quinn being gifted a copy of Stephen King’s It some time before it is actually due for release.

The horror elements of the story are of the creepy, “what’s going on?” variety, rather than the more explicit depictions of gore or violence that horror often contains. I also got the sense that much of the horror was meant to be in how people interacted with each other. The Crypt Crew themselves are the “outsiders” of the tale, whether due to their preferred pastimes, their religion or their family. Many of the characters in the town are also linked by a river tragedy that occurred sometime previously, a thread that puts in an appearance a number of times during the tale.

I found Creatures of Clay to be a fun read. It seemed to flow well, and the characters come out the other side as having learned a little something about themselves, and to have grown along the way. As far as my own personal taste, I do like my horror to be a bit more visceral and somewhat bleaker, but if you’re a fan of horror that is a bit more adventure-like, I think you’ll enjoy Creatures of Clay.

I was given a review copy of this book.

Book Title: Creatures of Clay

Book Author: Patrick Moody

RRP: $14.99 Paperback / $6.92 Kindle

Publisher: DBND Publishing

Published: 24 June 2021