Drowning her sorrows in drugs of all varieties never seemed to help Jen with the unending loneliness. Being a twin, she thought she’d always have someone there for her. Someone to look out for, and who would look out for her.
Hunted, alone in the dark she yearns for that companionship.
Welcome to The Mill, where all manner of creatures from the deepest reaches of hell seek to devour body and mind. Jen will have to cross space and time to return home, but will she come out unscathed? Will she ever see her brother again? Can she even survive the night?
It’s rare that, when an author contacts me about a potential review ,they also invite me to email any time I fancy a chat. Naturally the opportunity wasn’t allowed to pass by and that personal touch made me intrigued to read this, that and my favourite old local was called The Mill and so nostalgia played its part.
As short as this book is, covering only 160 pages, I was impressed with the amount of story packed into it. The story was certainly not what I was expecting and I’m glad of that as I enjoyed the feeling of being caught off balance as the narrative quickly turns from family drama to a fight for survival.
The Mill, at heart is a bloody Sci-Fi horror (a bit like the pub!) with plenty of wit and one liners thrown in to keep the plot from descending into something much darker and serious. There are plenty of ideas familiar to fans of both genres but those ideas are moulded into something different with enough mystery to keep me wondering about certain things even after the book was finished. The length of course has me hard pressed to mention anything specific without giving out spoilers.
Jen is the vulnerable yet sassy protagonist of the book, she is a character dealing with deep issues of which the book touches on mental health as well as mentioning suicidal thoughts and such. This layering of internal struggles is cleverly subverted though by the experiences and lessons learned throughout. There is a sense of the tragic here, perhaps not in the character herself as much as the opportunities in life lost to her before the events chronicled here.
Despite the gory violence that litters the text, it’s not all macabre, there is plenty of substance in the world building and lots of strange goings on that will make it a book read in one sitting or two at most. The fantastically arty cover makes this one a book to judge by its cover, as it pretty much sums up what you will get; a fast paced, sinister novella which has made this reader interested in finding out about all the unanswered questions and where the story goes from here, which I hope it will.