The Reading Sanctum #7

Outage: Super Boxed Set — T. W. Piperbrook

Followers of the blog saw me speak about the Outage: Super Boxed Set on one of our Red Capers Videos. It was there in one of our Get Out of Jail Free feature segments that I said that I had recently read the entire series and felt the need to recommend it.

I want to reiterate and further recommend it here in the Reading Sanctum.

If you enjoy the werewolf as a monster, it is rare when you can find a good story that uses the lore well. In this novel series, the mythology doesn’t yet exist. The characters throughout don’t know what is happening. This is a unique event that initiates an apocalypse in the Plainfield, Connecticut of today.

An incredible snowstorm has hit Connecticut; a once in a life-time super-storm that is hitting New England hard. The snow is falling fast and deep. Most of the Plainfield residents are already in bed when it blankets the ground.

Some of the residents get out of bed only to find that not only is the storm rapidly blanketing the streets, but it has also downed power lines, effectively causing a massive blackout rendering their heating systems useless. If you’ve ever lived in New England or on the East Coast during one of these doozies, then you know of what I speak.

The difficult conditions cause these families to decide whether they should stay in their homes or evacuate to a motel, where things might be more comfortable and even if not more comfortable, at least sharing the situation with others. Invariably, they leave seeking the protection of the larger group only to find that there are packs of creatures taking advantage of the storm. These creatures are lupine and appear insatiably hungry.

Over the course of this six-part story, the survivors manage to form into groups and learn things about each other, as well as things about the carnivorous creatures that seem to behave like an unrelenting force. One of the survivors claims that his brother is one of the werewolves, who owned a machine shop constructing special bullets to kill werewolf-kind. It is through this source that the reader learns the lore particular to this series, especially what happens once bitten.

There are other surprises along the way: some predictable and others not quite. The story is told in third-person narrative, but usually from a specific characters point of view. In this narrative style, the reader is in the mind of a specific character which augments suspense. We are seeing what the character sees; feeling what the character feels, and when the climax arrives, your heart is beating as if you are living the encounter.

The story-telling device is very effective. The constant fluidity of the narrative voice also helps because you never know who is going to live and die. Several times over the course of the novels, we begin in the mind of a character that dies, but because we’re constantly jumping around, we don’t know who that is until they die.

So far, I believe I’ve made a compelling argument, but there’s more. On Amazon Kindle this series of books is currently priced at .99¢. It’s a quick read of 538 pages in total. So each of the first 5 books is about 100+ pages with the Epilogue like 20 pages or so. It is a horror book, so the ending may not be a Happily Ever After like some people enjoy.

I enjoyed some of the characters and felt the author took me on a roller coaster ride, filled to the rafters with suspense. If what I describe sounds like something you might enjoy, then I suggest reading this collection. I will be reading more T. W. Piperbrook and most of his collections of books are being sold at .99¢ a pop. I love his Contamination series as well. For me, this is definitely 4 Grey Geeks. Check it out.

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