This is the rare book I actually dreamt about. A strange other worldly tale unfolding inside my sub-consciousness, wherein a set of cookie-cutter new-build houses were far from pristine inside. The people lured in were captured, devoured, transformed and used as breeding stock by some strange new creature – a mix of insects and plants. I’d been reading CABALS OF BLOOD right before bed, and suddenly I had this Lovecraftian nightmare in my head. Obviously then I have my own Lovecraft tale to write in the future.
As I’ve said numerous times elsewhere, I always prefer my Lovecraft not written by H.P. himself. And Richard Klu more than delivers the goods, given us a collection of tales which spin out a myths while being both accessible and compelling. Klu is proudly and loudly a disciple of Lovecraft, but what I really liked here wasn’t just the Mythos, but it was the way Klu so quickly and seemingly effortlessly created real breathing characters. They were people I felt I knew, from their living situation to their economic substances. Yes, he may be interesting in terrifying beasts from the beyond, but he’s kept in mind the whole time that empathy is the true heart of every story.
Normally I read short story collections like this one at a time and let them percolate, but I’m glad I’ve charged through CABALS OF BLOOD. It meant I was able to note the echoes and that the scares became even more intense as I could see from where they were coming and know how dreadful they were going to be. I also obviously like books which inspire me, and so I have to shoot off now and get my own Lovecraft tale down on paper.
Fancy a free FRJ short tale? There’s one available right here.