Southard Skies

Red SkyRed Sky is rewarding on so many levels. The story itself is simple yet ingenious, the characters likable, the monsters equally likable, and the writing spot-on. If you can get past the somewhat garish cover (which is tame compared to other Deadite Press offerings), you will be thrust into a highly enjoyable tale.

The story begins with a botched bank robbery, from which the main protagonist and his crew narrowly escape. They need a place to hole up for a few days, and they make the mistake of doing so in an abandoned factory in the deserts of New Mexico, once operated by a mysterious company called Red Sky. But the place is far from abandoned, as our battle-scarred crew soon discover.

While this is a fairly short novel (just barely tipping the 200-page mark), it is as rich and developed as works twice its size; which just goes to show how talented Mr. Southard is. Concise plotting, pitch-perfect dialogue and descriptive prowess make this novel rise above the common fare.

Endings are almost always problematic (for both writer and reader), but I must say that Mr. Southard pulls off an amazing (and quite emotionally powerful) denouement. Those looking for an intensely horrific story filled with brilliant patches of humanity need go no further than Red Sky.

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