Sunday, April 25, 2010

FEEDING GROUND - reviewed by Sin

By Sarah Pinborough
Leisure Fiction

First the essentials: The GSA score.
Gore: moderate
Sex: None : (
Angst: Elegantly written and well maintained.

This was a good book. I need to say that right off the bat, otherwise what I write later might be horribly misconstrued. The only flaw in this novel, if it can be called a flaw, is that I went into it anticipating something different.

Let me put it this way: Have you ever craved a certain food? Pizza, for example. Maybe a pizza topped with legions of spider monsters, that drag their victims down the streets by bulging ropes of human intestines. In any case, you’re in the mood for pizza. You order the pizza, wait for it to get there, only when you open the door the delivery guy hands you a lasagna. Had you been in the mood for lasagna, you would be ecstatic. Alas, you wanted spider pizza.

I wanted a gore-soaked frenzy of arachnid brutality. What I got was decidedly more focused on the human drama. The spiders did some nasty shit, don’t get me wrong, but FEEDING GROUND is strongest as an examination of what happens to regular people when the world goes to shit. In many ways, it reminded me of THE STAND. The characters here range from drug lords to English school boys, all of whom have to sack up and face a world spiraled well beyond any sane person’s frame of reference. Sarah Pinborough did a magnificent job of this. If you want to get inside a character’s head, she ranks among the best.

Now, when I say “sack up,” I mean it quite literally. In the “gone to shit” world of FEEDING GROUND, women quickly go the way of the dodo. I won’t go into specifics, lest I ruin the red, wet surprise, but suffice to say there’s a reason no one was getting laid in this novel. That said, I wouldn’t have been sad to see a few guys give into their urges with each other. I mean come on, who are they holding out for? Time to start lending a helping hand, fellas.

But I digress. As for a summary of the plot, I’ll keep it short and sweet: There are spider monsters in London. Several groups of survivors must deal with the constant threat of death, while strategizing a way to get out of the city. Unfortunately, there are worse things than spider monsters to deal with.

If you like your tragedy multi-layered, and characters that stay with you long after the last page, then this is the perfect book to pick up. If you want loads of gore, I recommend reading something else. Then, when you get your gore fix, go back and read FEEDING GROUND. Horror is a buffet, and it would be a shame to load up your plate with only one thing ; )


B&N link


Jameson T. Caine said...

I've been looking forward to this book since I read the first one in that series last year. Spiders are creepy, regardless of size.

Danielle Ferries said...

I've just finished typing a blog that I'm about to post in relation to getting inside my character's head so I think I'll check this one out.

And I agree with Jameson. Spiders are creepy, although I think praying mantis are creepier.

Michael Stone said...

I've heard a lot of good things about Sarah Pinborough. This review makes me suspect her horror is quite 'English'. Understated, relying on tension and angst rather than gore for its own sake. Just my cuppa!

Excellent review, Ms Sin!

Alan W. Davidson said...

Nice review. Blood and gore is nice, but it's good to get inside the character's head as well. A couple of your comments made my day...

"The spiders did some nasty shit, don’t get me wrong..."

"...I wouldn’t have been sad to see a few guys give into their urges with each other."

Har! Vintage Sin!