Review: Bestial

Title: Bestial
Author: Ray Garton
Publication: 2009 by Leisure Books
Format: Paperback

Book Synopsis

Something very strange is happening in the coastal California town of Big Rock. Several residents have died in unexplained, particularly brutal ways, many torn apart in animal attacks. And there’s always that eerie howling late at night….

You might think there’s a werewolf in town. But you’d be wrong. It’s not just one werewolf, but the whole town that’s gradually transforming. Bit by bit, as the infection spreads, the werewolves are becoming more and more powerful. In fact, humans may soon be the minority, mere prey for their hungry neighbors. Is it too late for the humans to fight back? Did they ever have a chance from the start?

What I Thought About It . . .

I only owned a copy of this book because I was at the Wal-Mart close to work one day and seen several horror titles going for $1.99 each… and being a horror fan myself, I couldn’t resist the temptation to buy several of them. Werewolves were also part of the temptation for me. I need a break from reading about vampires all the time. Which is kind of amusing considering that I like werewolves better than undead bloodsuckers…

The novel starts off interestingly enough. A half-breed child is born from a woman’s rape that starts off the story by eating a human baby a mere moments upon its birth. And so begins a long list of gore, violence, and sex, both consensual and forced. Did we really need that much rape to be going on? However, I will give the book kudos for making the virus for lycanthropy transmittable through sexual intercourse instead of the usual bite or savaging from a werewolf. Reminded me a bit of the film Ginger Snaps. Garton’s werewolves are monsters plain and simple. You don’t want to copulate with them, except if you happen to be one I suppose as the big orgy would imply. Some of the things described in the book were a bit disgusting to me, a fact that proves I must not be totally desensitized from horror. Although it could all just be in the writing style and how it has been portrayed. Perhaps I’m spoiled by classic writers.

I consider myself to be a character-driven reader so if I do not really care about the casting of the story, there’s a good chance that my enjoyment of the tale shall be greatly lessened as a result. And so was the case in this instance. I didn’t really care if the characters didn’t survive in Bestial. Let the lycanthropes eat human flesh! Although I did like the gang of ex-convicts that were brought in as back-up for the investigators sent to Big Rock. It’s quite the pity that there was so little page time devoted to them.

Like any true horror novel things are not wrapped up in nice little packages, and true threats are extremely hard to kill. The big climax of the story seemed short-lived. I would say that I liked the set-up of this novel, but I didn’t particularly care for the execution of it. Still it had its interesting moments. Yet I wouldn’t go out of my way to suggest that you read it.



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