THE BAD GAME by Adam Millard
Adam Millard’s latest novel from Sinister Horror Company, THE BAD GAME, is the best of pulp horror fiction with undeniably gripping B-movie atmosphere. Think Children of the Corn meets Night of the Living Dead and add a jigger of rocket fuel, but don’t get confused. This isn’t a zombie story, it’s something so much better, so much more interesting.
Jamie Garret is a fifteen-year-old living in Hemsby, a British seaside town in the thriving throes of the tourist season. Great for visitors, but boring for Jamie who spends his idle time at the local arcade or fending off a group of town bullies who have been getting more aggressive as of late. One day two things happen to change Jamie’s life: He meets a girl and an unusual arcade game arrives at his local haunt, one that is so strange and intriguing that it has all of the kids in town lining up to have a go. Problem is, playing this game comes with a price, and no one knows this little factoid until it’s too late. Soon the idyllic summer town becomes riotous with acts of ultra violence the likes of which has never been seen there before.
Adam Millard has a way with words that keeps the reader hanging on his every sentence, slurping up his prose and continuing on at each chapter well into a late night or after the end of a lunch break. The story is fun in every way, reminiscent of days gone by, youth, the long lost arcades I spent so many hours in trying to beat my high score. That alone is enough of a draw, but it’s Millard’s ability to bring life to his characters that seals the deal. I liked reading about Jamie, his attempts at impressing Liza, the girl he met at the arcade, and Scottie, the troubled arcade owner, not to mention the other supporting characters, all of whom are as individual as snowflakes.
I highly recommend this book to pretty much anyone who loves a good story, but especially those of you who enjoy reading about the horror of a town being taken apart en mass. A great read for anytime, but prime for summer, so get yourself a copy, have a seat by the pool or in your favorite chair, and enjoy the ride. (Robert Essig)