PERVERSE HUMANITY by Kyle Lybeck
This is Kyle Lybeck’s debut collection (I read and reviewed his most recent a few months ago) and this is a much more violent creature than his newer one. Lybeck came out with a super-soaker full of gore and some designs on aiming for the ceiling of extreme horror. For the most part, he succeeds.
We open with MR PLUNGER a twisted tale of a “cleaner” who creates a lucrative side line gig for himself only to discover that it doesn’t quite hold the payoff he’d been hoping for. LITTLE SISTER is a gruff and harsh tale of some kids who invites the new kid in to be a part of their group, but the new kid is a monster of dangerous proportion and the path they take to vengeance is a gore-slick and slippery one.
DECAF, LIGHT ROOM is a weird gut punch with some mad science leanings. PUREBRED is a vile sliver of rage-fueled hate as a man goes on a quest to clean his city. IN OUR FINAL MOMENTS is a stark and hysterical prediction of what mankind would do when given any notice that the end was in fact coming soon, and we think we’re animals now?!
I’m not going to single out any more, but all the stories here are pretty enjoyable. All seem to operate in that Twilight-Zone-end-twist style, but more HG Lewis than O Henry. Lybeck doesn’t shy away from the hardcore. And while a few times, I found myself thinking it was a little too familiar, the veers he took from the road at other points more than made up for it. (John Boden)