With Mass Hysteria, I was hoping for a horror book closely linked to the classic Def Leppard album from 1987. As it turns out I was way off the mark. Mass Hysteria sees Michael Patrick Hicks going all splatterpunk on us in this fast-paced gorefest that should appeal to those readers that enjoy their horror at the more extreme end of the spectrum.
Straight from the off, this book is brutal and unflinching in its delivery. There is no subtlety here whatsoever. It’s also probably the goriest thing I’ve read in 2018. The premise is a simple one. A meteor shower over the Earth sees chaos erupt as the wildlife in Falls Breath goes feral, tearing into the locals. You can’t trust your own pets, let alone the deer, squirrels and birds! Now I know what you’re probably thinking. You probably think, yeah, I can handle animals eating people, no problem, and I was the same, but then as we delve further into the book things get even more twisted….how? bestiality! Yay!! Seriously though, this particular scene made me laugh my ass off, and I think Hicks is probably okay with this. You read Mass Hysteria because you want to be entertained. I didn’t go into this expecting in-depth characters (most of them are pretty darn unlikable and a little shallow to be honest), plot twists and heart-wrenching scenes. I started reading this because I wanted organs spilt, animals feasting on the innards of the locals and some bestiality (I’m joking about the last part) and that is exactly what I got.
I’ve read a lot of Mike’s work and although this isn’t my favourite story of his it provided me with a fun-filled, organ-spilt couple of hours reading and a couple of giggles too. There is a bit of a Bryan Smith vibe with this book and I think if you like his work then you will be well pleased with this.
4/5 crazed deer from the Grim Reader.
Pick up a copy from here.