Siphon is the debut novella from A. A. Medina and is published by Hindered Souls Press. For Dr Gary Phillips, life is a little mundane. He is a hematopathologist at a medical centre; a medical centre at which he despises his boss and fantasises about a co-worker, stalking her constantly on social media. Sometimes you just need something odd to happen to stimulate a primal urge that has been lying dormant inside of you for too long and such is the case here.
There is a definite American Psycho vibe to Dr Phillips and I thoroughly enjoyed his descent into madness, and though he isn’t a likeable character per se, he is an engaging lead. His maddening isn’t over the top and comes about in realistic fashion. The small cast of characters works well in the novella form and as Phillips’ past is uncovered, we get some justification for his bizarre actions. There is something to be said for the way in which Medina focusses almost exclusively on Dr Phillips. We don’t get to know the other characters in-depth, but in the context of Phillips’ instability, this works really well.
Siphon‘s pacing is excellent. The chapters are short and there is no fat in need of trimming. When violence occurs, it is swift and brutal, a little odd and very unsettling. You can feel things slowly falling apart as Phillips’ mind unravels and the ending is excellent, even a little sad if I’m honest.
I had no idea what exactly to expect with this book but left knowing I’d read a pretty damn good novella. Siphon is original, creepy and well-written, a very (un)pleasant surprise indeed.
4/5 murky pools from the Grim Reader.
Pick up a copy from here.