The newest work of brutality from Aiden Messer, Pet, is going to be released September 27th, 2023. Mark that date on your calendars friends, because you’re going to want to read this! Aiden Messer is fairly new to the scene, but they’re already making waves in the horror and splatterpunk community. Each new release seems to have more buzz than the last, so I recommend checking out their work before they reach viral celebrity status. This way you can say you were reading them before they were famous.
But, first, a word of warning. This is a splatterpunk novella. It is quite graphic. If you are in any way squeamish, this may not be for you. Now I’ve warned you, the cover will warn you, and if you ignore both of those, the front matter of the book will also warn you. If you don’t heed any of these warnings, and find yourself offended by the content, that’s on you.
In the aftermath of an apocalyptic event that sets the world ablaze, Caleb and Nivitha find themselves thrown into a harsh, unforgiving new reality. They must face their fears, adapt to the dangers of their environment, and decide whether to trust others or isolate themselves.
Caleb, social by nature, quickly makes a new group of friends among the survivors.
Nivitha, determined to protect her younger sister Asha, guards herself against the remaining humans, regarding them as potential threats.
They both soon learn just how cruel this new world can be. Between murder, torture and hunger, uncertainty is the only constant.
Pet is apocalyptic, brutal, and gory. It is a well-crafted story that managed to make me cringe without ever using scenes of SA. This novella mines the depths of human depravity despite never crossing that particular line. Aiden Messer throws us directly into the action with only the briefest introductions to the characters before all Hell breaks loose.
We learn about the characters by watching them react to and navigate the horrors of the apocalypse. The level of detail and creativity in this novella cements Aiden Messer‘s name in my “authors to watch” list. I imagine there will be even better things to come from them in the future.
Illustrations from Pastek add a certain je ne sais quoi and bring this tale to another level. Pre-order it for 99¢ now before the price goes up on release day!