Author: Kev Harrison
Release date: December 28, 2019
I only recently had the pleasure of reading some fiction by Kev Harrison. We’d connected some time ago on Twitter and interacted a fair bit, but it wasn’t until I reviewed his recent Short! Sharp! Shocks! release, ‘Curfew’ that I’d enjoyed his prose. I do need to get reading ‘The Balance’ from him at some point here, but when he tweeted about his novella ‘Warding’ being available for free, I snagged it and dove in.
What I liked: ‘Warding’ is a truly stunning feat. Originally released in a Things From the Well Anthology, Tales From the Cellar specifically, Harrison has packed a novels worth of dread, emotion and story in about 55 pages.
Like many horror books, we dive into to Kate moving into her recently purchased house. Down in the cellar, there is an odour that she can’t place, but when her dog, Tig, comes down, there is an immediate response. The dog gets low, growls and freaks Kate (and the reader!) out.
From there Harrison gives us not only a great backstory on the house, but also on the area itself. Her dad becomes involved who then recruits a man from the local museum, which was a stroke of genius for Harrison. This allows us to get quick answers to questions that may normally need a dozen chapters to flesh out.
The writing is fantastic. I found I was unnerved the entire time, even as we start to learn just what is happening and the ending was a superb close to the story.
What I didn’t like: While Harrison did give us a fair amount of detail, I wish we’d have been given a section of backstory where we got a flashback scene to learn about what happened in the past. I want to stay spoiler free, so that’s all I’ll say. Obviously the original piece most likely had word count restrictions but with it being individually released later on, that would’ve been a nice touch.
Why you should buy this: Well, currently it is a free download, so go grab it. Otherwise, this is a fantastic story that’ll have you making sure a light is on and the covers are tucked. The story unfolds really nicely and Harrison makes sure that we get to squirm and cringe over and over. Really loved this one.