Author: Danger Slater
Release date: July 20, 2022
Huge thanks to Danger for sending me a digital review copy of his newest novella, ‘Moonfellows.’
Have you read Danger Slater before?
For those who have, you’ll be in for a treat. With his last release, ‘Impossible James,’ Slater had shown a continued progression with his story-crafting – a maturity of story with an immaturity of events, if that makes sense.
For those who haven’t, you’re also in for a treat.
‘Moonfellows’ is the next progression to that and showcases Slater’s brilliant and insightful prose alongside his comedic and bitingly-quick sarcasm. I say that as a reader who doesn’t actually enjoy humor in his horror. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind some good natured banter between characters, but Slater is equal parts laughs and equal parts introspection. But that’s what sets Danger apart. He has that rare ability to push past your own reservations and grab you by the throat and scream ‘JUST READ IT!’ Another way of putting it – Slater is the rap group at the heavy metal show. The one that looks out of place on the lineup card but puts on one of the best performances of the day.
What I liked: Condensed version of what goes on – a group of people in 1906 are kidnapped by the US Government and forced to fly to the moon to look for a rare stone. They crash and are forgotten about.
That’s all I’ll give you. Because this book is so much more. To paraphrase Donkey from Shrek – “this book has layers. Like an onion.” We have a Brainiac scientist cobbling together ways to contact earth. We have an arrogant and utterly ridiculous Captain attempting to lead the crew but fail over and over. But at its heart, and the main character, is our Gravedigger. The one whom longs to return to his wife and daughter. Who looks at the earth below and wonders if they’re looking at the moon above.
Slater (admittedly in the afterword) throws any real science out the door and just has fun and the readers are all the better for that. This is a case where you absolutely need to have complete suspension of reality, but honestly, if you’re buying this book off the synopsis or have read Danger before, you understand that already.
The ending to this book is sweet, sublime and so, so beautiful. It’s an odd thing to think and even to type, especially when you think back to the slugs and the craziness and the explosions and betrayals. But it shows just how attuned Slater is to the storyline that weaves its way through the weirdness and keeps the book grounded in emotions.
What I didn’t like: Look, I said it before – I just don’t dig humor when reading dark fiction. I don’t know why, always have. I try and push myself out of my comfort zone and just let it happen. But, if you’re someone who struggles with it mightily, then be warned – there is a lot of ridiculousness in here. If you’re not sure, maybe head to Slater’s Twitter profile and read through his tweets. If not a single one makes your solid-as-stone face twitch into a smile, probably pass.
Why you should buy this: I wasn’t sure how this book would work for me. This was either going to be a solid, out-of-the-park homerun or a swing and a miss. That’s often how I find most Bizarro reads, but with this one, Slater crushed it off a T-Ball stand. The heartbeat of the story is rock solid, the characters are fun, infuriating and entertaining, but the themes and layers that get peeled back are picture-perfect divine and that’s truly why you should read this. Slater is a treasure and with each new release he shows us more and more that he is one of the greats.
2 thoughts on “Book Review: Moonfellows by Danger Slater”
It sounds a little retro-1950s. (It sounds awesome!)