It’s been a huge summer for books thus far. HUGE (Trump voice). The list is long and even though I’ve been reading at an unusually quick pace, I’m still far behind. For instance, I plowed through Joe Hill’s The Fireman (pretty good, but mostly “meh”), but I haven’t gotten to King’s End of Watch yet. That’s because I’ve decided to check out Paul Tremblay’s Disappearance at Devil’s Rock (currently reading) and Brian Keene’s marine thriller Pressure (on deck). Over the past few weeks, I’ve managed to squeeze in some other works as well. Michael McDowell’s classic haunted house novel The Elementals (enjoyable), Adam Howe’s novella Gator Bait (fantastic, can’t wait to check out Adam’s other stuff), and the book I want to recommend here, Mayan Blue by Michelle Garza and Melissa Lason, otherwise known as the Sisters of Slaughter.
Let me start off by saying, this book is fucking bonkers. And I mean that in the best possible way.
Quick synopsis: A small group of students search for their missing professor, who has opened a portal to the Mayan Underworld somewhere in Georgia.
I picked this book up after listening to the newest Arm Cast Podcast episode which featured the Sisters of Slaughter. It was one of the most entertaining interviews Armand has ever done, besides maybe the second half of episode 96. Just kidding. (But not really.)
Mayan Blue is a lot of things. It’s horror, dark fantasy, and adventure all rolled into one kick-ass, balls-to-the-wall action story. It’s like if Tomb Raider and The Ruins got frisky with Nightbreed, and the three of them had a baby. If there’s one thing you need to know going in, note that it’s a fucking bloodbath. You’d think the Sisters of Slaughter would be a dead giveaway, but just when you think there can’t possibly be more blood to spill, these authors find away to cut and slice, rip and mutilate.
While the story borrows some cheesy 80’s slasher cliches (which I love), the book manages to stay fresh and imaginative, and that’s due to the writers’ keen eye for world-building. I loved the way they painted the Mayan underworld, Xibalba, with such detail. Rich descriptive narratives and beautiful dark prose elevate what could have been a very routine, gore-reliant killfest into one of the most impressive debut novels I’ve read in quite some time. Debut novels often sport flaws, and while Mayan Blue isn’t perfect, it’s a damn fine story with great pacing, perfect for killing off an afternoon or two.
I enjoyed Mayan Blue and recommend it to anyone who’s a fan of old-school Brian Keene novels, horror that goes for the throat instead of chills. There’s not many lulls between the action. Bloody entertaining. I can’t wait to see what the Sisters of Slaughter come up with next.
So, in all – READ THIS BOOK. Just remember to bring a barf bag. You might need it. This book is fucking metal.
You can check out the book on Amazon by clicking HERE.