Book review: Home Birth – Jessica McHugh


I absolutely adore the artwork that is being created for this series of Kaiju novellas from Apocrypha. These novellas are not your usual Kaiju stories. Yes, there are huge monsters with razor sharp teeth, bulging bodies and multiple appendages but these Kaiju stories are very different. Jessica McHugh’s ‘Home Birth’ is novella number two and it is unlike any monster story I have ever read in my entire life. Now, I already know that Jessica is a more than competent wordsmith having read two of her novels this year but you could probably say that I am still a newby to the McHughniverse!

There is so much going on in this novella it makes me wonder how she managed to cram so much into such a short book without it feeling cluttered. Eibar and partner Naka grow embryos for species across the galaxy but when the Darkogs approach they become involved in a war between the Darkogs and the human race! Yep, it sounds kind of bonkers but it’s really, really well done. I also feel that this novella has a strong social conscience. There are a number of themes running through it from surrogacy to immigration and as with her other works Jessica’s writing is superb, featuring vivid descriptions and engaging three-dimensional characters as well as bodily fluids and splattering of space-gore. ‘Home Birth’ is a straightforward story on the surface but the themes make it about so much more than just the monsters. If it is the monsters you want then there is more than enough gross out Kalju-Style horror to keep you entertained.

There is a dark sense of humour that just peeks its head out from the story every now and then and I loved this. My sense of humour is very dark and there were a couple of occasions where I laughed out loud. Jessica McHugh is a leader of the pack when it comes to writing unusual stories. ‘Home Birth’ is one of the most original and entertaining Kaiju stories that I have ever read. It’s a doozy! Buy it!

Pick up a copy from here.


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