I’ve followed Rich Hawkins for quite some time now (not in a stalker breaking into his house sniffing his underwear kind of way). I’d know his writing style simply by reading a few sentences. With Maniac Gods, Rich brings us a tale steeped in woe, rain and gore. What’s not to like?!
If you’ve read Hawkins’ Plague trilogy and enjoyed it, Maniac Gods will please you to no end. The world is a soggy, sad, desperate place filled with monsters that exist in both plain sight and between the realms. Those looking for a cheery tale about friendship, bravery and love should really be looking elsewhere. Hawkins is a dark dealer in sorrow and suffering. His characters trudge downtrodden streets looking for answers they’d probably rather not find.
As with Hawkins’ other books, I really enjoyed this grim novella. Maniac Gods is a cosmic horror tale filled with hideous beats, beasts that come screaming and scratching at you from the page, riddled with protrusions and sores. It’s nightmare inducing stuff and this is where Hawkins truly shines. At the centre of this tale, we have protagonist Albi, a man searching for his missing daughter and wife. All the while, Albie is pursued by the mask-wearing Doctor Ridings and his followers. There isn’t much to tell about Albie. He is a shell of a man, forlorn and hopeless, and to be honest, that’s all we really know about him. It’s perhaps the only blight on Maniac Gods that Albie isn’t given a little more depth as the story itself is excellent.
The first half of the story broods and simmers creating a murky atmosphere, whilst the second half has more for those in search of action as Doctor Ridings becomes more prominent. I always look forward to a new Rich Hawkins book. Maniac Gods is exactly the sort of story I’ve come to expect from him. Job done.
4/5 puss-filled sores from the Grim Reader
Pick up a copy from here.