Grimweave by Tim Curran
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
When two marines chase a wounded man deep into the Cambodian jungle, one winds up dead and the other imprisoned. After he is rescued, Spiers tells the story of the creature that killed his commanding officer. In order to get out of the marines, Spiers agrees to go back to the valley as part of a unit to kill the beast. Will any of them make it out alive?
Tim Curran is the mutt's nuts and since spider creatures are involved, how could I not snap this one up? Before anyone gets their spoiler panties in a bunch, there's a spider on the cover and the title has the word 'weave' in it, you know something spidery is going to happen. Deal with it.
Like most of the reviews I've read, the first things that come to mind with Grimweave are Aliens or Predator, military vs. monster tales where you know there's a good chance only a couple people will survive. Nuking the site from orbit would have been a great option.
Tim Curran knows how to keep things tense. Even before any of the vermin are revealed, the jungle is a spooky place. From there, Curran deals out the gore and the grotesque arachnoid horrors slowly but surely, each encounter worse than the last. I also have to hand it to Curran for making the menace more than just the spider creature the cover depicts.
As I've said before, I think horror works best in short doses and Tim Curran is the king of the horror novella. This wasn't my favorite horror novella of his, however. The characters were kind of weak, even for a story of this type. I thought it maybe leaned a little too heavily on its Aliens/Predator roots. All things considered, I'm giving this a three out of five stars. It's three or four hours of creepy-crawling gory fun.
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