Exponential by Adam Cesare
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
When a janitor smuggles a laboratory mouse home, he has no idea of the horror he has unleashed upon the southwest. Holed up in a desert dive, two meth heads, an ex-cop, and a gambler have to find a way past the ravenous beast and to freedom...
As I get older, I'm rediscovering my fondness for gore-splattered creature features. Exponential, Adam Cesare's homage to The Blob and road horror movies, fits the bill.
Exponential is an homage to The Blob and it shows. Only instead of a giant amoeba, the blob of Exponential is a gelatinous pile of dissolving organs and bone fragments. Kind of like the contents of a Taco Bell burrito.
The group of strangers stranded someplace and threatened by an unspeakable menace is one of my favorite horror tropes and Cecsare mines the vein pretty hard. I was at once reminded of Tremors, Maximum Overdrive, and a hundred other B movies from the 80s and early 90s. The characters were surprisingly rich. Kate mourns a dead child. Ken tries to do the right thing despite being a meth dealer. Nez couldn't hack being a cop anymore. Vicki runs from her childhood.
The carnage level is very high. I never felt like the characters were working with a net, which is a good thing because that net would be saturated with blood and bits of monster before long. The ending was satisfying but I'm hoping Son of Exponential shows up one of these days.
Exponential is a shitty 80s horror movie in book form. I mean that in the best of ways. 3.5 out of 5 stars.
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