By C Derick Miller
Compelling. Evocative. Brutal.
To most, 1865 was an eye-opening year. The American Civil War was officially over, and the soldiers fortunate enough to survive the bloody conflict returned home to collect the pieces of their former lives. To young Arizonan, Robert Jack, the fateful desert homecoming marked the end to all he once knew.
Forgiveness is overrated. Death is final. Revenge, however, dances between the fine lines of mortality and eternity. Love always finds a way.
Starving Zoe by C Derick Miller is Book 5 in the Splatter Western series from Death’s Head Press. It’s a Splatter Western. Splatter. Western. You need to know that going in. You need to understand it. Because trashing a splatter western for having horror elements is bad form. So, Splatter Western.
On that note …
I seriously almost puked on page 4.
I almost threw the book across the room when I came upon the horrors at page 23.
A few pages later, I stepped away for a moment to re-evaluate my boundaries in horror fiction. It wasn’t about graphic gore or even content. It was the realism. The horrifying, mind-violating realism of the content and horrors rising from the pages. Intellectually, I knew this spoke to Miller’s superior storytelling, but part of my mind said, “Dude, I don’t like you right now.”
The biggest horror for me? The dark, irreverent, inexcusable humor throughout the story got at least a smirk (and often an outright laugh) from me in spite of how horrified I was by the events in the story. Every time. Every single time. Snake balls. ☹
Starving Zoe is told in first person by the main character, Robert Jack. Much like a real-life friend, Robert is telling you things he himself clearly does not grasp the significance of, inspiring evocative moments of you wanting to say, “Dude, did you even hear what you just said?” out loud. (maybe I did, maybe I didn’t)
Evocative. Yes. Starving Zoe is a shockingly evocative tale. It evokes your gag reflex. It evokes outrage. It evokes horror and frustration both with and at the narrator. It evokes sadness.
It is a twisted masterwork of human authenticity with a supernatural flair, compelling, evocative, brutal. It is ultimately a story about love and all the dark and awful thoughts and emotions that go with it. It stays with you long after you finish it (I read it four days ago). It is also a Splatter Western and not for those with sensitive constitutions.
Fans of the Splatter Western series will love Starving Zoe. Fans of extreme horror in general will love it too.
Get it on Amazon: getbook.at/StarvingZoe
About the Author: C. Derick Miller
C. Derick Miller is a dark fiction author, Gonzo journalist, screenwriter, poet, ordained minister, and ASCAP songwriter born in the town of Greenville, Texas. His influences include Hunter S. Thompson, Kevin Smith, Shawn Mullins, and Del James. Currently the Senior Writer/Junior Producer for AtuA Productions, he resides in the Bishop Arts District of Dallas, Texas where he has a price on his head for his short story “Hell Paso” contained in the #1 Best Selling Anthology And Hell Followed. He wishes he were making up that last part but … it is nice to be wanted.