Adam L.G. Nevill

Ritual Limited (October 26, 2020)
Reviewed by Ray Palen

U.K. author Adam L.G. Nevill is one of the best writers of horror fiction working today, and it still amazes me that his is not a household name. His most famous work to date, THE RITUAL, was also made into an outstanding and deeply unsettling horror film starring Rafe Spall, and is not to be missed by fans of the horror genre.

WYRD AND OTHER DERELICTIONS is his latest short story collection, and it is definitely unlike any I have ever read. Nevill speaks in the STORY NOTES: About These Derelictions, that he was deeply affected in 2006 when he visited Krakow, Poland and visited the infamous Auschwitz concentration camp. It wasn’t so much what he saw as it was what he felt when walking these grounds. To be in a place after so much horror and devastation had taken place was what moved him to come up with the idea for WYRD.

In this collection, each story takes us to a location where something horrific had either just or very recently occurred. This type of storytelling is not what you expect from a typical narrative, and much of what is included within are images that either tell their own story or add more pieces of the puzzle to be put together by the reader.

It is difficult to describe what I read here without revealing too much. WYRD is a collection that needs to be experienced by each individual reader as you decipher what it is you are seeing described for you. I can tell you that some of the settings include: an empty ship containing the remains of those who experienced visceral horror; a campsite where one of the only clues to the devastation that occurred there is a scrawled word ‘WYRD’; a series of burnt-out pyres containing the bones of those sacrificed in the name of some sort of monument; and an alien world that could be our own or one from another dimension, or the remains of what happened when two worlds existed simultaneously for a moment of time.

Each story is meant to unnerve the reader and make you think. It is a brilliant idea, and one that Adam L.G. Nevill handles with his typical horrific style.

About Ray Palen

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