Short Take: “Beneath the Cut,” Ike Hamill

Pros: Loved this tale. Plenty of mystery and strangeness
Cons: Not everyone will want the murky turn into what is death?
Rating: 5 out of 5

Beneath the Cut measured up to what I expect from Ike Hamill at this point. His horror stories come in two major types, in my opinion: the more ‘standard’ fare (although even those usually have an unexpected turn or two at the end), and those that take a major twist or two and become something much more (or other) than a horror tale. In Beneath the Cut, we’ve sacrificed the privacy of our minds by allowing a machine to assay whether we’re innocent or guilty of a crime. When the machine encounters a particularly gullible mind, that man begins to learn that there is far more to the universe than we’ve lead ourselves to believe.

Two men end up in a war over death–its nature, its possibilities, and just how far it should go. I had virtually no idea where it would end up, and loved the twists and turns. I never expected to read a* novel that went in directions such as these! There are certainly plenty of dangers associated with having a machine muck around in your brain, I’d imagine, and using that as the sole determiner of guilt or innocence can’t end well. The story drew me in and I thought it was fascinating.

***SPOILER WARNING*** *Up there I really needed to say “I never expected to read a zombie novel”, but even though I rate that kinda low on the spoiler scale, I decided to separate it out anyway. end spoiler

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