As a reviewer one of the greatest pleasures I have in life is when I discover the work of someone new that blows me away. So when I first read the blurb and pre-order information for Into the Mist I was excited. Another military thriller/horror from the amazing Cohesion Press... by the relatively unknown (at least to me) Lee Murray... shut up and take my money!
Six weeks later the book dropped, and now I'm sitting here writing this review after reading it in one marathon sitting.
I loved everything about it. Yes, everything.
Into the Mist is a perfect military horror novel in every way, shape, and form. From it's ragtag group of scientists and military guardians through to the terrifying monster stalking them, Into the Mist smashed through my expectations and went higher than I could ever imagine.
This book is the epitome of what works when trying to write a scintillating military horror. It has fascinating and varied characters, a world that feels both real and unreal, tension riddled scenes and breathtaking action sequences. It also doesn't pull its punches. You are genuinely mentally assaulted over and over again by primordial and sphincter clenching scenes of terror and dread throughout this story. And fuck me it's glorious! Imagine, for a moment, being stalked and hunted by something that goes bump in the night. Now turn that something into a creature the size of a small bus... with a tendency to bite things in two. Yeah, see what I mean?
Into the Mist is so creepy and enthralling that, as the creature picks the soldiers and contractors off one by one, my wife actually expressed concern for me as I was reading it (apparently I had a look of deep worry on my face). I was so enamoured with Murray's ability to weave a magnificent and cinematic story that I also forgot all about going to bed until I had actually finished the book.
But that's not all that impressed me with Into the Mist. I was also blown away by Murray's inclusion of Maori culture and myths within this story. I adored reading about the Taniwha, and the parts that touched on other facets of Maori culture and magic were both hauntingly beautiful and fascinating. One of the everlasting emotions that this book left me with was that Maori culture should be further explored, honoured, and celebrated by speculative fiction.
I really didn't have any issues with this book, and the ending was a fitting conclusion to what was an evocative and action packed story. Into the Mist resonated with me on so many levels, and was one of the best military horrors I've read since Greig Beck first released Beneath the Dark Ice seven years ago.
Creepy and addictive, Into the Mist is an irresistible tapestry of military action, dark myths, and an ancient and terrifying horror.
A must read for speculative fiction fans.
5 out of 5 stars.