by Alan Baxter
The story of The Roo may have begun as a joke on the interweb, but when it came down to writing a compelling novella, Alan Baxter didn’t come here to fuck spiders.
The Roo delivers a creature feature to rival all others. When a seven-foot tall, red roo begins terrorizing the outback, it’s up to a rowdy cast of characters bearing more than a few familiar names to figure out where this evil’s come from and how to stop it. Along the way there are some spectacular, splattery, and memorable character tucker-izations. I was both proud and thrilled to have my minor player meet his demise in the grisliest of manners.
The foreword and afterword are both required reading, although for very different reasons.
Baxter includes two pages up front about the genesis of this book; how Kealan Patrick Burke designed a killer cover, and the rest of the community peer pressured Baxter into writing this book. Of course, he responded by unleashing a mad beast with fiery eyes and some serious bloodlust as his revenge. The afterword deals with some more serious details of the story, explaining how and why an important topic makes its presence felt in an otherwise over-the-top story.
Baxter clearly had a great time writing this story and sprinkling genuine Aussie slang throughout. My memory could be mistaken, but I don’t believe there was a single shrimp on the barbie, and certainly no dingoes eating babies. That sense of fun translates well to the reader and our time down under is well spent.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that the creation of this book has led to a potential series, with various authors writing killer animal stories about their local wildlife, and Burke designing some excellent covers to accompany them. As you read this, Max Booth III is hard at work on his tale about sinister armadillos.
In the meantime, the misadventures of a certain murderous marsupial awaits you. If you haven’t laid hands on this book already, you’d be mad as a cut snake not to rectify that immediately.
Review by Brennan LaFaro
I received this book from the author for review consideration.