By John Quick
Before this novel I had never read anything by John Quick, although he was one of a slew of writers that have been on my radar. Thanks to Grindhouse Press, here was my chance.
Savage Mountain is a wilderness survival story, kind of like a cross between Alex Garland’s The Beach and Deliverance. John and I seem to have similar tastes in fiction, so I thought this one would be a home run for me. He even dedicated the book to Richard Laymon, who has written perhaps my favorite wilderness survival story of all time, Island.
Unfortunately it wasn’t a homerun, but I really only had one problem with it: pacing; this is a sticking point for me as a reader. As a lean and mean novella, Savage Mountain would’ve been great, but as a 230 page short novel, it was a tiny bit arduous. The book could have also used a bit more characterization. I know, I know: “But Jason, you said that pacing was the only problem.” To me, pacing and character development have a symbiotic relationship. If the characters are fully realized, then the reader’s empathy level is high, which in turn actually speeds up the pacing, and the reader will have more interest in each new plot revelation. It also would have added more to the 3rd act’s shock value.
This isn’t a “bad” book by any means, but Richard Laymon sure did set the bar high.
This book was released from Grindhouse Press on March 2nd, 2020.
Buy Link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B084L6FWLG
Review by Jason Cavallaro
I received a copy from Grindhouse Press for review consideration.