Title: Cavern of the Damned | Author: Russell James | Publisher; Severed Press | Pub. Date: May 22nd, 2017 | Pages: 129 | ASIN: B071LMZFHJ | Genre: Creature Horror | Language: English | Triggers: Arachnophobia, claustrophobia | Rating: 4 out of 5 | Source: Kindle Unlimited
Cavern of the Damned Review
Broke and desperate, paleontologist Grant Coleman gets the chance of a lifetime exploring a long-sealed cave, the fabled home of a gigantic creatures.
NPS Ranger McKinley Stinson discovers a rancher’s prize bull has been butchered by an airborne killer, and tracks the blood trail back to the re-opened cavern. But as she’s about to arrest the trespassers, the unstable roof collapses, trapping all.
Their only way out is at the cave system’s far end. But an eco-system of terrifying mega fauna stands between them and freedom. Death, double-crosses, and a slew of monstrous cave creatures take their toll as the group battles to what they pray is an exit.
Will anyone survive this cavern of the damned? – Goodreads
Cavern of the Damned Review
Cavern of the Damned was a fun read that almost hit all the notes for great campy horror. A predictably twisty plot, a cast of screw-ups and wannabes, a heroic undertaking that goes horribly wrong… This book pretty much has ‘low-budget Syfy film’ written all over it. The only thing it’s missing is the necessary amount of cheesy one-liners. I’m quite sure there are plenty of script-writers who could rectify the situation.
There’s not much plot to Cavern of the Damned. A broke paleontologist grasps at a chance to make a bit of money. What he finds on the expedition exceeds his wildest dreams, and his worst nightmares. None of the crew he’s on are prepared for the spelunking that awaits them. Especially as they’re pursued by various overgrown examples of why people have fears of arachnids, arthrophods, and so on. Lots of the crew die, with a few having the requisite close escape only to bite (heh) it later when they think they’re going to make it.
The female protagonist in the book is believably strong and action-oriented and gifted with survival instincts. The paleontologist is a good guy, but fairly forgettable. The rest of the crew are just cardboard characters that you know are meant for giant creature nomming. Some books try to be atmospheric and chilling and often fail horribly (I’m having that experience right now). Others quite happily go straight to scary monsters and lots of death to make a reader happy. Cavern of the Damned makes me happy.
Honestly, not much more to say about Cavern of the Damned. It’s well-written, moves along at a quick pace, and at only 129 pages, you can easily read it in one sitting. A perfect read for a long car or plane ride. Or just for lounging around being lazy, honestly. It’s not mentally taxing, and it doesn’t pretend to be anything other than what it is.