Human Again by Christian Santos #BookReview

Title: Human Again | Author: Christian Santos | Publisher: Christian Santos | Pub. Date: 2016-7-28 | Pages: 231 | ASIN: B01F1GMPJ6 | Genre: Horror | Language: English | Triggers: Murder/Rape | Rating: 3 out of 5 | Source: Received from author for an honest review |

Human Again 

Familiar faces are luring their loved ones to dark corners. Severed limbs flood the streets. And a tall figure in a dark suit and tie is preparing for one final, grand feast.

It all traces back to English Teacher Gabriel Torres, whose perfect life collapses after his wife, Zoe, is murdered in a random attack. When a mysterious elderly woman offers him a chance to see Zoe again through a process called “dream manifestation therapy”, Gabriel doesn’t hesitate. But shortly after he traverses back to reality, he learns something else has crossed over with him.

Navigating through a town engulfed in chaos, Gabriel’s only aid comes in the form of a troubled adolescent skateboarder, a tattooed gas station clerk on the run from her abusive husband, and the gun-toting blind ghost of Zoe’s favorite country singer, Connor Vaughn.

Time is slipping. The lives of Eden Springs’ remaining survivors are in jeopardy. Now Gabriel must conquer the dark force he helped summon, even if it means letting go of the only thing he’s ever loved.

Book cover for Human Again

Human Again Review

  First off, I love the cover. It has a bit of a J-Horror/manga feel to it. I also like the selective use of color with the black and white.

Human Again was reasonably fast-paced and entertaining. I liked the creatures, the Op’a. They were described well and sounded pretty cool. The action was described well. There’s no muddled action scenes when you can’t tell who is doing what to whom or who is getting eaten by what. There’s just enough gore to make it interesting but not enough to make you roll your eyes and say, “Let’s get on with it already!”

The characterizations in Human Again are a bit spotty. Guadalupe and Willy are very well done. Guadalupe’s not exactly an appealing character at times but she feels alive and like a real person. Ditto for Willy. Gabriel, for being the center of the book, could use a little more fleshing out. Brandy could be dropped altogether or her pieces shortened drastically. She doesn’t play a big enough part in the plot of Human Again to justify the space given to her. She’s also one of the whiniest, self-pitying characters I’ve run across in a long while. That does not affect my analysis of her plot impact. Her character could be cut right out without it changing the plot. It almost seems like the author was gearing her up to be Gabe’s love interest then changed his mind. Thank goodness.

Which brings me to my biggest complaint about Human Again. The plot could be much tighter. It could really use more explanation as to how everything is connected to Gabe. The motivations of the creatures seem to be a bit hazy as well. They go on an all-out attack and then suddenly change tactics for no discernible reason to meet an arbitrary deadline that seems to have no bearing on the plot. A little clarification would go a long way.

Another slight annoyance was two major characters getting faded out near the end. Then there’s just a slight nod to them in the epilogue. Speaking of the epilogue…

I may be dense but I have no idea what the author was trying to go for with the epilogue for Human Again. Was it supposed to be real? A stress-induced delusion? I have no idea.

All in all it was a fast, entertaining read that with a little work could be a lot better.