I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Early Retirement by Luke Ethan Knight
Published by Self Published on March 29 2021
Genres: Horror, Science Fiction
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A lifelong production operator who's been dragged from boiling-hot reactor cells to outdoor polar pipeline arrays, Cap Jenkins figures he’s seen just about every ugly thing that life on an extraterrestrial corporate mining colony has to offer. But when a fresh, unnervingly innocent young operator clocks in for his first night shift with no warning and no introduction, Cap and his small crew of surly workmen are quickly reminded that things can always get worse. As Cap's woes progress from minor equipment failures to inexplicable and horrific happenings in the shadows, one thing becomes increasingly clear: there’s something very strange about this rookie.
A gory, profane, and darkly humorous trip through two very bad nights at work, Early Retirement is a space-horror fright fest sure to delight fans of Stephen King, John Carpenter, and Edward Lee.
Early Retirement is a novelette that packs the appropriate level of punch for the length of the story. The story development, the characterization and the level of suspense and intrigue had me turning the pages. With a science fiction backdrop, the horror enters almost immediately with the reader being immersed right in the middle of the story, I liked that – there was no messing around with backstories, character nuances, and hyperbole. It was laid out on a plate for the reader – you either took it or left it – I was happy to gobble it up!
A story of such a short length is usually hit or miss for me, on this occasion I liked BUT I found myself wanting more and I needed answers to what caused the atrocity. Did I get any – not a damn thing and it left me frustrated. The different setting, the writing style, and the characters all worked well it was just the lack of an explanation that left me with more questions than answers. I was heavily invested in the story and I loved the progression and that cut-throat writing style.
Early Retirement is a story I needed to take a chance on, why? Not because the cover particularly spoke to me but the synopsis sounded so out there, so different from what I’ve been reading recently, that it sounded like a refreshing change. Not like a refreshing glass of water but like a shot of tequila, it might feel good at the time, but in the end, it’s going to knock you sideways.
So just how can you get so invested in a 28-page story you ask? Well, Luke Ethan Knight just knows how to pack a lot of horror into those pages. With starting in the middle of the story, you can just get straight to the action and careen it onwards with a lot of gore, a lot of fear, and a lot of morbid fascination.
The unsettling sense of unease is there throughout. William, the rookie on the station is odd. No one knows where he’s come from and why they are being landed with him. He needs to refill the o2 tanks and learn the ropes but something just doesn’t sit right. The snowy atmosphere is my favourite backdrop to horror, how can you escape when you can’t see or will most likely freeze to death?