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.Below by Kev Harrison
Published by Brigids Gate Press on 27 May 2022
Genres: Horror, Creature, Folklore
Format: ARC, eBook
Source: NetGalley, Publisher
Buy on Amazon
Nick has revered his grandfather his entire life. The absent hero, his namesake, buried alive in his final act of courage an ocean and thousands of miles away. Jess has outgrown her status as an all-action social media celebrity and the endless demands that come with it.
Adventure Travel TV has thrown this unlikely duo together, promising Jess the launchpad she craves and Nick the chance to tell his grandfather’s story first-hand, in the newly uncovered mine that still holds his remains from the twilight days of the gold rush. Is it a dream come true or a nightmare as someone or something stirs…BELOW.
Below has everything you would come to expect from Kev Harrison. Right from the start, we have the folklore contact. A dangerous mine that has a history of caving in. A grandfather with hero status. A presenter looking for her big break. The characters have bigger balls than I, the mere thought of being caved in is enough for me to put the breaks on. The breath you rely on running short, the darkness making you question reality, only your thoughts for company, no siree, I am out!
This is the third novella I have read from Kev Harrison (previously read The Balance and Warding) and it gives us something different. Nick has revered his grandfather for many years. He’s the ultimate idol, someone to base your life choices on. He’s studied the events of the 1957 cave-in where his grandfather managed to save many people but ultimately, he lost his life. He is given the opportunity to explore this mine in person as part of a new TV show for Adventure TV. He jumps at the chance – it’s one thing agreeing to this from the comfort of your home in Wales but it’s another thing entirely stepping into a mine that instantly triggers your claustrophobia.
The events that transpire are pure horror. The horror of mankind and all the intricacies of a destroyed mind. It examines the heavy weight of action and consequence.
Jess his co-host has had enough of vlogging everything. She’s sick of always having to be on display, immaculate appearance, and fake smile. IGTV is not where she wants to be, and this opportunity is her big break. One thing I adore about Harrison’s writing is the fact that he values characterisation as equally important as the plot. The duo’s adventure below the surface is distilled in fear and a chilling sense of doom.
Below could be compared with The Descent or As Above so Below but I think it’s in a league of its own, no comparison would do it justice and Harrison has created a story that would chill you to stone quicker than a Medusa stare.
Below ensnares the reader with its intoxicating atmosphere. From the descriptions of the impenetrable dark to the descriptions of the rock surface and the random noises that seem to assault their senses were expertly done. You always get an immersive experience and I felt like I was there with Nick and Jess, close enough to hold their hands and try and drag them back to the surface because they clearly aren’t thinking straight! HA!
Below is a testament to Kev Harrison and his skill. Master of folklore. Disturbing and relentless, this author is on a roll.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kev Harrison is a writer of dark fiction and English language teacher from the UK, living and working in Lisbon, Portugal. His nomadic lifestyle has previously taken him to various cities in the United Kingdom, as well as to Turkey and Poland. He has an unquenchable thirst for travel and is passionate about food, photography, and music, as well as fiction. He is a staff writer for This is Horror and has had short fiction published in a variety of magazines and anthologies. His first novella, The Balance, will be released early in 2020, through Lycan Valley Press.