Tuesday, September 18, 2018
Review: Halcyon - by Rio Youers
About seven or eight years ago, I attended my first Horror Convention, Horrorfind, in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. It was in the reading room where I first encountered Rio Youers. He read from one of his stories in Dark Dreams, Pale Horses from PS Publishing. I loved the story and Rio was an excellent reader, too. Later I picked up his novella, Mama Fish, and I've been hooked ever since (pun intended).
What do I enjoy about Rio's work? It could be the character-driven stories, it could be the believability factor (even when dealing with the unbelievable). Then there's the way he weaves the ordinary into his stories. Like the scene where his character, Martin Lovegrove, is watching Lost on Netflix...
"...where Hurley was currently bouncing through the jungle. Oh Hurley...four and a half seasons without Kentucky Fried Chicken and still a goddam lard-ass."
That's the reason I gave up on Lost in season one. I couldn't buy into Jorge Garcia not losing any weight on that island.
Sorry, back to the review.
I already mentioned Martin, father to fifteen-year-old Shirley and ten-year-old Edith. Mom, Laura was out of the picture for the most part, but the parents did combine forces in an attempt to find help for Edith who suffered from Night Terrors. It is while on this journey of discovery we meet one of the most intriguing characters in the book, Calm Dumas.
Calm actually helps Edith a bit by teaching her to create a dream world inviting the girl into her own private place. It's where...I can't say more; this surprise is best discovered by the reader.
Then there is Valerie, an amazing character herself with a rich and dark backstory and the driving force behind Halcyon named for a seabird in Greek mythology that could calm the waves...
"As an adjective, it means a time of great tranquility and harmony."
I've said enough, but believe me when I say I have barely scratched the surface. Halcyon is broad in scope with multiple storylines which come together in a beautifully constructed climax.
Halcyon is one of those special books which reads like your watching a really good suspense thriller. Emotionally charged. Rio's writing is fearless and he really knows no bounds. He is actually one of the most gifted storytellers of our time and Halcyon is his most amazing work to date.
This is a book I can recommend with the greatest of confidence.
Halcyon is published by St. Martin's Press and is available now in all formats.
From the author's bio - Rio Youers is the British Fantasy Award-nominated author of Point Hollow and The Forgotten Girl. His short fiction has been published in many notable anthologies, and his novel, Westlake Soul, was nominated for Canada's prestigious Sunburst Award.