Epeolatry Book Review: Slaves to Gravity by Wesley Southard and Somer Canon

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Title: Slaves to Gravity
Author: Wesley Southard and Somer Canon
Genre: Horror
Publisher: Silver Shamrock Publishing
Release Date: 3rd August, 2020

Synopsis:  After waking up in a hospital bed, paralyzed from the waist down, Charlie Snyder had no idea where life would take her. Dejected, broken, and permanently bound to a wheelchair, she believed her life was truly over. That is…until gravity no longer applied.It started out slow. Floating from room to room. Menial tasks without assistance. When she decided to venture outside and take some real risks with her newfound ability, she rose above her own constraints to reveal a whole new world, and found other damaged individuals just like her to confide in.But there are other things out there, waiting in the dark. Repulsive, secretive creatures that don’t want Charlie to touch the sky. And they’ll stop at nothing to keep her on the ground.

This is another cracker from Silver Shamrock, and my first introduction to the work of both Southard and Canon who sharing the writing reins. (I was fortunate enough to interview them both about that, amongst other writerly matters, for a separate article to be posted on Horrortree.com).

Slaves to Gravity has an original, unique storyline. It starts off as a family drama with the protagonist, Charlie, recovering in hospital, going home paralysed in a wheelchair after a horrific accident. On the majorly plus side, her supportive husband, Marcus adores her. 

To my surprise, the narrative switches gear, which the reader must buy into when Charlie discovers she can defy gravity and fly. If you can fly along with that leap, then you are in for a terrific, exciting, fast-paced ride. Charlie, with her new-found powers, soars skyward and there under the clouds she meets up with a group of land-disabled night-time sky-flyers known as ‘volitants’.

Up in the sky the rules are different. Charlie learns there are hideous dangers above the clouds and back on earth, lurking in the shadows (like creatures that secretively change shape). The foreshadowing is genuinely scary and goosebumpy. I will never view a changing room in a clothes shop the same way again! 

So, as you might gather, the novel morphs into magic realism/fantasy before its finale reveal which then streamlines into sci-fi/post-apocalyptic scenarios. That’s a lot of canvas and landscape to fit into 130 or so pages, and the pace is relentless, as are the fast and furious action scenes.

More than one terrific twist took me by surprise. Charlie’s character grew as a fighter and leader on a helluva of a journey of discovery.

For me, I would have liked more world building and back story, as there is an awful lot going on in this novel. There was much to take in. Also the ending felt a little abrupt, leaving me wondering if a sequel would follow. (A question I asked the authors in my interview).

4/5 stars.

A fast paced, entertaining, thought-provoking read with brevity, allowing for one massively adrenaline soaked sitting.

Available from amazon.

Alyson Faye

Alyson lives in the UK; her fiction has been published widely in print anthologies - DeadCades, Women in Horror Annual 2, Trembling with Fear 1 &2, Coffin Bell Journal 1 and Stories from Stone and in ezines, most often on the Horror Tree site, Siren’s Call and The Casket of Fictional Delights. In May 2019 Night of the Rider, was published by Demain, in their Short Sharp Shocks! E book series and reached the amazon kindle top 10 best seller lists. Her work has been read on podcasts (eg Ladies of Horror), shortlisted in competitions and published in charity anthologies. Future work will appear in anthologies from Things in the Well, Mortal Realm and Twisted Wing Publishers.She performs at open mics, teaches, edits and hangs out with her dog on the moor in all weathers.https://alysonfayewordpress.wordpress.com/ Twitter @AlysonFaye2

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