Black Star, Black Sun

by Rich Hawkins

Rating: ★★★

Lovecraftian horror novella set in a quiet Somerset village. Attempts to raise the tension through strange dreams and disturbing implications, but it seemed too short for this to work for me. Perhaps it would have worked better if there was something for us to get invested in the survival of (maybe Dad?), or if the thing prophesied was on a more approachable scale (world-ending apocalypses aren't inherently scary, they're too big and abstract). The lack of appreciable twists and turns (or even just nonlinear developments) prevents you wanting anything in particular to happen, so you don't really mind what does happen.

The setting was a mix of good details -- the mixed-build, part-retirement nature of the village, the aged church congregation -- and things that seemed weirdly off and imported to me as a long-time village resident. Why does the character drive to the village shop? Why would a taxi stopping outside the village be more than a trivial inconvenience (or save any money)? How big is this village? The novel's fixation on school shootings also seems imported from overseas, and the locale strangely rife with observable wildlife.