C.V. Hunt’s vanity shelf bows low in the middle. She cranks them out without abandon. Halloween Fiend is not her end-all be-all masterpiece, but it’s not a contender for the donation box either, if only for the creepy-ass monster.
The actual Halloween Fiend is a playfully murderous monster demon that preys on the people and guinea pigs (I know, I know it’s sad) of the small town of Strang. Think Stars Hollow, but with ritualistic murder.
Our first-person protagonist is Barry. Everything shits on him, he’s got lukewarm-at-best self-esteem, he’s the bodily equivalent of mashed potatoes. He’s perfect. Well outmatched by the towering fanged, supernaturally talented Halloween Fiend.
Peripherally we have a couple of metalhead carnies, a hot redhead server, a sadistic and loopy old neighbor, and a putrid scrote boil of a sheriff to help make Barry’s life stranger or more awful, respectively.
At just over 100 pages, The Halloween Fiend does not aim to be an epic jawdropper, but a fun flash in the pan. Put it on your October reading list, keep it in the messenger bag for a go-to in-line read. It’s creepy, but not violent. The characters are fun, the story is fluid, and the ending is as satisfying as it is brain-squishing-ly trippy.
And if this one isn’t your flavor, wait a couple months and try the next C.V. Hunt! Keep keeping her busy, Grindhouse! You are doing the lord’s work!