The Black by Paul Cooley: a review

Hello there, you awesome people. Hope you all have been having fun while I’ve been writing and reading. Contrary to popular belief , writers do read. We kind of have to read, as we need entertainment outside of the plausible (and most times implausible) insanity that hops from our fingers to the keys. Also, it’s just fun.
That brings us to the review for today. You all know I’m a fan of Paul Cooley. He’s sick, twisted, and a fantastic author. I’ve been reading his stuff for the last couple of years, and even though horror is not my usual genre, I enjoy his work. Even though his foray into Muppets was a semi-lighthearted departure from gods and their children walking the earth, there was still the darkness behind the words. At his site, Paul says there are no happy endings. Damned if he isn’t right.
That said, let’s get into The Black. Paul sets the book on an oil rig in the middle of the ocean. There’s oil underneath the sea floor, and PPE, a petroleum company, wants it. Vraebel, the rig chief, is written as no-nonsense and a father figure to his crew. His opposite is Calhoun, who is just as protective of his people. Other characters, such as Shawna Sigler and Catfish, add depth and dimension to the story, thinking and acting just as you would believe real people would. A very refreshing thing in any story is realistic reactions, even in the most unrealistic circumstances.
These circumstances, of course, happen, and rather violently. While digging a test well, the drill cores through some kind of gargantuan Lovecraftian creature at the bottom of the ocean. What they bring up is horrifying. That’s the plot at its core, and it is a complete blast. Cooley puts the reader right into the characters’ heads, getting narrow points of view and showing readers exactly what the characters see and hear and feel as it happens. This adds to the suspense of events and keeps the reader riveted.
The care Cooley put into The Black is evident from the amount of research he did. The reasons for the research are evident at different points, such as the characteristics of oil fresh out of the ground, or the anatomy of a drill string. These things add to the tale, and help the reader understand why things happen as they do.
I can’t say enough good things about The Black, and I’m absolutely recommending it to anyone who enjoys a great thriller. There’s an audio version being done now, along with a paraquel, which I can’t wait to read.
That’s all for this time, good people. I’ll have more news about my own book All Good Things next time. Might even be a preorder announcement, so stay tuned. Have a fantastic day!

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~ by Walker on October 16, 2014.

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