Thursday, February 28, 2013

THE BIRDMAN CYCLE by Thomas Rose-Masters_Review

Review of The Birdman Cycle by Thomas Rose-Masters
5 Stars

Readers in search of splatterpunk gore need not apply here. The author mentions that this is a novel of “literary psychological suspense”; for this reviewer, it seems more akin to the Classic Gothic subgenre of the 19th century, with resonances of a few contemporary novels and novelists. Carefully couched in an unnamed location, the story centers around three individuals—or is it more than three?---living in a vast penthouse apartment high atop the unnamed city. Laura, Nick, and the incredibly advanced and precocious five-year-old daughter Reese: on the surface, with the wide new apartment, Nick being offered an architectural partnership of sorts, Laura continuing her beloved teaching, Reese with her artistry—everything should go swimmingly and this story could be a paean to normality. Far from it, the horror creeps up on silent cat paws (or maybe, like mist in the night) until the reader is ready to scream aloud at certain of the revelations (I expect I really did scream when reading Reese’s narrative of a dream), and then eventually, the psychological horror is ratcheted tighter and higher, till every nerve is straining—both the nerves of each individual family member, and the nerves of the reader.

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