I am a fan of Michael W. Garza. His novel, The Hand That Feeds, might be one of my favorite zombie novels. While I have been waiting for another zombie tale from Garza, I was excited to see a taut collection of short, horrific tales.
The Elder Unearthed contains 9 short stories and 3 poems. I enjoyed the poems, but have no basis for being able to rate or review them. I know little to nothing about poetry other than to say, I enjoyed them.
The short stories, on the other hand, I would like to comment on. I will not go through them all. There is a theme that ties them together. The creature, NasNoroth, and the Cult of the Elder. I know. It is in the title. However, Garza spins nine unique tales that incorporates these ancient evils. The stories revolve around a botanist, a psychiatrist,to even an archaeologist. The stories are set in New Haven, Turkey, asylums and parallel worlds.
In “The Burning of Legel Manor,” Philip Martin is hired to find a woman’s missing son. Certain her son is dead, Martin has his work cut out for him; Benjamin Hack is curious about an obscure letter his dead father received and decides he wants some answers in, “Grief that Lingers.” Marcus tries his hand at some creepy hocus-pocus to summons creatures from the beyond in, “The Calling,” while in “The Harvester,” Joshua is pursuing the Illumik, an Elder god and winds up lost in a grove that is more dangerous and deadly than any forest he’s ever seen before.
While I was not asked to pick a favorite, I would be remiss not to name one, just the same. “The Harvester” will give me nightmares. I know the end of this story will wake me from sleep night after night. Rest assured, however, each tale is dark, well thought out and quite sinister.
If you have not read anything by Michael W. Garza, I highly recommend The Hand That Feeds, and now I can also suggest, The Elder Unearthed: Tales of the NasNoroth and the Cult of the Elder. Creepy and dark, I read it quick. One sitting (while at work), and enjoyed every page.