Paperback, 111 pages
Published August 2018 by Black Spot Books
ISBN0999742345 (ISBN13: 9780999742341)
Working on completing her ecology graduate degree, Bernice is doing invasive species research in Cleary Swamp when she is confronted by a mysterious hag who says she is the swamp’s caretaker. When Bernice discovers that the hag is actually a woman named Rebecca Hallett who disappeared in the swamp decades before she attempts to remove the strange old woman from Cleary Swamp, but little does Bernice know that Rebecca has a mystical bond to the area—one that possesses a human host and bonds them to it. One magical hallucinogenic powder cocktail and a space opera spirit journey later, Bernice’s life has changed forever. The swamp wants her for its new caretaker, and it won’t take no for an answer.
Come Back to the Swamp by Laura Morrison is one of those novella that you can just imagine on the screen. The story is simple. Bernice, a graduate student is in the swamp trying to help clear out non-native plants when she runs into an old woman who claims she is the swamp. Using superhuman strength and speed, she drives Bernice out of the swamp. This starts a chain of events that really does feel like an episode of the new Creepshow or Twilight Zone TV series.. There are so many classic elements of suspense and horror that there is no denying the skills that Morrison possesses to make this story strong and keep the reader’s interest. There are many ways that this story could have been told in a way that makes it impossible to get into, but in this case, the writing and the pace feel just right. The way that this feels slow and deliberate throughout builds the tension and the ending is satisfying. Overall the entire story is entertaining, and I loved the way that it progressed. There is not much else to say about this novella. I enjoyed the time I spent reading it, and I will be excited if I learned that it is being adapted into a movie or TV show. I will definitely be recommending this to my horror reading friends.
I received this as an ARC through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.