Vicky vs. The Spriggan

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Vicky vs. Spriggan: Buffy meets Supernatural

Last Free Dates: 21st Jul 20 to 25th Jul 20
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...A solid horror read and straddles the border nicely between outright horror and teen paranormal....

Vicky is a young traveller from London on a work placement in Australia for three months to get a visa. She finds herself on an outback farm along with several other students all looking to have some life experience working on a vineyard for low pay and hi-jinks. Unknown to her and the owners of the farm, a local fig tree is protected by a Spriggan, created from earth magic from time long ago and recently re-awoken. Unfortunately, the work they are doing to renovate the farm involves cutting down trees and clearing out the wildlife that the Spriggan feels bound to protect. As a result, it decides that the only way to stop the labourers is to kill them and use their blood to reinvigorate itself. This leaves Vicky and her new friends stuggling for survival as the Spriggan begins to go after them one by one.

This was a good horror story with a strong female protagonist, even if it gives itself the tag line of Buffy meets Supernatural, which doesn’t seen to fit the tale. Drawing on films like Wolf Creek and combining with original faerie tales, this is a good read which follows through on the ideas it sets up to the conclusion. The story switches between the viewpoints of several of the characters, with some scenes played over again just to give a different perspective of what is happening. It some ways, it is fun to see what those are, but in others it can help to reduce the suspense as you know what is happening and doesn’t play with our suspicions and assumptions and removes some of the horror. Vicky is an able lead, and the others around her, from the owners, the workers and police all provide differing characters and reactions to the events unfolding. Most of them are obviously there to be knocked off in nasty ways, while the others do their best to survive, but their reactions to the situation come across clearly. The shock, terror and finally resolve that each character goes through helps to give colour to the events around them. The writing is on point, so other than the repeated scenes, it flows well from one gruesome death to the next, with the twists and escalation of threat being well worked in if you give the book a second reading. The spelling and grammar seemed fine, I didn’t notice anything major

There are a couple of things that did amuse me. One, is that Vicky comes from Beckham, London. Beckham is many things, but not a place in London. Also Spriggans are not tree spirits, but aside from it’s name, it makes for a great antagonist to the group.

Overall, it’s a solid horror read and straddles the border nicely between outright horror and teen paranormal.

Rating: 4
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