By Hailey Piper
Cosmic horror is the subgenre that puts our species into the scary realization that we are smaller and unimportant to the universe. That we aren’t even pawns in the cosmos. We’re just here. Be it by accident or not. What Piper does in The Worm and His Kings is nothing short of magical. Between the main character, Monique, her journey to find the love of her life, Donna, and the ultimate ending, this book gets all the stars in the universe.
What separates a great cosmic story from a good one, is everything in this novella. Starting with the immediate feeling of gloom and doom. Monique hasn’t seen her love for three months. She was taken, but by who? Rather, by what? Where did they come from? What do they want? Why are they stealing homeless folks from Freedom Tunnel? Monique makes the scary decision of finding the truth.
Worm starts out strange and puts immediate pressure on Monique to either stay where she is and eventually be taken captive, or follow the one who she believes took Donna. With each following chapter, the story intensifies, making every page more vital and closer to a potential horrible end. Things get really immersive when Monique deals with a world that seems surreal, yet absolutely plausible, creating a shit-your-pants-scary effect.
Piper built her story up to to a point where she shines a light on a few topics that give this story a deeper meaning than the typical cosmic horror, ultimately making everything more brutal and heart twisting. But… it’s the ending, the last few pages, that absolutely blew me away and made me rethink the history of this world itself. Which is exactly what great cosmic horror does. It allows you to see the planet, its timeline along with the span of our species’ existence, and pinpoint exactly how insignificant we really are.
For the Kings serve The Worm. And The Worm is all powerful. But even it too can make mistakes.
Review by Patrick R. McDonough
@Patrick R. McDonough
I received an ARC of this book from the publisher for review consideration.