By: Matthew V. Brockmeyer
Black Rose Writing
Rebecca and Calendula are two hippies at heart that aspire to live off the grid. With one goal in mind to live off the land, they save while under the employ of Coyote at a marijuana grow op. Together with Rebecca’s daughter Megan it seems as those their dreams may soon become a reality. Their only adversity? Spirits that linger within the confines of the compound and a rival meth dealer that is hell-bent on vengeance.
Kind Nepenthe marks the initial exposure I’ve had to one author Matthew V. Brockmeyer. Always enthused and intrigued to charter unfamiliar literary territory, suffice to state I tore on in this novel with the gusto of a stoner with the munchies. A most unique premise to say the least.
Needless (or seedless?) to say the setting of a marijuana grow op is very original and will entice a vast audience of varying demographic. One does not necessarily need to be a horror fan to tear on in through the pages. Being a supernatural buff is not a prerequisite, but will not hurt in this case. Of course weed aficionados will rejoice as the content is covered stickier than the gooiest resin.
Its indicative the amount of extensive research or previous knowledge Brockmeyer must have had in how cultivating marijuana works. His applied knowledge of the process is mesmerizing. It does little to retract from the pace of the plot. In fact his references do just the opposite and somehow enhances the plausibility of the tale.
The author manages to depict a contemporary society with relative ease. His references to Facebook communication, texting etc. will no question provide allure to a younger generation. But fear not nostalgia fanatics. There are plenty of VHS references to whet the appetite of any sentimental reader.
A lower class living society is captured effectively as well. Lifestyle, language, philosophies and even cultural references along with keepsakes emulates the trailer park way of life to a tee. We never really question the authenticity of these interactions. The sheer entertainment value of these scenes would reside just as comfortably among a comedy as would a horror tale.
Some verbal proclamations such as “get up in his nut” albeit humorous do begin to wear a little thin over repetition. The occasional reader may find the references a touch on the annoying side. It’s a relative non-issue however. If this is the only flaw within this novel, Brockmeyer should be most proud of his efforts.
While the first act seems to move a touch on the slow side the reader is best advised to hang in there. The rising plot escalation is well worth it. This is a proverbial literary stew that is best advised to follow its most effective recipe in stirring the plot slowing and trust me the boiling point payoff is exceptional, indication of a well-seasoned author.
The legend of Spider, the compound’s previous owner is introduced. Effective nuances and subtleties are provided along the way. Yet about a third of the way in, the readership is lead deep into the fray and realize just how crucial these components are to the story. The integrity of a horror tale is accentuated dramatically and the audience will salivate for more.
A specific vermin hallucination/nightmare from one Calendula is creepy as all hell. One does not have to have a rodent phobia to appreciate its full scare tactics. Perhaps the occasional reader may even develop a new skin crawling fear from this scene.
Within the final act the terror factors are impressively enhanced. Readers may best be advised to keep these passages for solely day time reading. A restless slumber is no doubt within the foreseeable future if advised otherwise.
Brockmeyer certainly has the tools to forever cement his relevance within the horror genre. I would be most curious and intrigued to embark upon future endeavors to test his diversity. A most welcome literary adventure for new readers and avid fanatics.