I received an advance copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
I am a fan of Ronald Malfi’s work. I have read several of his writings that have come out from the fine publishing house of Darkfuse over the past few years and some of his works published elsewhere. His story lines are original and he excels in both novel (The Narrows and Cradle Lake) as well as novella (After the Fade, The Mourning House, and my personal favorite Borealis) forms. His characters are well drawn and compelling and even if he writes a “traditional” vampire novel like The Narrows, he puts a special twist that make it all his own.
A Shrill Keening is a straight forward Lovecraft Mythos tale. While I enjoyed reading it and found the prose smooth and the characters compelling I kept waiting for that Malfi spin on the tale that would take it out of the mold and it just didn’t happen for me. It didn’t have the eerie originality of Borealis or the “spin you on your head” plot twist of After the Fade that changes everything. I was expecting to be blown away because that is what usually happens with Malfi, especially with novellas, but this one reads more like a straight-forward and well done Lovecraft tale without the game changer that I am used to from Malfi, so it only got 4 stars from me.