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Book Review: Like Jagged Teeth by Betty Rocksteady

“Like Jagged Teeth has elements to it that are absolutely sickening, yet the prose describing such acts is poetic and flows very nicely, drawing the reader in like a hungry spider on a web.”

 

Jacalyn knows going to the party was a mistake, especially when a gang of creepy older guys start following her home. She’s terrified that their intentions aren’t at all very pure, but an unexpected savior swoops in to save her at the last moment. She’s confused but also happy to see her Poppa again, he’s been dead for six years after all. He speeds her away from danger, promising to explain to her how it was even possible for him to be in her life again. She awakens in her grandfather’s apartment, a place that is both somewhat familiar but also foreign and quite strange. She struggles with feeling joyous at seeing her beloved Poppa again and the nagging sense of knowing that things don’t feel quite right. Time passes and her apprehension grows to pure fear when the truth about Poppa is revealed.

Betty Rocksteady has been killing it with tales featured in some very popular anthologies such as Lost Signals put out through Perpetual Motion Machine Publishing, Not Your Average Monster by Bloodshot Books and Turn to Ash, Volume 1. She also penned a book for the New Bizzaro Author Series put out by Eraserhead Press entitled Arachnophile. Her stories are vivid and grotesquely beautiful. She knows how to hit nerves and tug at heart strings all the while filling the reader with dread. Some might say that’s the special gift only a fabulous female writer can bring, the ability to break your heart and scare the hell out of their audience all at the same time, while others will contest it’s just the sign of a fantastic storyteller but either way you want to look at Betty is a stellar author and one to check out. She also is a talented artist and drew the cover for Like Jagged Teeth herself. It’s reminiscent of Edward Gorey and fits the feel of the story perfectly.

Like Jagged Teeth has elements to it that are absolutely sickening, yet the prose describing such acts is poetic and flows very nicely, drawing the reader in like a hungry spider on a web. It’s a short read that packs the punch of a sledgehammer to the breastbone. The main character encompasses so many emotions while feeling her way through her Poppa’s new apartment she is forced to confront the things that have burrowed deep in her brain and in her heart. It is haunting when the truth unfolds and bears an ending that was both terrifying and touching. This is a definite read for those looking for something darkly magical with a healthy splash of body horror in the mix.

                                                                                                                  MICHELLE GARZA

Publisher: Perpetual Motion Machine Publishing
eBook: (63 pps)
Release Date: 4 April 2017

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