69: A Short Novel of Cosmic Terror
I've shared on my Instagram account that for years, I've struggled with depression. Until about a year and a half ago, I had been in a reading slump, rut, dark bottomless pit that had lasted for years. I just didn't get enjoyment from reading like I once did. This was frustrating because I've been a voracious reader for most of my life. I knew that I enjoyed reading, KNEW it, but I couldn't make myself love it anymore. I'd go through spurts where'd I'd try and fail to feel what I once did. Finally, about the time my son was born (being awake for late-night feedings), I started to read horror. One of the books that I read then, and one of the five books that I credit with pulling me out of my reading slump, was THE SWITCH HOUSE by Tim Meyer. If you haven't checked that one out, you definitely should. I tell you all that to say that Tim Meyer's books hold a special place in my dark, dead heart. He is among the authors that made me love reading again. I'll always be grateful for that.
Something is amiss at the Spring Lake Assisted Living facility. All of the residents aged 69 appear dead. But the Sixty-Niners aren't dead; their vital signs are perfect. They aren't moving, frozen in place overnight and have a look of fright on their faces. Suspecting some unknown contagious disease, the CDC sends a team to investigate. What they uncover will push their medical knowledge and their sanity to the brink. You can probably guess by the subtitle "A Short Novel of Cosmic Terror" that the Sixty-Niners aren't being affected by an unknown parasite but by something not of this world. Describing the plot further would require spoilers, and I’m not going to do that to you.
Tim Meyer is a horror magician. Every book he writes is like pulling a strange rabbit out of a hat. He writes like he's trying to win a bet.
“Hey, Tim. I bet you can’t write about a house swap reality show”,
“I bet you can’t write about a time-traveling jewel thief.”
“I bet you can’t write about a retail employee that crushes on amputees.”
“I bet you can’t write about wild demon monsters attacking a summer camp.”
“I bet you can’t write a horror story about the number 69.”
Well, guess what? He can. There’s no containing Tim Meyer, he can do it all. While I can say that this was not my favorite Tim Meyer story, it is still excellent. The nature of the cosmic horror necessitates some explain-y bits in the middle as characters try and make sense of what’s happening. Those periods of the book drag a little, but they don’t last very long. The rest of the book hums along quite briskly. The situation at Spring Lake Assisted Living is a very original tale involving an unexplainable force colliding with very relatable characters. I rate this as 4 stars out of 5 and highly recommend it to anyone that's down for a bit of cosmic weirdness.
Matt is a middle school math teacher. He's originally from Kentucky but currently lives in Arkansas with his beautiful wife and 2-year-old son. In addition to reading dark fiction, he also enjoys board games and Disney World.