SELECT * FROM uv_BookReviewRollup WHERE recordnum = 1552 Eutopia, by David Nickel Book Review |

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Eutopia, by David Nickel
Genre: Dark Fantasy
Publisher: Chizine Publications
Published: 2013
Review Posted: 8/11/2013
Reviewer Rating:
Reader Rating: Not Rated

Eutopia, by David Nickel

Book Review by Michael D. Griffiths

Have you read this book?

Eutopia, by David Nickel is a hard book to fit into an established genre. One might be tended to label it as Horror, however it could also be considered Historical Fantasy or even Dark Fantasy. But whatever it might be termed, Eutopia is a powerful book that takes the reader on an intense and exciting ride. Chi-zine again proves itself to be a premiere publishing house, bringing contemporary readers not only excellent fiction, but unique books as well. Chi-zine continues to amaze me with each book I read and has yet to let me down and Eutopia is certainly no exception to this rule.

Eutopia is set in the rural northwest in the year 1911. The story offers several character POV, but tends to focus primarily on the experiences of Dr. Waggoner, who is a black doctor who obtained his medical degree in Paris. Despite his education and skills, the local Klu Klux Klan begins the novel by beating the poor man and he only narrowly escapes the noose.

The other primary storyteller is young Jason who is found by his aunt in the town of Cracked Wheel where he is the only survivor of a viscous plague. Their paths cross in the idealist and progressive lumber town started by the Harper family. While Waggoner is getting a chance to practice his trade despite his color, Jason is having the pleasure of meeting the attractive young daughter of the Harper family, Ruth.

Right away, Jason ends up being placed in the quarantine building, by his aunt and the white doctor that runs the hospital. While inside, Jason is confronted by impossible creatures, which they later learn are called Jukes. After Waggoner treats Jason's wounds, Jason returns the favor by smuggling the doctor into the woods before the Klan can come back to finish what they had started.

While fleeing through the woods, Waggoner meets rural hill folk that are being terrorized by the Juke and its myriad creations. He discovers that these creatures are strange parasitic humanoids that not only use humans for breeding, but have a way to overwhelm their senses with hallucinations.Before long, the doctor speculates that these creatures could be setting themselves up as false Gods while the local humans become barely more than a breeding pool of slaves.

The book has several plots twists, unexpected complications, and a good share of trickery and plotting. The Jukes are wild feral things beyond understanding and impossible to reason with. As these fierce masters gain more control of the area, lucky might be anyone who is able to survive.

This novel was well written and tight, but possible downsides might include that some of the scenes where people were caught within the Juke's power seemed vague. This could have been what the author was going for, but some of the motivations for the possessed remained unclear to me. It was a good sized novel, but the end might have been a bit rushed as well.

Overall, the novel more than delivered.It was a suspenseful read that made me want to make time to finish it. The characters were strong and I wanted them to figure out what the hell was going on. This book is different and impressive. Nickel has done well not only for himself, but for those lucky enough to be able to get their hands on this one.
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