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This Symbiotic Fascination

Charlee Jacob

Necro Publications

US Trade Paperback Original

ISBN 1-889186-05-8

246 pages;$12.95

Reviewed by Rick Kleffel © 2001





Monsters in love isn't a common theme, nor is it pretty, but as described in Charlee Jacob's 'This Symbiotic Fascination', it certainly makes for gripping, if stomach-churning reading. 'This Symbiotic Fascination' is driven by two of the most conflict-in-the-the-reader inducing characters ever created. Arcan Tyler and Tawne Delaney are viscous, vile, violent and sympathetic all at once. They're likable and despicable. We understand their impulses and empathize with them even as we are repelled by their actions.

The nightmare described in Jacob's novel has some pretty strict rules, despite a tendency toward free-form gore. There is an internal integrity to the actions of the participants as they play out their romance across a series of vividly described murders and corpses. This gives the book an aspect of the vampire novel, but Jacob does an excellent send-up of the current Goth fashion plates who equate dark dress with dark lives. Just in case the reader thinks that humans aren't prone to the weaknesses of her monsters, Jacob includes the memorable Alan Moravec, a 'world's most viscous home videos' show host who particularly enjoys the humiliations he doles out.

Brevity helps in Jacob's exercise in the extreme. The novel is trimmed and Jacob's poetic prose reads easily. The printing is nothing to write home about, however. The exterior package by Necro is certainly nice, but the font used for the main text is not very easy on the eyes. In spite of this defect, however, 'This Symbiotic Fascination' is an excellent novel for those in search of the horror genre's most extreme explorations.