Review: Urban Gothic - Brian Keene



Title Urban Gothic
Author Brian Keene
Pages 301
Year 2009
Publisher Leisure Books
Reading time 5/6 days (August 2009 and Februrary 2010)
Rating 7.5 / 10

Having read four books by Brian Keene he is probably one of my favourite authors within Horror Fiction. But this book... I don't know what to make of it. I start reading as soon I bought it but after reading 100 pages I was a little dissapointed and stopped altogether.
In December I said to myself that I won't leave any un-read books behing.
Well even if I had leave it behing I would still have bought more of his books because I really enjoy him and everyone can make a book that isn't that good right? Well as I said my first impression was not a good one but after picking it I finished it in two days.
In end was a pleasent reading (but unfortunally not the same level as City of the Dead or The Rising) but a good book that knowing what I know now I would still buy it and read it.

This book is not connected to other books of the series but at some part the big awful mean guy says that is deity is Ob (I hope you remember it/him?). Apart from that I don't see how the books are connected to other ones...

In this book we have a straightforward plot. A bunch of kids (all white, all pair up) end up in a not so friendliy zone and when a group of other kids (all black) tries to help them they get scare (not before insulting them) and run away into a victorian house.... Well this is how all begins...
In that house there are a bunch of mutant-like sick people that you see in some horror movies who try to kill, eat, rape and everything disgusting you can imagine and believe me with that descriptions Keene gives us you will feel disgusted (in a good way that only a horror/gore fan can understand).
This black kids who after all a bunch of nice people try to help them with an elderly resident of that residence... The plot is this and I won't say that much more...

The end is predictable, much to my deslike and the survivors are easily detected as you read the book. The end as well don't "end" the fate of our mutant friends and as other horror novels you are keeping wonder what will happen and Keene can pick this characters in later books...

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Now an off-topic but at the same time related to my thoughts on the choosing of my characters... (attention that is my opinion and nobody else)
I would not dwell much on this subject but the white/black kids that are portraited in this novel makes me wonder what is Keene trying to accomplished...
Since everyone knows Harlem imagine this. You are a bunch of white rich kids with a broken car in the middle of Harlen and you see a bunch of black kids coming your way. What a hell would you do? I bet that most of the people would think... Well I am getting to be robbed. Some would flee and others would resign to their fate. And how many would thing... Well they are getting here to help me... PLEASE! If you say that you would be this last one you are liar, or you are psicopath.
There have been some controversy as why there aren't that many good black characters in horror, fantasy and sci-fi. Some writers are trying to incorporated them in the books but I think most of them just fail big time. Most of them are not believable and seemed false and they are there to make a point (or trying to show you that they have a point).
This thing that I said is easily understood but it seems everyone nerves are on edges and anyone is a spacegoat. I read in a blog that because some cover didn't feature a more dark skin they are making a petition or something like that. What a hell??

Some people don't seem to understand that 90% of the people who read fantasy, horror or Sci-Fi are white. (probably more). And there are only a handful of black writers... It's the way things are. Are this is how it is. It's easier for a white person understand a white character than a japonese or black character. We have different knowledges, backgrounds, history and therefore we are different. As most of the white kids don't understand why japanese's kamikazes or muslims suicide bombers, they in their turn don't understand how ways. It's the way that life is, not rascism but life. Get us to it.
Believe me, I don't care about what colour the skin of the person is, Earthsea of Ursula L K Guin make the characters a colour that is neither black or white and the book is one of the most appreciated books in the genre and mine. If you feel that I am being racist or something like that well bad luck because I ain't. Go pick your fights somewhere else.
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