Welcome to Dark Reads stop on the Random Things Tour for We Are Monsters by Brian Kirk. Many thanks to Anne, Brian and Flame Tree Press for inviting me to take part.
About The Book
Some doctors are sicker than their patients.
When a troubled psychiatrist loses funding to perform clinical trials on an experimental cure for schizophrenia, he begins testing it on his asylum s criminally insane, triggering a series of side effects that opens the mind of his hospital s most dangerous patient, setting his inner demons free.
- Paperback: 336 pages
- Publisher: Flame Tree Press; New edition (23 Jan. 2020)
- ISBN-10: 1787583783
- ISBN-13: 978-1787583788
Get your copy here
Dark Reads Review
Dark Reads Review
It seems fitting that the first book review on my blog was a Brian Kirk book and the first review of 2020 is also a Brian Kirk book.
I have been looking forward to reading We are Monsters for some time. I find the subject of mental health a fascinating and terrifying one. It is something that resonates with me on a personal level as I know it does for the author Brian Kirk.
The mind can make you feel like it is in complete control of you and not you that is in control of it, and that is truly frightening.
There was one particular quote that really struck a chord with me
”Alex didn’t think he would ever sleep again. There was no way to quiet his mind. It was a maelstrom of raging thoughts, questions and suppositions, all encased in an endless loop of circular logic.”
We Are Monsters is a work of fiction but raises a real awareness surrounding the treatment of people with mental health issues and the ethics of pharmaceutical companies.
In the first half of the book we are introduced to our main character Alex (Dr Drexler) who is attempting to find a medical cure for schizophrenia, the formula is in development but funding for his research is tight which leads him into taking things into his own hands, with devastating results.
Alex isn’t a particularly likeable character, which I think is completely intentional, he is arrogant and greedy and although having a family member with schizophrenia has prompted his career in mental health care, greed and the desire for notoriety soon take over. He is a totally believable character and as with the multiple other characters we are introduced to in the first half of the book the back story and characterisation is brilliant, each one has flaws and histories that have shaped their character, this sets you up perfectly for the second half of the book.
I love the concept of this story, inner demons being released and manifesting themselves in ‘reality’. Kirk does mind bending, perceptual and sensory illusion perfectly, at times you feel like you are loosing your mind along with the characters. There is a very fine blurred line between reality and fantasy in We Are Monsters which digs right into the possibilities of the mind and human Psychology, who is sane and who is not or is it all just a matter of perception? I loved every minute of it!
We are Monsters is chilling and creepy and will take you on a mind boggling adventure to the Sugar Hill Asylum, a must read for psychological Horror fans!
About The Author
Brian Kirk is an author of dark thrillers and psychological suspense.
His debut novel, We Are Monsters, was released in July 2015 and was nominated for a Bram Stoker Award® for Superior Achievement in a First Novel. His short fiction has been published in many notable magazines and anthologies. Most recently, Gutted: Beautiful Horror Stories and Behold! Oddities, Curiosities and Undefinable Wonders, where his work appears alongside multiple New York Times bestselling authors, and received an honourable mention in Ellen Datlow’s Best Horror of the Year compilation.