This review first appeared on Rosie Amber Reviews on April 6, 2022. You can purchase a copy here.
Set in distant times and exotic locals, Mark Brendan’s Undead is a trio of horror novellas collected and designed to utilize some of histories darkest moments and most macabre lore. Whether the story follows Spanish prisoners, sentenced to bondage on the turbulent seas of the New World, an alchemist and necromancer pursuing his own macabre ends in 17th century Germany, or deserters of Napoleon’s Egyptian campaign in at the end of the 18th century, Brendan’s tales of the gruesome, the cruel, and the captivating do the most with the times and places in which they were set.
Some of the characters contained within these pages are likable, some are not, some have clear motives, and most just want to survive the night, but all are crafted and fitted nicely to the settings Brendan has plonked them down in. In classic, pulp horror fashion, no safety is guaranteed, and no happy endings are certain in these three tales. Brendan’s work revels in every, bloody detail, and you can be sure that the details here are graphic, minute, and exceedingly well researched. Even the more surreal settings feel tangible in Brendan’s writing, the mark of an author with a solid vision, and a talent for bringing that vision to life.
The fact that his vision includes such violence should probably make us all glad he chose authorship as a way to express his creativity, rather than other… outlets.
I tease, but in all honesty the tales contained in Undead are probably a bit grislier than the average reader will want to stomach on a typical afternoon, but for those of us who enjoy our history with a little extra gore, and our horror without the security of a final girl making it home safe, these are three stories you don’t want to miss.