Mammoth Books presents Mami Wata
Read: 27th September 2015
My Goodreads Rating: 5 Stars
…So what’s this book about?
This is a short horror/paranormal story, about a jaded English business man who travels to a mine in Zambia to find out why production is down but finds the answer far from normal.
The blurb says:
When I was first asked to contribute to Exotic Gothic 3 (which was to feature Gothic-influenced stories in non-Gothic environments), I agreed without really thinking about it,” Unsworth explains, “and then spent a long time struggling, trying to work out how, precisely, I was going to manage it or quite how to make a start. “I knew what I wanted to do, sort of, but not exactly how to do it, so one day alarmingly close to the deadline I did a fun thing: I freewheeled through Google. Using a small document about Zambian myths and cultures I found online (I set the story in Zambia for no reason other than an old family friend lives there and it seemed exotic in Gothic terms), I used one Zambian word from it as a search term and read what came up, took one intriguing Zambian term from the search results and searched for that, etc, and disappeared into Google’s merry depths. “I ended up with an academic paper about a particular myth, a travel blog about a sort of beer made from corn and a weird little ‘my God’s better than your God’ blog by a kid in Africa, and somewhere in the middle of that, the story appeared.
I was lucky enough to find this book for 99p from Amazon UK – what a bargain!!
…So, what did I like about it?
I thought that this story was very well written; I found Mr Unsworth’s writing style easy to read and thought the pace was spot on and well balanced plus I never got lost in his plot.
The world building and scene descriptions throughout this story were very realistic without hindering the pace; they transported me directly to the mining town in Zambia; the heat, dirt and weariness of the miners, the social separation and lack of understanding of the ex-pat managers and the local supervisors and miners. Our main character, Thorley, was completely believable; a very ordinary man thrown into an extremely extraordinary situation. All of the supporting cast were also written with a depth that added a further realism to this tale.
The story kept me guessing and I was on the edge of my seat wondering what would happen next and how it would all end. I really liked the “Twilight Zone” style ending.
…So, ummm, was there anything I disliked about it?
This horror story is more mystery and tension than blood and guts gore which is perfect for my over active imagination. 😉
…So, basically what I’m saying is…
I haven’t read anything by Simon Kurt Unsworth before but I have been impressed with his ability to spin his tale, completely engrossing me in his world in so few pages and the horror/supernatural twist added a tense thrilling edge to the tale and left me with a sense of wonder.
So, have I sparked an interested for MAMI WATA in you? Just click on the links below and check out the book yourself.