The Cosmic Anomaly by Henk Wester
Earth has fallen victim to a nightmarish global catastrophe. Bizarre and grisly events and manifestations known as Anomalies are upsetting reality. No one is safe. Anyone could be affected at any time, often with gruesome results. Areas with numerous and severe Anomalies have been closed off as uninhabitable. Humanity lives in a constant state of uncertainty.
A group of South African YouTubers decide to capitalize on this glitch in existence by venturing to the area’s most dangerous Anomaly hotspot. But what they thought would be an opportunity to boost their channel and launch them into celebrity status may turn out to be a hell worse than they could imagine.
Just imagine standing next to your friend, engaged in ordinary conversation when suddenly, his head begins to split open, expelling the gore within along with five ghastly tentacles. Now imagine that such bizarre occurrences begin happening randomly, all over the world, with no rhyme or reason. It could happen to anyone without regard to race, age, gender or economic status. There is no warning. No one is safe from these anomalies. A group of young YouTubers decide to investigate the phenomenon in a small town that has become notorious for its deadly anomalies. With visions of fame and fortune, they recklessly enter the danger zone. But after encountering unimaginable horrors, how many of them will return? Wester’s incredible imagination and brilliant writing merge to create a highly immersive and truly unforgettable story. You may think at first that you know what will happen. It’s no different from every other story with a group of youngsters who set out to investigate a haunted house or asylum, right? WRONG! Wester effectively produces a sense of dread that is so palpable, this book should come with a warning about the physical manifestations of stress that are sure to occur—tense muscles, racing heart, etc. This is no mere ghost story; the creatures that emerge from Wester’s twisted mind are unlike anything you’ve encountered before. The mounting suspense will have you at the edge of your seat wondering what will happen next. The characters are very well-developed and relatable. You will likely hate a couple but come to care for most of them. You’ll get so invested in the story that you will actually worry about them and probably shout for them to watch out or to turn back. Predictable? Not this story. Not by a long shot. You can’t imagine what will happen next. And even when you think you know what has happened, don’t be too sure! There are plenty of twists and surprises along the way. Action-packed, thrilling, gory and horrific, this book was a true delight! I can’t wait to read more stories by the immensely talented Henk Wester.
Starting with a cinematic shocker event of the first anomaly, then half way in we get to the main event - a town in south africa where Hell has set up camp - all the horror staples, crazies killing and terrorizing everyone most gruesomely. And a nice twist headfuck at the end. Still didn't understand why the dog needed penises for eyes. But there you go. That anomalies for you. All fucked up. The way we like it.
How many of you are fans of the SCP Foundation wiki? If you're not, unfuck that situation right now and get over there... though you're going to need to put aside a good few days to get into it properly. But if you are already on board with the Foundation's work (or if you don't have the time needed to fully immerse yourself because of stupid shit like work or family) then you need to read The Cosmic Anomaly by Henk Wester; it's like a distillation of everything that makes that shared world so much fucking fun. That said, I have no idea if Henk Wester is aware of the SCP Foundation, and I don't wish to make it sound like his book is derivative in any way; I mean nothing but the highest compliment by making the comparison, as The Cosmic Anomaly is one of the most fun stories I've read in a while, with great "monsters" and set-pieces on almost every page. Bravo!
Next up is a book that broke my Top 5 of the year. TOP FIVE, PEOPLE. And you want to know what’s even more insane, it’s a debut author! Henk Wester, step on up with your bad ass novella, The Cosmic Anomaly. The Prologue sucks you the monkey farts in and doesn’t let go until the story is over. The world building blew me away! The characters are so flawed and that speaks to his writing that you hate them one second and beg the book God’s they survive the next second. The creativity that went into this one… chef’s kiss. An unexplained plague like disease is spreading but it’s completely random. You could be sitting next to someone with it, they die in a horrific way, and you are just fine. I likened it to tornados and how they are erratic in behavior. A group of friends, YouTubers, set out to document a region that is a hot spot but even the government won’t go to tape it off. What happens makes you fear the dark, shows monsters are real, and covers you in mind gore. I want to reread this ASAP! Usually when I finish a book, I’m glad to be out of that world to move on to another. But I have to go back, I have to reimmerse myself in this world. It is that amazing! I can’t wait to see what else Henk puts out. He has a fangirl for life after this one. 5/5 Time Warps
Henk's tale weaves the epic nature of Lovecraft's Mythos with the excreta and gore of splatter, creating a novel that would make the granddaddy of horror proud.