Book Reviews

Creature (The Bureau 3) by Kim Fielding

Genre Gay / Paranormal / Alternate Reality / 20th Century / Romance / Mystery/Suspense/Thriller
Reviewed by Serena Yates on 16-May-2018

Book Blurb

Alone in a cell and lacking memories of his past, John has no idea who—or what—he is.

Alone on the streets of 1950s Los Angeles, Harry has far too many memories of his painful past and feels simply resignation in facing his empty future.

When Harry is given a chance to achieve his only dream—to become an agent with the Bureau of Trans-Species Affairs—all he has to do is prove his worth. Yet nothing has ever come easy for him. Now he must offer himself and John as bait, enticing a man who wants to conquer death. But first he and John must learn what distinguishes a monster from a man—and what a monster truly wants.


Book Review

How do you define what a monster is? is the theme of this series. This third installment is set in an alternate reality in the 1950s where a motel room for the night costs eight dollars. Each of the stories so far has looked at the question of what makes someone a monster from a different angle. ‘Creature’ is the one I found most difficult to read, maybe because it is the most extreme case of a “monster” as defined by the Bureau of Trans-Species Affairs. To me there was nothing monstrous about the man who calls himself John. In my mind it was the people who imprisoned and tortured him whose humanity is questionable at best. Between John and Harry – the would-be agent who is told to use John as bait to catch a man attempting to conquer death – this story turned into a fascinating character study as well as a suspenseful adventure.

John has almost no memories beyond the dark cell he lives in, just the pain he suffered before when he was “studied”. He doesn’t know who he is or where he came from. He calls himself John and thinks about things like grass and the sky, but it’s all purely theoretical. John has been told that he is a monster and people treat him like an object, but he isn’t sure that this is right. He is afraid of pain and being alone and turning out to be a monster. My heart broke for him more than once, because even though he seems to have lived for a long time and needs neither food nor drink, he has suffered terribly and his thoughts and feelings and hopes are most definitely human.

Harry is running from his past, wants to be a Bureau agent, but has been rejected. When he is offered a chance at changing this if he can complete an assignment many others have turned down, he grabs it with both hands. All he has to do is find a man who raises the dead, using a monster as his bait. But as soon as Harry takes the monster into his custody and starts realizing “it” is really a “he” named John with feelings like fear, things begin to change for Harry. Once he sees the increasing humanity in John and begins to actually like him, how can he hand John over to a man who will use and abuse and possibly dissect him?

John and Harry are both extremely lonely, have no past they can or want to remember, and need some sort of purpose in their lives. As John comes increasingly alive, Harry begins to see him as a human being and has trouble imagining handing him over to a cruel scientist for who-knows-what sort of experiments and torture. It’s interesting to see them both define what being human means and I find it fascinating that, despite their very different starting points, they end up in the same place.

If you like paranormal, slightly scary stories about what it means to be human, if you think emotions and thoughts define a man as much as what he looks like, and if you’re looking for a suspenseful, thought-provoking read with a slow-burn romance that is as unexpected as it is sweet, then you will probably like this novella as much as I do. It may have its roots in Mary Shelly’s ‘Frankenstein’, but it comes up with an answer all its own.

 

 

 

 

DISCLAIMER: Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. This book has been provided by the author for the purpose of a review.

Additional Information

Format ebook
Length Novella, 101 pages
Heat Level
Publication Date 07-May-2018
Price $1.99 ebook
Buy Link https://www.amazon.com/Creature-Bureau-Story-Book-ebook/dp/B07BZWY2MB