RED X by David Demchuk
3.75 out of 5.0 stars
Publisher: Strange Light
Genre Tags: Horror, Monsters, Queer Horror, Queer Lit
This is a difficult book to review. On one hand, there are so many things I love about it: the mystery, the queer representation, the unsettling sequences, the mystical and fantastical creatures, the numerous pages of important and fascinating information (the section about queerness in horror was especially interesting) …
On the other hand, my ARC was a mess. The formatting was abysmal; lines would suddenly dissect like crazy down the page, chapter breaks were nonexistent, journal entries and essays (I don’t know what you would call those sections, honestly) jumped in and out of the story without separation … usually, I wouldn’t mention such issues for an ARC, but these problems actually hindered my reading experience constantly (to the point that I was frustrated throughout). I think that, because of this horrendous formatting, I was also left confused a lot of the time, trying to figure out where the story was going, whose perspective I was suddenly following, and what pages were considered narration or (again, I don’t know if this is what they should be called) essay. I’m curious to see what this book looks like in print and if I’m able to make more sense of things as a result. For now, my experience was muddy and I can’t lie about that.
Luckily, this is a very unique book that often left a positive impression. Like I’ve noted, there’s a lot of great information and representation here, and I find that very important. For that sake alone, I would like to recommend this to novel to everyone (especially if you’re uncomfortable with queer fiction, maybe this will help broaden your insight). That mystery and mystique of it is also demanding of attention.