The Black Veldt by Michael Reyes: A book review

The cover was eye catching and I was immediately intrigued.

The book’s listed description on Amazon:

“Jose Carvel is a scumbag. But he wants to be a better person.

The degenerate writer and former ward of state is trying to recreate himself in the slums of the Lower
East Side, yet his past won’t stop haunting him.

Those violent memories of his dark nights on the road. The tormented faces of those he left
behind. The relentless nightmares of that ancient, demon- stalked veldt with its covenant of
blood and its master of shadow, dirt, and stars.

He must confront his own dark truth while exploring the depths of sexual depravity and obsession in
Fear City during its Summer of Sam.

Carvel must fight to save the woman he loves… While rescuing his own soul from the Black Veldt’s
vile kingdom.”

I had the opportunity to read this before its release in order to offer a review.

Reviews are important to authors for the same reasons other businesses depend on them. Generally, when we read reviews saying that a business gave horrible service, we avoid them. Book reviews are different in my opinion. When it comes to books, I read reviews to get a sense of what the book was about and whether most people generally liked it. A bad review isn’t necessarily a make or break with books because not everyone will “bond” with every story. Jane Eyre for example, I love, but a lot of people hate it(with a passion!) Nevertheless they’re helpful to consumers when making the decision to buy something.

The Black Veldt is an indie book. You might have heard that word associated with movies or music and overall the word means it was independently produced or published. To me it means the work is unique and pleasingly different. Indie creations will never be a one size fits all or generic with the ability to be copied. With that said, please, offer reviews to help these sort of works. They do not have a team behind the scenes to steer people’s opinions and don’t we have enough generic in the world already??

The first paragraph of The Black Veldt.

The first chapter started out in third person point of view (he, she, they-the characters are being talked about). I didn’t understand what was happening because the writer puts you in the middle of the action. The chapter was short and despite not knowing anything about the character I felt sorry for him and his suffering. The world or place was described in such a way that I could picture it and it took hold of my attention.

I won’t go chapter by chapter, but chapter two gave me the reader a chance to get to know the main character and a moment to calm down from the very exciting opening scene.

Chapter two is written in first person (I, we-you get to see the world as the character does).

The rest of the book continued with a similar theme of heart racing scenes to smooth, cool scenes of the main character and his life in New York city.

And, by the way, the author of this book is from New York so he’s able to put you THERE by his personalized mentions of the people and streets. I love that these chapters are written in first person (I, we) because I really felt like I was going through the seedy, mean streets as/with Jose Carvel.

This is dark story in a setting where demons are lurking and ancient, powerful forces are in charge. BUT…it is a love story too. These themes might sound very standard or not unusual, however, the main character was unlike one I have ever read about. I believe it is due to the author’s background and his own experiences. I found Jose Carvel and his background just as entertaining as the events happening to him.

As stated above this is a dark story. The description says the main character is a scumbag, a degenerate, and that sexual depravity will be an aspect of his world. I mention this because there is a lot of “adult” language and drug usage in the book. I never found myself offended or shocked even though I have never tried drugs myself. The character was so real and skillfully written that it was like peering into someone’s life the entire read.

An excerpt from the book.

I could not put this down (I read it on my phone). Normally even if I’m enjoying a book I will come back to it in my free time. I made time for this, just as I’m making time for this review. It wasn’t very long, but still! I thoroughly enjoyed it that much.

I feel like I learned something through reading this. A glimpse into life in New York, a better understanding of addiction, the possibility of other realms; all of the above. This book left me thinking; period. Ultimately, it is what I hope for when I start a new book or watch a movie. I want to be impacted emotionally and learn something if possible. This book did that for me and I look forward to more work from this author.

“Michael Reyes is a writer from Brooklyn currently living in the Bronx. His fiction has appeared in Weird Tales, Dark Eclipse, 31 More Nights of Halloween by Rainstorm Press, Twisted Boulevard by Elektrik Milk Bath Press, Cirsova, Red Sun Magazine, Morpheus Tales, Body Parts Magazine and Odd Tales of Wonder. He writes a dark urban fantasy series named Clock’s Watch.” (Bio listed for the author)

A clickable link to purchase the book or to check it out. Currently, the book is available to preorder on kindle for $2.99. It will be available September 1, 2020.

I wanted to add that $2.99 for a book that gives so much is a steal. I bought the book despite having received it for free. The least I could do for great writing.

Thank you for reading!

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