First published back in December of 2014 ‘SickER B*stards’ formed the direct sequel to British author Matt Shaw’s original extreme horror title ‘Sick B*stards’ (2014).

DLS Synopsis:
Even after all he’d found out from that lab rat - Michael Bray - and all the twisted shit he’d witnessed in the buildings around the complex, he’d still returned to the house they’d been hiding out at.  He now knew the truth.  It was messed-up but it all now made sense.

It hadn’t taken him long to realise that after all they’d gone through, after everything they’d seen and done, there was absolutely no going back to their old lives.  How could they?  Thanks to the experiment they were all now thoroughly damaged.  Unrepairable.  Fucked for life.

To think, just a few miles from where they were currently feasting upon left over flesh, civilisation continued to go on just as it always had done.  Time and again he’d found himself contemplating telling them the truth.  That there had never been a nuke.  Civilisation didn’t die.  They weren’t the last few left and the things roaming the woods outside weren’t infected by some kind of radiation – at least not a bomb.  They were infected – but only with whatever it was the scientists pumped into them.

But it was going to be hard keeping it a secret from his ‘Family’.  Ever since he’d gotten back to the house his ‘Father’ had been wanting to know more about what was out there.  He was getting restless.  Beginning to see the bigger picture.  Wanting out of the house.

If he was honest with himself, he’d only really come back because of one person – his ‘Sister’.  She’d welcomed him back with open arms and spread legs as only his ‘Sister’ could.  He couldn’t let her go out there and find out the truth.  In fact, he wanted to forget it for himself.  It was a burden he constantly carried around with him.  And no matter how much of the drugged water he drank, it still hadn’t blocked out all those recovered memories he’d now sooner forget.

Day by day vivid memories of his former life had started to come back.  Memories that confused him.  Memories that hurt him.  Memories that were beginning to paint a wretched picture of a life he’d abandoned.  A life he surely could never go back to…

DLS Review:
If you’ve already read ‘Sick B*stards’ (2014) then you’ll know how extreme these novels are.  If you’ve not read the first book yet – then trust me - you’ll really need to do so before getting stuck in with this direct sequel (and it’s probably best you don’t read any more of this review too!).

It has to be said that ‘Sick B*stards’ (2014) really did push the limits.  Incredibly graphic scenes of incestual relations, gratuitous violence, and visceral gore all lovingly crammed into a tightly woven storyline.  The novel left a mark on you like a sledgehammer would to butter.

Book two – a slimmer story that continues pretty much from exactly where book one left off – is more of the same.  Now that the whole ‘M. Night Shyamalan style’ twist has been revealed, the storyline is far more free-flowing.  The novella kicks off with business as usual.  We’re greeted on the doorstep with a scene of graphic ‘incest’ which is once again akin to something pulled straight out of a sleazy wank mag.

So far so ‘Sick B*stards’ (2014).  However, if anything this second instalment feels like Shaw has gone and upped the ante in respect of the sex scenes but diluted down the cannibalism and gore.  Reading the story it doesn’t feel intentional – just the by-product of the overall direction adopted by the storyline.  Now we have far less victims for the ‘family’ to get their collective teeth into and instead far more time spent either arguing amongst themselves or rutting like there’s no tomorrow.

Interestingly Shaw’s incorporated a new angle into the story – one which sees him gradually drip-feeding us the backstory of our principal protagonist – John Burley (aka Son / Brother) – as his memories slowly start to come back to him.  In fact the entire novella bounces back and forth between the timeframes of ‘Before’ and ‘Now’ – gradually converging the two into a more complete picture of who John Burley is and what’s he’s ultimately become.

There’s plenty of intense action thrown into the mix.  Shaw somehow crams a whole load of bat-crazy madness into his dark escapade.  And once again it shows how utterly messed up us humans are.  Yep – there’s still plenty of social context splattered across the wallpaper.  There’s also a shovel full of grit in there – with our protagonist having a pretty rough time in life thanks to some serious Father issues that cast a gloomy shadow over much of the book.

And then you have the end.  Shaw’s done it again.  When you thought you’d finally desensitised yourself to his messed-up shit – you’re shown you’ve not even come close.  A truly brutal ending for an utterly uncompromisingly extreme sequel.

The novella runs for a total of 111 pages.

© DLS Reviews

Other ‘Sick B*stards’ instalments:

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