Genre: Science Fiction
Series: Stand Alone
Publisher: Tor.com (September 20, 2016)
Author Information: Website
Length: 112 pages
My Rating: 3 stars
The Warren is a short, suspenseful novella which delivers heaping doses of loneliness, mystery, and utter alienation. Brian Evenson skillfully turning confusion, weirdness, and schizophrenic leanings into an existential horror, where desperately seeking answers and not finding them is all part of the delicious fun.
Simply put, this is a tale starring X — though X isn’t even sure if that is really his name. He has many memories from other people imprinted within him. Memories which are incomplete or simply fading away slowly, leaving him confused as to who he is, what he is, and his purpose in life.
It is only when X discovers another being above ground, outside the protection of the Warren, that he leaves the protection of his home to brave the desolation outside. But what will he discover from this other survivor? And will it be the salvation X craves, or something he wishes he had never learned?
This was a strange story, one which drew me in, dangled the promise of amazing twists, entertained me with masterful, minimalistic writing, and disoriented me with its abrupt but skillful conclusion. But even though I enjoyed the journey with the lost, utterly alone X and understood that the confusion in the narrative was intentional and the shifting perspectives deliberate, I was somewhat unsatisfied with the climax of the story, leaving me wanting immediate access to the rest of the story — because there had to be more.
But should you read it?
The answer lies in your reading preferences. Do no enjoy Gene Wolfe penned tales? Is existential horror to your liking? Weird tales right up you alley? If you answer “yes” to any of these questions, then The Warren is definitely for you. If none of those things peak your interest, you might not love this novella, but I’d still encourage you to give it a try, because it is short and is worthy of the small time investment.
I received this book from the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review. I’d like to thank them for allowing me to receive this review copy and inform everyone that the review you have read is my opinion alone.