Milton’s Children is a novella recently published by Bad Moon Books. Jason V. Brock writes a fast-paced, short novella which includes many nods to literature and pop culture.
The story is about a group of scientists on their way home from a routine Antarctic trip. On the way back they discover a set of uncharted islands, and with hopes of making a significant discovery decide to stop and investigate. What begins as the scientific discovery of a lifetime quickly descends into pure, visceral terror.
Brock crafts a fun, pulpy tale and sets a quick-fire pace. The story is to the point, and instead of lingering moves on rather quickly. There are times when I felt that the story seemed more bare-bones, and could benefit from being further fleshed out, but on the other hand the fast pacing of the narrative made for a nice, quick read that felt unburdened by tedious scenes of drawn out dialogue. With this in mind, it’s definitely more of a shallow read, and some of the characters come across as cookie-cutter stereotypes. While seemingly lacking in depth, the nods throughout the book hint at some deeper themes, although the story itself still comes across as rather simplistic. The nods range from character names (liberal Adam Carter, an amalgam of Milton’s Adam and Lovecraft’s Randolph Carter butts heads with the right-wing Faust, obviously named after Goethe’s protagonist) to film references (King Kong), as well as other literary references (Lovecraft’s At The Mountains of Madness is brought up a couple of times).
Overall, Milton’s Children is a quick, fun read. Fans of the pulps and stories that can entertain without being too deep will have a good time with this one.