Brian Keene’s COMPLEX is thrilling survival horror. While it’s short on answers, it’s a lot of fun, a nice pulpy escape.
The novel follows a series of people living in a low-end apartment complex, including a mom and her son newly arrived to the complex, two potheads hiding out after a score, a writer at the end of his career and rope, a transsexual, a tough old lady, a Vietnam vet, and others. The wide cast find themselves in the midst of a bizarre apocalypse, as naked people flood the complex bent on sadism, torture, and slaughter of anything living. Thrown together by circumstance, these people must fight to survive the night.
The madmen are great, tribal and deranged and utterly homicidal, like something from the brutal world of CROSSED or GHOSTS OF MARS. Led by a large brute they nickname Tick Tock, they scour the complex and the town, searching for the living while our heroes suffer, struggle, fight, and sometimes die, delivering plenty of action. As for our heroes, they’re likeable, tough, and resourceful, though their best is no match for the invading horde.
Some might take exception to a lack of answers by the end, but overall, I thought it was a lot of fun, which I’d guess was Keene’s sole intent.