Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Review Of Soles By Kay Brandt

I once called Kay Brandt the Stephen King of erotica. It's on Twitter, it's on the cover of the paperback cover of her novel Safe Landings and I meant it. Like King, Brandt knows how to weave together a dramatic story sprinkled with humor and characters who, while they may not always be likable or make the best choices, are believable and that's why we root for them and devour her books in one day. And for those of you who are longtime Kay Brandt readers you know that's true. I read Safe Landings in a day and I got through soles in about four hours; I even found myself reading it while cooking and eating dinner at the table! Clear signs of a good book.
And why would you want to put it down? Brandt has created a both fun and terrifying world that is a unique take on the classic haunted house/ghost story/possession story, taking something that isn't generally looked at as terrifying-shoes-and creating a story that will make you think twice before you ever walking into another shoes store and purchasing another pair of shoes ever again. In fact, you may find yourself purging yourself of every pair of shoes you own and just walking around barefoot for the rest of your life.
In this novel, Brandt's first non-erotic novel, we are transported back to the 80s. The best decade for, well everything, including horror and Soles has the feel of those wonderful 80s horror films that we greedily devoured; and still do.
Written with the feel of a young Stephen King with some V.C. Andrews sprinkled in for flavor, Soles is a terrifying rollercoaster that will leave the reader hungry for more, not able to stop until they have reached the very satisfying ending that no one will see coming.While I was reading I found myself wondering why the shoes were haunted and why they were tormenting this poor family for three generations and when I finally got that answer I was left with a big smile on my face and the only thing I could say was "well fuck. Pretty good reason."
Brandt also shows her talent for language and dialogue sprinkling those delicious 80s catchphrases and slang while she perfectly captures the voice of our hero, a nineteen year old miscreant and his companion an eighteen year old girl who already has a record and has spent time in juvie. Kay has developed these two so richly that you can see them-as well as all the other characters no matter how minor-in your head, hear their voices and root for them. Even though they aren't "good kids" and "come from the wrong side of the tracks" you can't help but like them and laugh at their banter back and forth hoping their rivalry is just a front and they will get together. Do they? Well you'll have to read the book and find out.
Brandt's story weaves us in and out of the present, past and even future, playing with our minds through several hallucinations that has us questioning our own state of sanity right along with her young hero's.
The most surprising thing about Soles is that this is the first "mainstream" novel Brandt has given us. Kay knows horror and she knows what, and how, to scare people, so it is shocking-saddening in a way-that it has taken this long for the literary world to discover this woman's amazing talents. If Stephen King is known as the master of horror, Kay Brandt will soon be known as the mistress of the genre if she keeps writing horror novels and she will soon find a place among the genre's other noted writers such as Anne Rice, Mary Shelley and Clive Barker.
Whether you are a long time Kay Brandt fan, a new fan, or just a horror fan who enjoys a spine tingling story, your collection won't be complete without Soles in your library.
Trust me, you won't be disappointed. And just a word of warning, make sure you keep your shoes in plain site while you're reading this one. Trust me.
Grade: Solid A+