Chains by M. Todd is a perfectly plotted and masterfully, even beautifully written, psychological thriller about a terrifying monster of myth. The Kludde. An ancient, mysterious evil. An ancient horror. An ancient demon. This riveting page turner will keep you up as you follow Max, his family and friends as they battle the fiendish Kludde. Follow the Kludde as he relentlessly pursues his victims. Will Max, his family and friends save themselves? Will they overcome a sadistic curse, a deal made with the devil generations ago? This book is filled with twists and turns and mounting suspense sure to rival the horrors of Stephen King and psychological thrillers of Tana French. M. Todd is just a great writer. The ghoulish tale is inventive, dangerous, filled with epic symbolism and even philosophy! It’s an action packed, five-star story from a five-star writer that will keep you turning the pages and on the edge of your seat into the long shadows of darkness. I highly recommend you read this heart pounding and excellent debut. Chains by M. Todd is a masterpiece sure to leave you breathless.
After reading only a couple of pages, I knew that CHAINS would be a book to read and savor. Think a fast burger on the run versus a succulent filet mignon enjoyed with a glass of fine wine.
Pigeonholing. Brick and mortar bookstores are very good at pigeonholing. However. forcing books into specific categories doesn't work well. I give you the ever-changing shelf space given books deemed 'horror.' When browsing a brick-and-mortar bookstore, I would always peruse the horror and science fiction shelves. I have always been attracted to the speculative. On what shelf would you put CHAINS? Personally, I would put it in a section called Read These Books!
CHAINS is about good and evil, men and monsters, power and fear. There is a monster that seems formed of every monster literature has ever created. It is a shapeshifter but not a were-creature. It is a vampire but not a bloodsucker. It is alien but not from some far-flung planet. As is my wont, I turned to Google to see what the internet has to say about the Kludde. Although new to me, this creature seems well known in Dutch folklore. It may seem strange, but over the past several years, I have taken to 'fact checking' even things in fiction. I have always said that a day where I learn something new is a good day… today is a good day.
The complex plot of CHAINS is offset by the normalcy of Max, Emily, and their close friends. As they become embroiled in the terrifying circumstance Max must face at the claws of the demon, you will feel the thrill of danger, the strange delight of fear. After all, they, like you, are only human.
A well-written debut novel often portends future books worth reading. If I am reading the tea leaves correctly, there should be a sequel. I for one, want to know more about Emily. CHAINS is a fine piece of writing that deserves to be read.
PS: Take a deep breath and read 'About the Author.' I did… then asked myself 'when does this man sleep?'
This book really surprised me. I was impressed with the author's ability to bring such quiet terror to his writing. Todd's writing was enthralling and beautiful and wholly encapsulated my attention. I didn't want to put it down, and simultaneously wished I hadn't been reading it before bed--a true sign of horror.
Not only was this a thrilling read, but Todd also had something to say about hope and the connections that bind us to one another, how trauma shapes us, what survival looks like, and great fear. In the same vein and imagery as Clive Barker or Guillermo del Toro, Todd has produced a book that is fit for anyone who loves ancient beasts of horror and a psychological thrill ride.