‘Black Tide’: a creepy sci-fi horror beach read to wrap up summer with

August 23, 2023

TITLE: Black Tide
AUTHOR: K.C. Jones
GENRE: Horror
PAGES: 245pg
PUBLISHER: Tor Nightfire

It was just another day at the beach. And then the world ended.

Mike and Beth didn’t know each other existed before the night of the meteor shower. A melancholy film producer and a house sitter barely scraping by, chance made them neighbors, a bottle of champagne brought them together, and a shared need for human connection sparked something more.

After a drunken and desperate one-night-stand, the two strangers awake to discover a surprise astronomical event has left widespread destruction in its wake. But the cosmic lightshow was only a part of something much bigger, and far more terrifying. When a set of lost car keys leaves them stranded on an empty stretch of Oregon coast, when their emergency calls go unanswered and inhuman screams echo from the dunes, when the rising tide reaches for the car and unspeakable horrors close in around them, these two self-destructive souls must find in each other the strength to overcome past pain and the fight to survive a nightmare of apocalyptic scale.

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It’s not a human sound at all, not like anything I’ve ever heard in my life. It’s like metal tearing and a woman screaming in rage and the hungry howl of some feral beast all at once.

I LOVE cosmic beach horror, so I naturally had to pick up Black Tide, and I’m so glad that I did! I had a lot of fun reading this, particularly with the creature elements. I thought one of the creature types was incredibly unique; I don’t want to spoil it because it’s a fun little surprise when you get to it, but I’ll say that it made things very suspenseful!

While I did enjoy Black Tide for the most part, I have to admit that I struggled with the characters throughout a lot of this story. I felt like they kept making those incredibly stereotypical bad choices—you know, the kind that leave you yelling at your TV screen, “What are you doing? Don’t go in there!”—and I also never really found it in myself to like or care about either of them much. Honestly, most of the novella revolved around me worrying about the dog’s survival above all else (but that’s no surprise to my fellow animal lovers, I guess).

I also found that some of the plot points were very overly convenient and didn’t make a lot of sense within the world that had been built, but it wasn’t enough to bother me much. I’d say this is one of those horror novellas you should go into expecting a fun, quick read that you can’t think too hard about: nothing world-changing, but I’d still recommend it for a good time. 3.5 stars!

All quotes come from an advance copy and may not match the final release. Thank you to the publisher for the review copy! All thoughts are honest and my own.

content warnings →
WARNINGS (click to expand):

violence, gore, death, an animal is in danger and grievously injured, an animal’s death is loosely implied

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More about Destiny @ Howling Libraries

Just a horror aficionado/geek girl trying to juggle motherhood, reading, blogging, gaming, and everyday life.


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