Neolithica by Dan Soule


Since the passing of James Herbert and the gradual decline of Shaun Hutson’s power as staples in the British Horror Scene. I’ve been hankering for someone to step into that rather large void; which has been left vacant for some time now, by in my opinion two of the brightest and loudest voices that we’ve had to shout about from our little island in the realms of horror fiction.

That void has now been filled by author Dan Soule and his debut offering Neolithica – which seeps into the horror market like a deathly fringe, a poisonous noxious gas that can’t wait for you to taste its dark offerings and consume your very souls.

Neolithica shows that the British Horror Scene is alive and well – that the mantel that Hutson and Herbert had shouldered for so long has been passed onto a writer who understands all that has gone before him, that has borrowed the best from the best and blended it into an intoxicating cocktail of macabre offerings – but all the while providing us a unique tale, that you would be forgiven for thinking it had been penned by one of these masters of the genre – such is the adeptness on show in Dan Soule’s debut novel.

Neolithica is a horrific masterpiece!

Neolithica has that very retro horror vibe about it, think 70’s and 80’s horror at its best (think Paperbacks from Hell) and you’d be in the right ballpark or graveyard, this story is cut from that very cloth. Soule is open about it too, he’s not trying to hoodwink you into anything else, if anything he’s trying to warn you – you just need to see the stunning cover to know this is going to be retro horror and dark to its very core. Expect strange happenings, expect carnage, expect grisly deaths and the darkest of horrors – but most of all come expectant as this novel delivers on all your horror needs and wants – it’s an exceptional horror debut, which I’d champion horror fans to consume, it has a very cult feel to it and shows a very promising career starting to bloom for a new voice in horror writing!

A bog body of perfectly preserved Neolithic boy is dug up from a Scottish peat bog. Archaeologists are called in to investigate a discovery of a lifetime, however, even on the day it is found death follows in the boy’s wake.

Our protagonist sets out on a journey of discovery, to investigate this bog body – but through this discovery it leads her to a personal revelation which she’d done so well to bury. Like a dead body in a lake it floats to the surface, waiting for an inquisitive hand to reach out and touch it, before it upends and reveals the ghastliness that had remained obscured. Soule has done a marvellous job at creating fully realised characters and with a large pool of individuals each has enough time allotted to them within the story to ensure the reader is invested in each of their fates.
I’m not going to lie, some of the scientific stuff that takes place within the story was lost on me, but it made it interesting as I had to look these things up and discovered more than I expected. But Soule also balances this academia with a rich and easy to read prose, which wraps itself around your throat and drags you through the book – kicking, screaming and pleading! This is a debut not to be missed.
Neolithica is a masterful meditation on horror and grief – A cult horror smash, which conjures up the very best from Hutson and Herbert – a terrifying must read for all horror fans!’
Neolithica is available here!

Dan Soule

Once Dan was an academic but the sentences proved too long and the words too obscure. Northern Ireland is where he now lives. But he was born in England and raised in Byron’s home town, which the bard hated but Dan does not. They named every other road after Byron. As yet no roads are named after Dan but several children are. He tries write the kind of stories he wants to read and aims for readers to want to turn the page. Dan’s work has featured in The Incubator, STORGY & the horror magazine Devolution Z.

Reviewed by Ross Jeffery

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