I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.
After being infected by a disease that turns people into cannibals, a former scientist turned bodybuilder living in a government rehabilitation facility for cannibals must stop a powerful cannibals rights group that his recently infected brother has joined in author Dana Hammer’s “The Cannibal’s Guide to Fasting”.
Igor Fenenko, a former research scientist, is a scary, scary man. Not only is he a massive bodybuilder with a spider tattooed on his face, but he has also been infected with Pestis Manducans — viral cannibalism. Igor tried to resist indulging, but his research specimens smelled so delicious. Who did it hurt, really, to nibble a corpse?
Caught, disgraced, and sent to a ‘rehabilitation’ center, Igor is now forced to live in a government-mandated Containment Center. He spends his days pressing wildflowers, growing blueberries, and doing his best to avoid human meat. More than anything, he wants a cure for the virus that has ruined his life.
Igor’s brother, Karl, is also infected with Pestis. But unlike Igor, he does not live in a Containment Center. He lives down by the river, where he runs a cannibal rights group. At first, the group seems harmless enough, if a bit creepy and overzealous. But when Igor discovers their evil practices, he is forced to intervene.
Aided and opposed by rich eccentrics who have their own agendas, Igor must use his brains and muscles to find a cure while fighting the urge to turn brains and muscles into a delicious lunch.
I absolutely loved this novel. The author did an incredible job of crafting a narrative that felt alive on the page. The character growth and dialogue felt very natural and captivating, albeit a little bit fantastic given the nature of the narrative. The atmosphere and imagery used to bring this story to life were so vivid in their delivery that readers instantly felt transported as if Igor was standing right there in the room with them.
Yet it was the themes the author explored that really allowed the plot to shine through. The use of themes that explore humanity’s propensity for judging and alienating an entire group of people based on preconceived notions about who they are and what they are capable of was felt heavily in this read, and it played so naturally with the very horror-centric idea of a cannibal virus. The way the author mirrors the world’s mistrust of cannibals both past and present with the way even Igor is perceived by others because of his appearance and his insecurities, as a result, to be viewed in a certain light really did a great job of reflecting this thought-provoking story device.
Haunting, impactful, and engaging, author Dana Hammer’s “The Cannibal’s Guide to Fasting” is a must-read bio-horror meets literary fiction read. The authors writing style allowed for a good balance of humor and wit with the more serious and macabre aspects of the cannibal storyline, while also showcasing a very human and emotional narrative of the power of judging others and how it impacts the world as a whole. If you haven’t yet, be sure to preorder your copy today or pick up your copy on September 6th, 2022!
About the Author
Dana Hammer is a novelist, short story writer, playwright, and screenwriter living in Anaheim, California.