I Read Horror: “Cyclops Road” by Jeff Strand

It’s early morning.

Half-awake, I amble out of my room, walk over to my bookshelves, and stand facing them. I run my eyes over the titles, and pull down Cyclops Road, a current read.

I’ll finish this one today.

I move to the blinds, opening them. Soft light fills the space. I curl up on the love-seat; cover my legs with a small throw; click my portable heater’s knob to ON, bask in it’s warmth; and dive in.

Cyclops Road is a story about a man who accompanies a woman across the country. She is on a mission to slay a cyclops. He doesn’t believe it exists. But, he’s curious – about this woman, and the “cyclops” too.

Besides, he could use an adventure after the blow life has recently dealt him. Or distraction, perhaps.

My Reading Experience

Cyclops Road is the second Jeff Strand novel I’ve read. Kumquat (a quirky Rom-com) was the first and I really enjoyed it.

I picked this up now because Spooky Season was slipping away faster than water through spread fingers. I could not allow it to pass before managing a creepy, crawly, read.

So, did this fit the bill?

Let’s find out –

Cyclops Road started off well enough.

The prologue is well written. It’s also heart-wrenching, and very different in tone than the story that follows.

After the first 80 pages, I was like – where’s the cyclops?

After another 80 pages: WHERE is the cyclops?

That’s when it hit me.

This is Evan’s story, skeptical Evan, written from his perspective. It’s also, largely, an adventure story with horror elements that is being driven by an episodic narrative.

After I realized that, I chilled out while the story grew stranger, even venturing into “dark” territory for stints.

By the time I got to the end, I was ready to move on.

Now, let’s get into specific. Here is what I did and did not like about this book:

Thumbs Up

Evan’s humor. Evan was super witty and funny. His thoughts and reactions kept me laughing.

It is entertaining, mostly due to the episodic events and offbeat characters.

The writing is accessible, thus the story was very easy to get into and fly through.

Thumbs Down

Is there a cyclops or not? The book takes its sweet time addressing this question, which frustrated me, utterly.

The characters are a dissonant, ragtag bunch. I, personally, wanted more chemistry between them.

So, did Cyclops Road scratch my original itch?

Was it the fear-inducing read I desired?

It wasn’t. Womp, womp. But I may have realized this had it not been 879 days since I read the synopsis.*face-palm

In spite of that, this story ain’t too shabby.

If I’d been more patient with the narrative arc, and if the characters had more chemistry, I would have enjoyed this even more.

All the Best,