Terror Byte by J R Park – Book Review

terrobyte1Terror Byte by J R Park – Book Review by Geoff Johnston

Ever since Mary Shelly first combined a lightning bolt and a rotting corpse to great effect, horror and technology have gone hand in hand. In recent years, however it’s been left to the techno thrillers of this world, rather than the straight horror story to deliver such cutting edge thrills. Author J.R. Park’s new novella Terror Byte could be the story to bring horror back to technology based adventures.

Park comes out of the gate firing on all cylinders. Into your everyday offices comes a strange Pen drive, and when one unlucky chap plugs the damnable device into his computer, literally all hell breaks loose. Death, destruction, pain, this pen drive packs quite the punch. No one gets out of here alive. End chapter one. No messing around here.
We now need a hero to sort this horror out, enter tough cop Detective Norton, drowning in guilt over the murder of his lover, and ready to take no nonsense. Which may prove difficult, since not only are MI: 5 heavily involved in the chase for the weaponized pen drive (there’s a phrase that I never thought I’d write), but a glamorous mercenary known as the Orchid is also on the hunt. All the pieces are in place for a cracking horror thriller.

It’s at this point however that Terror Byte enters James Bond territory. Which is fine, but the horror elements of the first chapter unfortunately take a back seat as Norton, now teamed with the Orchid, runs from the spooks, and beats up the bad guys. The relationship between cop and merc, combined with the break neck pace and action mean Terror Byte at times comes across as a Batman-Catwoman pose story.

What’s missing here is the Joker. There’s no real menace to our heroes until the very end, when the device becomes a British Ultron. There was never a point in the story when I thought Norton would come out second best in any of the fights or car chases. An interesting antagonist would have more than covered up for this shortcoming.
That aside, Terror Byte moves at a rate of knots, is never dull, and the chemistry between hero and anti-heroine is very strong. You will not be bored reading this. If a fast, lightweight thriller is what you hunger for, this will satisfy. Those wanting something meatier should look elsewhere.

5/10.

LINKS

Website – http://jrpark.co.uk

Twitter – https://twitter.com/Mr_JRPark

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/JRParkAuthor

Terror Byte on Amazon UK – http://www.amazon.co.uk/Terror-Byte-J-R-Park/dp/1500894559

Terror Byte on Amazon.com – http://www.amazon.com/Terror-Byte-J-R-Park/dp/1500894559

Geoff Johnston

About Geoff Johnston

Geoff has been a horror fan ever since his granddad slipped him a copy of an old EC comic at the tender age of 4. He’s old enough to have bought the first issue of the classic UK zine Fear and every Fangoria since their coverage of the 4th Elm Street flick. The last time he had to sleep with the lights on was after seeing Ghost Stories in the West End. He lives in London.
Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.