Blood Water by Dean Vincent Carter

Rating 8.0/10
A fast-paced horror novel perfect for young adults.

They're all dead now. I am the last one. Dr Morrow can't identify the 'thing' he found living in the lake but he knows it's dangerous ...then it goes missing ...Caught in the flood that is devastating the town, brothers Sean and James stumble across Morrow and the carnage left at his lab. The missing specimen is some kind of deadly parasite that moves from person to person, destroying its hosts in disgusting, gory ways. The death toll will rise along with the waters unless the brothers can track down the homicidal specimen and find a way to destroy it.

Blood Water is a fast-paced horror novel aimed mainly at teens but written in a style which makes it accessible to adults. It does not bring anything too original to the genre but is unquestionably a worthy and enjoyable addition to a rather ignored niche. I was instantly reminded of a book I once read by renowned horror writer Shaun Hutson, called Slugs, but while Blood Water undoubtedly has its moments of gore they are not excessive and will be unlikely to cause any sleepless nights. Shaun Hutson’s book on the other hand…

I am a voracious reader and often finish books in two to three days. I finished Blood Water within twenty-four hours and this is possibly the highest commendation I can give it – it is not a short story but very easy to read and the pages really do pass by in a blur.

The main characters, Sean and James, are easy to relate to and the supporting cast is strong. There are some wonderfully gory scenes; melting internal organs, blood spurting from mouths etc… but a strength that Dean Vincent Carter shows is in keeping the gore to a minimum and thereby ensuring that when these moments do arrive they carry more impact. Also, what makes the “monster” all the more chilling is that it is sentient; it has an overpowering survival instinct and does what it must to ensure it stays alive. In fact, you could almost say that the parasite was a character that you could emphasise with; not something you can always say about the “monster” in a horror book.

Another element of the book that really stood out was the ever present rain as the village itself became flooded. The torrential downpour helped create an oppressive atmosphere which in turn heightened tension and left me almost wanting to wring out my socks at the end.

For some strange reason though it was a dog that really had me crossing my fingers and rooting for its survival, not the teenage boys. I find that a bit worrying – does it mean I hold canine life in a higher regard than human?

Blood Water is a recommended read. It is perfect for those needing a novel to help them through a long journey, or for those looking for a book to take on holiday.

Dean Carter began writing short stories at the age of fourteen. After graduating from Thames Valley University with a degree in English and Media Studies, he worked in sales and as a bookseller before getting a job in the Post room at Transworld Publishers and Random House Children's Books. His writing talent was spotted by his editor after she read his company-wide emails. His first novel, The Hand of the Devil was published in 2006 to great critical acclaim. He lives in Hounslow, Middlesex and still works in the post room.

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Blood Water reader reviews

from Newcastle


There isn't a massive amount of horror out there for the young adult market so it was refreshing to find something I felt was suitable for my teenage daughter. It doesn't have the gore of the adult novels but what it does brilliantly is create tension and the constantly falling rain makes for a claustrophobic and oppressive sense of impending doom. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this novel.

8/10 from 2 reviews

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