Book Review: Madness From the Sea: Cthulhu’s Lure (Jonathon T. Cross)

The master of cosmicism in literary form, H.P. Lovecraft should need little introduction as most will be aware of his influences on sci-fi and horror, even if they’ve never read a single word of his work. Just say the name ‘Cthulhu’ and see the reaction. The cosmic entity is a pop-culture icon these days.

So much so, that it’s easy to forget just how terrifying a concept it is.

Jonathon T. Cross hasn’t and uses the mythos to tell his own Cthulhu-based story in Madness from the Sea: Cthulhu’s Lure. Published by That Spooky Beach.

A novella, that is a ‘sort of’ sequel to Lovecraft’s The Call of Cthulhu. Madness from the Sea: Cthulhu’s Lure is all about the influence of the Great Old One. Specifically, the influence it has on Frances Smith, a woman who has become obsessed with her dreams of the entity. Cthulhu seems to be reaching out to her, and while initially resistant, she has fallen in love, believing it wants her by its side.

Which drives a hefty wedge between her and her husband, Donnie, who desperately wants to snap her out of her madness.

Nothing is going to stop Frances from being with Cthulhu though, especially Donnie. She just needs to wake the Great Old One, and that seems like an impossible task. That is until her online blogs take off and she becomes entrenched within the cult of Cthulhu.

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Of course, you have to have a taste and interest in Cthulhu lore to enjoy this story. Cross certainly writes from a Lovecraftian perspective and is more than game to expand upon established lore. Which helps give the story its own flavour, especially as this tale is set in a more modern time. This allows him to blend familiar aspects with the fantastical world of Cthulhu, all while drip-feeding madness and horror throughout.

It’s one of the strongest aspects of the story; the showcase of madness, how a person can become enamoured with Cthulhu, and how it spreads. Alongside graphic horror that is visceral and realistic. Gore hounds will certainly find plenty of blood and guts to enjoy here.

It’s short read at 114 pages, but that just means Cross has to throw the reader in the deep end immediately. The story literally opening with Frances recanting her latest dream, loving the experience, and slowly losing her mind to the call of Cthulhu. From that point on, it has a vigorous pace that makes for an easy page turner. Especially as each new page unveils new layers of dread and horror.

It’s as consumable as we are in the eyes of Cthulhu.


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Madness From the Sea: Cthulhu's Lure (Jonathon T. Cross)
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