Imagine that you’re preparing for a weekend getaway with your best friends. You’re excited for a trip to a cozy lakefront cabin, where you can feel free to unwind and enjoy the company of your friends in the secluded wilderness.
When you arrive at your destination, however, there seems to be something eerie and offputting about the place. You can’t seem to figure out what’s making you so uneasy, until it’s far too late to do anything about it. You’re soon forced to watch in silent helplessness as unspeakable things begin destroying the world as you know it. That’s just the kind of heart-pounding horror you can expect to find in S. Alessandro Martinez’s debut novel, Helminth.
The story begins by introducing us to Rei, the main character who altruistically decides to plan a weekend getaway for her best friend, Abby, who recently suffered the loss of her husband. Rei and a small group of tight-knit friends accompany Abby to a cozy forest cabin located in the idyllic Pacific Northwest, prepared for a weekend of relaxing, gossipping, and soaking in the peaceful nature of the untouched wilderness. Rei is hopeful that this trip will distract Abby from her feelings of grief, at least temporarily, and help her realize that she can trust her friends to support her during this emotionally turbulent time.
Once the group of women arrive at the cabin, Rei starts feeling a sense of dread and anxiety that she can’t seem to place. She tries to swallow her growing fears about the location to be a strong source of support for Abby, but soon her grieving friend seems to be losing touch with reality as well. As Rei tries to make sense of the inexplicable occurrences that keep happening to her and her friends, the nightmarish events only intensify. It appears that the friends are not the only ones inhabiting this location… but it might be too late to leave.
“If you are a fan of H.P. Lovecraft, this book should appeal to you,” one reviewer raved. “The characters are put into situations in which they have no control and as the reader it was easy to see the events unfolding through their eyes.”
“Helminth is very well written and detailed, to the point where I expect some very strange dreams for a while,” said another avid horror fan.
S. Alessandro Martinez is a horror and fantasy author hailing from Southern California. Before Helminth was published in January 2021, Martinez wrote poetry and several short stories, which have appeared in a number of horror anthologies and magazines. He specializes in atmospheric horror of a Lovecraftian nature, with terrifying supernatural creatures and unflinchingly gruesome elements of body horror. His highly detailed fantasy lore is outlined on his website, where readers can delve deeper into the mind of Martinez and get to know the monsters, beasts, and magic of his own creation.