Fungoid by William Meikle published by DarkFuse is one of the best reads I’ve enjoyed over the last year. I wasn’t sure what I was getting with a book named “Fungoid” but I was pretty sure it had something to do with fungus. I’m not familiar with William Meikle’s work so I didn’t know if this was going to go the route of bizzaro fiction, B-movie style or if it was going to be more dark and realistic. It turns out Fungoid is a the later and a very good example of an apocalyptic tale at that.
The story starts out with the world going on as normal then a strange oily rain begins to fall and the downfall of the human race begins. The book follows four characters in largely four different points of view, shifting from one character’s point of view to another. One point of view is Shaun, a father trying to make it home from Canada to reach his wife and kids. Rebecca is a mother of two boys and trying to keep all three of them alive. Jim is a logger turn rescuer look struggling with the enormity of what was happening, among other things. The fourth is Rohit, a mycologist who works to find a way to combat the fungus and protect the students at his university.
The use of the four points of view makes the story move along briskly, making for a fast read with great pacing. There is no time for the reader to get board with the story. The use the four points of view also gives the reader a better idea of what is happening all over the world. Meikle paints a bleak outlook for the human race, and it only continues to got worse at the book goes on. While I think that overall the use of several points of view served the book well, I also think that it contributed to shallow characters. Generally, multiple points of view is not used all that much in novella length fiction, it just doesn’t leave room to breathe life into characters and settings. On the other hand, the novella is the perfect length for horror and Meikle packed enough into Fungoid’s small package to make it work a read.
Meikle also has great prose, I would compare it to Ronald Malfi’s who happens to be one of my favorite authors. Click To TweetMeikle just has a talent for keeping the story moving forward. One mechanic used was the fact that the fungus spread quickly. The characters couldn’t stay in one place long, there was the constant tension like a timer was going to go off. This method kept tension high and with the pacing it made for a great fast pace read.
If you are looking for a deep book that explores the emotions of the characters and what this means for society, this isn’t your book. If you are looking for fast pace, high tension apocalyptic tale that won’t disappoint, this is your book.