Read Broken Shells: A Subterranean Horror Novella by Michael Patrick Hicks Online


Antoine DeWitt is a man down on his luck. Broke and recently fired, he knows the winning Money Carlo ticket that has landed in his mailbox from a car dealership is nothing more than a scam. The promise of five thousand dollars, though, is too tantalizing to ignore.Jon Dangle is a keeper of secrets, many of which are buried deep beneath his dealership. He works hard to keepAntoine DeWitt is a man down on his luck. Broke and recently fired, he knows the winning Money Carlo ticket that has landed in his mailbox from a car dealership is nothing more than a scam. The promise of five thousand dollars, though, is too tantalizing to ignore.Jon Dangle is a keeper of secrets, many of which are buried deep beneath his dealership. He works hard to keep them hidden, but occasionally sacrifices are required, sacrifices who are penniless, desperate, and who will not be missed. Sacrifices exactly like DeWitt.When Antoine steps foot on Dangle’s car lot, it is with the hope of easy money. Instead, he finds himself trapped in a deep, dark hole, buried alive. If he is going to survive the nightmare ahead of him, if he has any chance of seeing his wife and child again, Antoine will have to do more than merely hope. He will have to fight his way back to the surface, and pray that Jon Dangle’s secrets do not kill him first....

Title : Broken Shells: A Subterranean Horror Novella
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781947570047
Format Type : ebook
Number of Pages : 266 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Broken Shells: A Subterranean Horror Novella Reviews

  • Dan Schwent
    2019-02-18 10:41

    When down on his luck mechanic Antoine DeWitt gets something in the mail saying he won $5,000 from the local car dealership, he has his doubts but his wife, baby, and mounting bills make him go to claim it anyway. The worst that can happen is that he doesn't get any money, right?WRONG! The owner of the car dealership is part of a generations-long pact, sacrificing people who won't be missed to an alien evil that lurks beneath the ground! Can Antoine escape with his skin intact or will he join the rest of those that have vanished over the years?Michael Patrick Hicks was the 2017 recipient of the coveted Dantastic Book Award for Goodreads Author Who Doesn't Suck. I saw on the twitter that he had a novella coming out in February and hit him up. Let's just say Michael might be the first two time winner of the Goodreads Author Who Doesn't Suck award because this was pretty damn good!Broken Shells is a novella of desperation, both on the part of Antoine DeWitt and Jon Dangle. Antoine lost his job and his wife Channy is on his ass to find another one when he gets the Money Carlo flyer from the car dealership saying he's won $5,000, he's just desperate enough to go down there. Jon Dangle, on the other hand, is desperate for a different reason. For generations, his family has been responsible for keeping subterranean monsters in check by throwing them a victim every once in a while.Claustrophobic carnage is the name of the game. Antoine wakes up in bad shape and things only get worse. Tight spaces, gore, and inhuman horrors infest the pages. There are no training wheels or hand holding during this read. There were a few times I thought "Mike, you sick bastard!" Not only is it ghastly fun, it's very well written, carrying none of the things I loath about a lot of self-published or small press horror. It's very well edited and professional, slick and seamless.The ending was a little bleaker than I'd like, though I had a feeling it was headed that way. All in all, Broken Shells is an exceptional horror novella. Four out of five stars.

  • Schizanthus
    2019-02-10 07:42

    GOREFEST!!! I had planned on skimming the first couple of pages of this novella before putting it back in line behind other reads that are being released earlier, but I couldn’t help myself. I got sucked in by the mystery of what’s living beneath the surface and once I caught a glimpse of the nightmare I had to continue, because upon Googling ‘leatherback turtle’s mouth’ you’ve passed the point of no return.While Antoine DeWitt is almost positive that the Money Carlo ticket promising him winnings of $5,000 is a scam, he’s having a bad day and hey, what’s the worst that can happen by checking it out. Arriving at the Dangle car dealership Antoine meets Jon Dangle, who confirms that Antoine is indeed a lucky winner. Dangle and the generations of men before him have been keepers of an important secret, one Antoine is about to learn firsthand. The latest in an immeasurable offering of sacrifices, Antoine finds himself trapped in a subterranean nightmare.When Antoine awakes at the beginning of the fight of his life, the description was scarily close to an account of hell I read a number of years ago. And then Antoine’s day gets worse.If you’re highly offended by expletives and you don’t do well with gore or claustrophobia, then perhaps this is not the book for you. However, if you love getting creeped out by creatures that scratch around, felt but unseen, in the dark and the idea of something unknown tearing chunks of flesh from living people makes your heart race and an internal cheer bubbles up inside you, then my kindred spirit, this book was written with you in mind. What commences as a certain death trap paradoxically twists into a tale of hope in the darkest of places, yet you’re constantly wondering if your hope is in vain. Knowing this is a horror novella, should our protagonist (and by default the reader) even hold onto this possibly futile hope? How much do you fight against what appears at first glance to be inevitable?Broken Shells is a visceral experience, with oodles of ooze, gore galore, dry heaves and vomit, and some Alienworthy introductions to razor sharp creepy crawlies. With plenty of graphic imagery of the icky variety and a body count too large to number, our down on his luck hero faces an onslaught of bug monsters. Michael Patrick Hicks capitalises simultaneously on our fears of the unknown and the dark. The atmosphere throughout the novella was a fun blend of suspense, dread and bloodthirsty anticipation. You’re likely to have some involuntary moments of squirming as you find yourself up close and personal with all of the stabby, slimey, ouchy and itchy details. What if there were a creature above us on the food chain and that by delivering regular sacrifices to them you could potentially protect millions of others? Would those delivering the sacrifices be the heroes or the villains of the story?What kind of mind comes up with a scenario so gruesome?! Ha! Who am I judge! I was the one simultaneously cheering on Antione and the subterranean creepy crawlies. As only Lydia from Beetlejuice can declare with the right level of creepy, “I myself, am strange and unusual.” This, my friends, is horror done right! I can’t wait for my imagination to be happily grossed out again by this author.New favourite word: ichor.My takeaway moral of the story: Never ever trust car salespeople.I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley (thank you so much to NetGalley and High Fever Books for the opportunity) in exchange for honest feedback.

  • Kimberly
    2019-01-28 03:44

    4.5 stars!BROKEN SHELLS, by Michael Patrick Hicks is an adrenaline-fueled, no punches pulled, onslaught of gruesome action! I've read several other titles by this author, and can honestly say that I find his style both original and consistently good. Here we have Antoine DeWitt, a man who is working hard to overcome a minor criminal past, and take care of his wife and baby boy. When a ticket from Dangle's car dealership--on the far outskirts of town--comes in the mail, he is stunned--and naturally dubious of--his $5000 win.After all, there's always a catch.Literally commanded by "his girl" to make the journey "just to see", Antoine sets out.". . . despite how overwhelming his home life was, he honestly did love his girl and his baby boy . . . "Unfortunately for Antoine, the Dangle brothers, Jon and Jensen, are the descendants of Native American "gatekeepers", who are tasked with keeping a certain . . . species . . . safe and secured away from the rest of the world. That responsibility comes with--other--duties.". . . We keep them fed."Hicks does an amazing job of bringing Antoine's character to life! Even when things quickly go to hell, we continue to learn about--and root for--his perseverance, not to mention, his sanity. On the proverbial "other side", even the elder Dangle brother's motives are understandable in the context of the story. They are just as trapped in their lives--albeit in another way--as Antoine is.". . . Nobody wanted murders or abductions, but the stories gave them an entertaining outlet to stoke and stave their worries upon."What really makes this story stand out so vividly to me is Hicks' imagination and his mind-bending descriptions of the . . . inhabitants . . . and their domain underneath the remote car dealership. Infusing Native American lore and creation myths, we are introduced to this bloodthirsty, savage new species. While they brought to mind some great Lovecraftian elements, these creatures--and their unique behaviors--are something entirely distinctive in their own right.Overall, an amazing tale of what "could be" lurking right underneath you, of one man's unfortunate luck, and those tasked with "keeping the balance" in check.". . . All he had to do was make it home . . . "Another hit from author Michael Patrick Hicks! I'm looking forward to what tales his twisted imagination brings us next.Highly recommended!*** I have to mention the incredible cover, created by Kealan Patrick Burke. The details are not only perfect for the story, but are chilling enough to give one nightmares before even reading the book! ***

  • Cody | codysbookshelf
    2019-01-19 03:20

    Release Date: 02.06.18This story’s ending is what earned it the fifth star. What can I say, I’m a bleak guy, and this is a bleak story. Without diving into spoilers, I think this story could have gone one of two ways . . . And Michael Hicks chose the courageous way. He went where the story commanded. And I applaud him! That final chapter - shivers. Broken Shells, the upcoming horror novella from Hicks, is a creature feature of the best sort. All kinds of gooshy, nasty bugs are present and accounted for; to make a pun, Hicks preys on the fear of insects. Me, I don’t mind bugs so much . . . But I am very claustrophobic. This story did get me there. A large portion of this story involves the main character being trapped and having to escape; I was on the brink of an anxiety attack while reading. That’s how I know this author did his job. This is a fun, scary read, and it is easily conquerable in a sit or two. Highly recommended! Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the ARC.

  • Sadie | sadie_reads_them_all
    2019-01-28 02:48

    First, I'd like to thank Michael Hicks for this signed copy of Broken Shells in exchange for an honest review.Holy Moses-this is some fresh hell.This story has one of the best horror set ups I have ever read. Several pages in, I was saying to myself, "This is not going to go well." and by that I mean, not too well for the protagonist Antoine DeWitt but plenty well for a reader of dark things like myself.I pressed on with relish. (not that I want to be thinking about food or eating after reading this gore-fest!!) *not for the faint of heart or the weak stomachHicks has designed the perfect nightmare--I won't spoil the surprise (and there are lots of surprises!) I was reading the middle portion of this book with my mouth open and my eyes bugging out of my head. Literally terrifying!! I could see this story becoming a blockbuster movie right now! (I wouldn't go watch it though because I'd be scared out of my mind to see on screen what I just saw in my mind.In terms of Hicks' writing ability, there were so many times where he chose the perfect words, the best analogy, the choicest description--I was blown away by what he managed to accomplish in just a few pages. DeWitt, the main character, is an instant hero. I was drawn to him and invested in him immediately and because of that fact, this book was dangerous--risky--I wanted to read it between my fingers-only half wanting to find out what happened and the other half wanted to turn and run.But because this book was so compelling, I sprinted towards the ending. Well done, Micheal Hicks! This just cemented you as a new favorite horror writer!All the applause for this crazy ride! Buy! Buy! Buy this book!! (if you like scary gross stuff. If not, go read poo poo baby books)

  • Emily
    2019-02-06 05:25

    Broken Shells is a very fun novella - it's dark, creepy, grim, and just an all-around good story. I read this book the same day it arrived at my house, and I'm glad I didn't waste any time digging into this one. The premise is very intriguing - Antoine is a sympathetic character, and you actually want him to win. Usually I don't care, but I wanted him to be successful. Broken Shells has a fair amount of gore & gross things, so if that's how you like your horror novels, pick this one up!This one is a 4.5⭐ for me - that's because I wish the ending would have been a little different, but I understand why it was the way it was. This is a thoroughly enjoyable novella, and I'm looking forward to reading more from Michael Patrick Hicks!

  • Jeremy Hepler
    2019-02-17 07:29

    Fun, engaging creature-feature story that I finished in one afternoon. It had great pacing, the protagonist Antoine was relatable and fleshed out well, and I enjoyed the backstory of the Ba'is. If you've never checked out Michael's work, this is a good one to start with.

  • Nev Murray
    2019-01-22 03:20

    Review Pending.

  • F.D. Gross
    2019-02-05 06:29

    A contemporary classic horror tale underground.When Antoine is faced with the reality of spiraling his family into further poverty, a sweepstake in the mail—a blessing or a curse?—seems to be his only option (and escape) from his current state of hell, that of his un-appreciating wife and son, and his deplorable racist employer.In Michael Patrick Hicks, Broken Shells, you are taken on a horrific journey most visceral and vile a story can get. Nothing stands out more than the shredding of skin and the nerve-racking echoes of the dark underground. Hicks delivers hair raising scenarios and unsurmounted devestation to his pawns, set in a rural countryside where no one goes and no one cares. The perfect place for misfortune to occur.Moving forward, the story’s premise is simply this: survival. Live or die. As a reader, it leaves you wondering what happens next, and not turning the page will “itch” your mind until you do. So as to not give anything away, for movie goers, the story shows reminiscing qualities of Starship Troopers and Aliens. Such imagery will splash across the back of your mind as The detail Hicks pours into his scenes of graphic horror is superb and was delightful with every inch given. His words come to life showing exactly what Antoine goes through.A bit of constructive criticism, there are times throughout the story I wasn’t convinced Antoine’s family gave him enough positive energy to provide him with the drive needed to survive the underground horror. However, this was strictly due to the excellent character building introduced at the beginning of the story. Hicks provided strong traits about Antoine’s negative family at the start and that Antoine very much didn’t like them. He wanted to get out. He needed to get out. There were hints later on in the story that Antoine had premonitions of leaving his family—abandoning them completely—prior to the call of the sweepstake flyer. Later on as the story progresses, after re-evaluating his life, those negative traits vanish as if never existing. If his family was the strength he needed to get through his dilemma, then the negative qualities of his family should never have been visited. Hicks did a fantastic job of making me hate his family.But, despite the slight inconsistency, the story overall was SOLID. The POV exchange between the two main characters transitioned exceptionally well and really put the polish on a well crafted product. 4 out of 5 stars.~ F. D. Gross

  • Mindi
    2019-01-23 03:42

    This book! Well, technically it's a novella, but who cares because it's fantastic. Seriously, I picked it up when I went to bed last night and didn't look up from the page until I was finished. I'm going to recommend that you know as little as possible before going into this one, because it makes it even more surprising and awesome. Just know that this is a brilliant horror novella that's scary AF, super gory, and packed full of social commentary. Also, be prepared to be fully invested in the protagonist, Antoine DeWitt. I liked him from the very begging of the book, and by the mid point I was practically holding my breath I was so worried about him. And the ending is EVERYTHING! I feel like I could gush about this book all day. Buy it, horror fans. You need this one.Also, that cover! Hicks mentions at the end of the book that it was designed by fellow author Kealan Patrick Burke, and it's gorgeous. His cover designs are so amazing. Read Burke too. Start with his novellas. I promise you're going to want everything he's written.Now I'm off to find my next read by Hicks. This one was such a treat that I'm definitely going to need to read the rest of his. The question now is, which should I read next?

  • Frank Errington
    2019-01-28 03:25

    Review copy"Jon Dangle is a keeper of secrets, many of which are buried deep below his dealership."Antoine DeWitt is having a bad day, and it's about to get much worse. Good jobs are hard to come by, particularly when you've only been out of prison for a couple of years. But when your redneck boss is singing the praises of President Trump and denigrating the prior President with racial slurs, well there's only so much a man can take.Newly unemployed, with a wife and infant child, Antoine is pressured into responding to a "Money Carlo" mailer from a car dealership which seems to indicate he's a $5,000 cash prize winner. I'm sure you've seen the likes of these contests, where it looks like you've won a significant prize. A big screen TV maybe or even a cash award. There have been times when my wife and I read all the fine print and were convinced we were big winners, but even then we stayed away because it's like they say, "If it's too good to be true..." After reading Broken Shells, I'm pretty sure Antoine wishes he would have stayed away, too."The pain was immediate as his ear was ripped away from his skull, blood sheeting down his neck and leaking into the gap between his body and the shell that held him in place."Bugs are creepy, but giant bugs...I don't think I've given too much away, after all, the title reveals quite a bit Broken Shells: A Subterranean Horror Novella.Michael Patrick Hicks has combined a common sales technique with a number of Native American legends and given it all a dark and nasty twist in a novella I won't soon forget, mostly thanks to the nightmares I've already had.Recommended.Broken Shells: A Subterranean Horror Novella is now available for pre-order from High Fever Books.From the author's bio - Michael Patrick Hicks is the author of a number of speculative fiction titles. His debut novel, Convergence, was an Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award 2013 Quarter-Finalist. Prior to Broken Shells, his most recent work was the horror novel, Mass Hysteria. In between compulsively buying books and adding titles that he does not have time for to his Netflix queue, he is hard at work on his next story.

  • FanFiAddict
    2019-02-14 08:45

    First off, I would like to thank the author and NetGalley for the eARC of Broken ShellsEven if I didn't know who Michael Patrick Hicks was, and I do, I can pick a Kealan Patrick Burke cover out of a lineup. I'd had Broken Shells on my TBR ever since Hicks revealed the cover, and when I saw it come across NetGalley, I pounced immediately. Synopsis: Antoine DeWitt is a man down on his luck. Broke and recently fired, he knows the winning Money Carlo ticket that has landed in his mailbox from a car dealership is nothing more than a scam. The promise of five thousand dollars, though, is too tantalizing to ignore.Jon Dangle is a keeper of secrets, many of which are buried deep beneath his dealership. He works hard to keep them hidden, but occasionally sacrifices are required, sacrifices who are penniless, desperate, and who will not be missed. Sacrifices exactly like DeWitt.When Antoine steps foot on Dangle's car lot, it is with the hope of easy money. Instead, he finds himself trapped in a deep, dark hole, buried alive. If he is going to survive the nightmare ahead of him, if he has any chance of seeing his wife and child again, Antoine will have to do more than merely hope. He will have to fight his way back to the surface, and pray that Jon Dangle's secrets do not kill him first.Review:Being my first crack at a horror novel by Hicks, I wasn't quite sure what to expect. The synopsis reeled me in (much like the promise of $5k to Antoine) and I was pleasantly surprised, and horrified, by what I read. Hicks does a fine job of emotionally grasping the reader with his character creation. You will reel for Antoine as he continuously fails to catch a break, and you'll almost see things from Dangle's perverse POV as he attempts to save mankind. Hicks also takes the opportunity to pick at some of the social issues that effect our current state as a nation and, IMO, does a fine job tying everything in. You'll come for the story of survival, and stay for the darkness and gore. If you enjoy extremely gruesome creature horror and pitch black underground tunnels, then Broken Shells is right up your alley. Thanks to Broken Shells, I'll definitely be checking out Mass Hysteria when I get some time off my ARC pile. Broken Shells comes out February 6th so go pre-order now!

  • Glenn Rolfe
    2019-01-26 07:19

    “He could only watch as a pasty arm jabbed at his face. His back arched as he screamed, the spiked forelimb spearing his eye. Warm jelly oozed down his face as the orb exploded…”BROKEN SHELLS (High Fever Books, 2017), the latest by author, Michael Patrick Hicks (REVOLVER, MASS HYSTERIA), is a wild underground creature-feature. The story follows Antoine DeWitt, a man that is slugging his way through a paycheck-to-paycheck life. Antoine has a screaming, crying baby at home with his lady, and is tired of it all. He's just been fired from work when he receives a Money Carlo winning ticket promising him $5, 000, he reluctantly decides to check out the to-good-to-be-true deal. The dealership has something for Mr. DeWitt, but it’s not exactly what he was expecting. This is a fun and nasty little novella from Hicks. He shows his love for creatures-features, brings the gore and the terror, and his show-stealing creations (the Ba’is) are fantastic. Joe Dangle, the owner of the dealership, and his family have been responsible for keeping the creatures locked away, feeding them (bodies, of course), and keeping it all secret. Evil bugs with sharp claws that will poke your eyes out or rip your mouth apart, the Ba’is rule this story. “Her lips stretched, her skin blanching under the strain, and then the corners of her mouth split, the flesh unzipping into a gruesome and jagged smile as her cheeks ripped apart.”Personally, I disliked both DeWitt (who numerous times considers walking away from the stress of his wife and kid) and Dangle (car salesman + murderer =cretin), but LOVED the Ba’is and all the carnage they unleash throughout.If you’re a big creature-feature fan (digging on works like Adam Cesare’s VIDEO NIGHT or Hunter Shea’s THEY RISE) you’re going to love this book.I give BROKEN SHELLS 3.5, rounded to 4 for some killer killer bugs!

  • March Shoggoth Madness The Haunted Reading Room
    2019-02-17 04:47

    Review: BROKEN SHELLS by Michael Patrick HicksI was totally enraptured by the author's earlier novel MASS HYSTERIA, and found his newest, BROKEN SHELLS, the very definition of a page-turner. The book flew by so fast I was amazed to find myself at the end {and oh, such an end!} From the introductory page I thought I would probably be reading either a serial killer plot, or possibly (with its reference to "buried secrets") about an antagonist with ties to organized crime. Oh no, no, no. Mr. Hicks takes a legend common to several indigenous North American tribes, then TWISTS it--oh, does he twist it!-to deliver a horror that's truly implacable, and a generational legacy that prides itself--and closes eyes to the decades of blood on its hands. Like Nazi concentration camp guards and staff who "only followed orders," this family's males are sworn to "protect" the world from what inhabits the underground caverns. {Yeah, right.}If it's an incredibly riveting extreme creature horror that effectively discerns and exposes certain contemporary ingrained societal blasphemies, look right here. Michael Patrick Hicks delivers right-between-the-eyes terror, and I love it.

  • Bernadette Robinson
    2019-02-05 07:32

    What a read, I was debating between a 4 and 5 star read for this and would happily give it a 4.5 stars. This is a well written novella length horror story. My thanks to the Author via TBConFB for a copy of this in exchange for an honest review.Just look at the cover, it's a proper old school style cover very reminiscent of early horror books written by the likes of Stephen King and James Herbert. The cover alone could sell the book to you, the eyes looking out at you, drawing you in to the horrors that lie within the pages of this novella length story.Anyway, back to the story. I was soon drawn in and I would definitely not recommend anyone of a squeamish nature reading it, as there's plenty of gore, followed by more gore and if that's not enough gore for you then there's some more. The unlikely hero of the story Antoine DeWitt, has you rooting for him as he fights to survive the horrors of the subterranean world that he's found himself in. All he wants to do is get back to his family and with those thoughts in his head he has the motivation to keep going against all the odds. Does it end well for him or not? Just grab a copy to see what everyone is raving about, I doubt you'll be disappointed.

  • Lindsay Horsburgh
    2019-01-28 03:30

    A big fan of horror stories, I don't usually enjoy those of the "creature feature" type but I loved Broken Shells. It has everything you would want from a good horror story, terror, suspense, lots of gore and a very believable hero. I read most of this novella with my hands over my mouth, to me Broken Shells is up there with the likes of Stephen King's The Mist. Overall a fantastic book and a brilliant ending that Ridley Scott would be proud of.

  • The Behrg
    2019-01-28 03:42

    First a disclaimer: I'm not a big fan of "creature horror novels." I find most of them derivative and more of a paint-by-the-numbers wheelhouse with over the top gore meant to make up for a complete lack of story or character. Substitute X creature for Y monster and you've got yourself the same story you can pump out over and over again.This isn't to say creature horror can't be done right, it just requires a lot more effort from an author who's willing to invent something unique or tackle it from a new angle. I went into Michael Patrick Hicks' new novel, "Broken Shells," without knowing much about it or that, in fact, it was a creature feature. That being said, and knowing my predisposition for these types of stories, I was pleasantly surprised by the approach he took. This is not your paint-by-numbers story. In fact, I'm not sure I've read a creature horror novel that tackles the story in a similar fashion. A unique mythology, combining Native American lore, matched with a character you actually care about draws you in to a tale where the gore and horror are certainly on full display (but not carelessly thrown in). Hicks has a way of combining real world topics and concerns into his story without ever coming across as preaching, which adds a fantastic layer and relevancy to his tales. In short, this is one creature feature that's worth the price of admission. Keep up these kind of stories and I may soon become a fan of a sub-genre I've tried to avoid.** I received an advanced review copy of this book through NetGalley. My thanks to the publisher and author. This in no way influenced my review.

  • Tim Meyer
    2019-01-30 06:37

    I hate bugs, but I liked this novella. Enjoyable creature feature with plenty of gore and a surprising amount of character development for such a short piece. Highly recommend it.

  • The Grim Reader (
    2019-01-31 03:23

    I’ve read a lot of Michael Patrick Hicks’ work and this is right up there with Revolver as my favourite story. Antoine Dewitt doesn’t have much going for him, but things are about to change when he receives a letter informing him that he has won $5000! All he needs to do to claim the cash is to visit a dodgy car dealership in the middle of nowhere….seems legit, right?Ermmm, no! Broken Shells is all sorts of icky! I had no idea what I was in for before reading this story. Hicks gives us a protagonist in Antoine DeWitt who you can’t help but feel something for. The guy is just looking for a break but he sure ain’t going to find it at this dealership. Things go from bad to worse very quickly in this gory and gruesome read by a writer who always makes the stomach churn with his vivid descriptions.I had a great time with this book. Broken Shells is a full-on survival horror story. It’s a claustrophobic thrill ride that will leave you scratching yourself all over by the end of the book. It’s pretty dang heavy on the gore, however, don’t get to thinking that Broken Shells is simply all about that, there is a little social commentary going on and Hicks also mixes in a little native American mythology. The novella format is perfect for this story with short, punchy chapters and no down-time. I particularly loved Antoine’s awakening underground soon after his arrival a the dealership and the realization of his dire situation. This is a particularly tense chapter in the book, really well written I thought. Hicks really lets the hand brake off from here on in. Don’t expect any happy endings, but do expect a bloody great horror novella.4/5 creepy crawlies from the Grim Reader.

  • David Watson
    2019-02-05 10:44

    Nothing is going right for Antoine. He lives in a dilapidated apartment, he just lost his job and he has a wife and baby to support. As he arrives home his wife shows him a winning Money Carlo ticket from an auto dealership saying he has won $5,000. Antoine thinks it’s a scam but what choice does he have but to go and try to get his money.Antoine takes a bus to the dealership which is out on the edge of town. When he arrives he meets Jon Dangle the dealership owner and man who issued the winning ticket. Jon has a dark secret beneath his dealership and he needs someone like Antoine to act as a sacrifice to keep it hidden. Antoine has walked into a nightmare that no one has ever escaped from. He’s now trapped in an underground cavern and something is hunting him. Will he ever see his wife and child again?Broken Shells by Michael Patrick Hicks is a fast paced gore fest in a subterranean Hell. The concept of this book was what drew me in. I love the idea of a man down on his luck thinking he got a big break but finding that what he really got was something far worse than his original problem. Antoine is a great character, you feel sorry for him but at the same time you see that he is not necessarily a good person. In the beginning we see he has a temper that gets him in trouble, he starts to change when he realizes what’s important to him but his anger still causes him problems. I loved how he remembers how he wanted to abandon his family but when he fears for his life his main motivation is to see them one more time.Joe is another character in the book who has a lot of depth to him. In the beginning you see him as the villain and you hate him for what he did to Antoine. Then you get into his background and realize that he’s doing what he feels he has to do. He’s still a bad person but you understand him You can sympathize with him as you see how his family has put a burden on him and you hear about how his life didn’t turn out for him or his wife. Joe’s main motivation is to keep the family secret and he’s willing to do anything to keep it, even if it means harming what he sees as people who won’t be missed.My only issue with Broken Shells was the ending, I don’t want to give anything away because until that point it was a great ride. The last part seemed like your standard horror ending and it was a depressing way to end it. That being said the way the story progresses I couldn’t see it ending any other way. This book is well worth your time and its the perfect length. It’s never boring, the violence is described in vivid detail and the action is non-stop. You get all this and Michael Patrick Hicks still manages to add information on Indian mythology along with complex characters and great detail on how what lies beneath lives. What more can you ask for in a horror story?

  • Marvin
    2019-01-19 02:35

    First, I want to say I liked the main character Antoine DeWitt immediately from the first page. I am not going to say why for the fear of alienating some of my readers who may not have the same lack of affection for a person, or type of person, as I do.. But it placed me on his side and I stayed there to the ending of this action packed horror novella.Antoine is fired from his job for doing something that would cause me to hire him. Antoine has not lived an easy life. He has spent two years in jail for what was basically a frame-up and is now jobless with a girl friend and a child struggling in the poor part of the city. When he gets home he has mail from a car dealership that tells him he won five grand. He knows its a scam but his girl friend convinces him to check it out. From that point on, Antoine's life goes from shitty to terrifying.Broken Shells: A Subterranean Horror Novella is more than a moral tale about "no free lunch". It is a novella that is all terror and action. Antoine finds himself fighting off insect-like demons and wondering whether the life he had was really that bad and realizing how much he has taken for granted. Of course this is in between trying to keep his head from being bit off and chewed. The "Subterranean" in the title tells you this takes place mostly underground but the real villains are above in the car dealership practicing their evil tradition. This is not by any means an unique idea. We've seen it before. But there is something fresh about it and I think it is Antoine himself that gives us that freshness. He is not our usual hero. He had made mistakes before, he is given a chance which turns bad, and we root for him even in the most hopeless situation. He is Everyman trying to do good in the most extreme situation. Think Die Hard with humanoid insects.Broken Shells is a fast read and always an entertaining one. While it breaks no new ground, it does a lot with old soil. It is a fun read to start off this new year.

  • Brian's Book Blog
    2019-01-31 04:22

    Broken Shells Kept Me Up LateWhen I started this book I tried to figure out why he named it broken shells. I had images of broken shells on a beach – I could not have been more wrong.Hicks has a way of scaring the hell out of me. Seriously. I made the mistake of reading this over two nights — both at night. NOT the brightest idea. The second night, the night I finished it, I ended up being up another 20 minutes playing a game on my iPad to get the images out of my head.I’m familiar with Hicks’ novellas and he’s able to tell stories that are amazing in 100 pages that most authors strive for in full-length novels. This one included. I felt for Antoine. His story, though short was incredibly well explained. I understood he was a down-on-his-luck kinda guy who was looking for just one thing to go right. I hoped for him. In 100 pages. I felt bad for a guy that is fictional. Just let that sink in.I will not go into detail about the monster(s) in this story, just know that a lot of people will have a hard time with them. I want to say why (look away for a moment, creepy crawlies), but I don’t want to ruin the fun for anyone.I’m finding that I like horror more and more and Hicks is one of the reasons for that. He’s able to write a story that makes my stomach turn but at the same time makes it so that I can’t stop reading. It’s like a literary car crash. You want to look away but you just can’t!Overall, another novella from Hicks and another winner in my mind. If you’re familiar with his work or like well-written monster stories, Broken Shells if for you.

  • Greta Halliday
    2019-02-06 04:26

    An exceptionally written horror novella with oodles of graphic imagery guaranteed to make the hairs on the back of your neck stand on end. not read in the dark.

  • Cheryl
    2019-01-21 03:29

    If it sounds too good to be true...Antoine DeWitt is having a really crummy day. He hasn't been out of prison too long on a trumped up charge. He's behind on his bills. And he just got fired from his job.When he gets home his baby son is crying and his girlfriend is bitching. So when she shows him a car ad where he supposedly won $5,000, he heads to the car lot to just shut her up...even though he knows it's going to be a scam.Well, it's not a scam but much worse and Antoine is soon fighting for his life against some terrifying creatures.This is another bloody, crazy story by author Hicks. It's a short horror novella but packs a lot into a relatively short space.I received this novella from High Fever Books through Net Galley in the hopes that I would read it and leave an unbiased review.

  • Michael Hicks
    2019-02-05 08:43

    Now Available99c New Release Sale - Limited Time!eBookAmazon | iBooks | Nook | Kobo | Google Play | Smashwords PaperbackWebsite | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

  • Nia Ireland
    2019-02-15 05:34

    This is a short and sweet novella that understands that you have to build an affinity with the main character very quickly for the reader to care what happens to them in a short length of time.Antoine DeWitt is an excellent main character, life isn't going easy on him and you can empathise with him because though he's suitably gloomy about his situation, he never wallows in self pity. It's hard to pity a character that already does it for themselves...The story itself is a classic, an ancient and secret evil lives underground and is kept there by a family who sacrifice down-and-out humans to them to keep them sated and less likely to go exploring for a food source. What follows is excellently written gore and claustrophobic horror, Antoine is thrown to the beasts underground and has to find the strength to battle his way out.I loved the action and gratuitous ick in this book, everything about it was visceral and made me want to read on.*Thank you to the author for a free copy of this book at my request in exchange for an honest review*

  • Teri
    2019-01-20 04:40

    Right away I wanted Antoine DeWitt to catch a break.  I felt his desperation, his internal struggle to stick around and shoulder his responsibilities, or run and take the easy way out.  He's an easy character to root for.  If claustrophobia, fear of the dark, and gore make you uneasy, this might be a tough read, but you'll be missing out on a gruesome tale that makes it difficult to look away.  There's no doubt Jon Dangle has committed atrocious acts and Antoine is his latest victim in a long line.  But in a sickeningly twisted way, he's almost able to justify his actions and for a moment, Dangle's heinous crimes almost make sense in a 'for the good of mankind' way - which is highly persuasive writing on the author's part. Graphic imagery abounds and I lost track of the body count in this captivating horror novella.  Bonus points for the stunning cover!  I've read several of Hicks's works and he hasn't disappointed me yet.Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the ARC.  

  • Trina
    2019-01-19 06:40

    I received this arc from Netgalley. Great read! I really enjoyed this horrifying read. Reminds me of the horror stories I've read in the past. That is, before all the vampire and zombie horror took over. I will be on the look out for more books by this author.

  • Ann Keeran
    2019-02-15 04:28

    This is a horrific, thrilling, super scary story crammed into the confines of a novella. Losing his job, a baby that won't stop crying and a wife who spends her day smoking, all take a backseat to the horror that awaits. If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is!

  • Susan Angela Wallace
    2019-02-02 05:31

    broken shells by Michael Patrick hicks.Antoine DeWitt is a man down on his luck. Broke and recently fired, he knows the winning Money Carlo ticket that has landed in his mailbox from a car dealership is nothing more than a scam. The promise of five thousand dollars, though, is too tantalizing to ignore.a very good read. I enjoyed the story and Antoine was my favourite character. this sounded so gory as I was reading it. would love to see it as a movie. 5*.