“What should be a restorative retreat for Rei and her lifelong friends turns into a nightmare beyond imagining in S. Alessandro Martinez’s debut novel, Helminth. Rei, Abby, Corinne, and Lorena are carefully crafted characters and the first person voice serves to absorb the reader into Rei’s state of mind as the illusion of safety slips quickly away at Devil’s Eyes Lake. Firmly rooted in gothic storytelling, Martinez’s writing is dark and poetic, mesmerizing to the very last word. Fans of Richard Matheson’s Hell House, and the like will find particular delight in this story of the line we walk between death and life, and the strain of desperation and fear.” – Kathleen Kaufman, author of Diabhal
“Helminth brings a new and compelling voice to modern gothic fiction with S. Alessandro Martinez. With a unique and current storytelling voice, the inhabitants of Helminth ease off the page and haunt your subconscious … I loved it!” – John Palisano, Bram Stoker Award-Winning author of Ghost Heart, President of The Horror Writers Association
“Recovering from a major trauma, Abby is persuaded to join her friend Rei and two others on a vacation break to a peaceful cabin on a lake. Rei is convinced this is just what her friend needs to heal. But things soon take a unexpected turn. There is much more going on here than first meets the eye.
Martinez does a brilliant job of subtly ramping up the tension from one scene to the next. His descriptions draw the reader into the dark world of Devil’s Eyes Lake and its history, enveloping those who dare tread into this world with a blanket of evil. An easy read, with just enough terrifying elements to please any horror fan.” – Kelly Evans, author of The Northern Queen
“Helminth, the debut horror novel by S. Alessandro Martinez deftly combines body horror and Lovecraftian cosmic horror for a gripping tale. Rei, along with other two friends, tries to help their best friend Abby get over a brutal mugging that resulted in the death of her newly wed husband, by going on vacation to an isolated cabin on the lake. Martinez slowly boils us like frogs in putrid water, planting spooky and disturbing seeds along the way, until, before we know it, we find ourselves caught in an unrelenting fever dream of terror in which survival is the only goal.” – David Lucarelli, author of Tinseltown