Writer: Mark Allan Gunnells
Publisher: Crystal Lake Publishing
Publish Date: 25th March 2022
Reviewed By: Dean Asquith
My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
It may be dangerous to go out in the rain…But it may be even more dangerous to stay inside.
Just after noon on a sunny spring day at Friedkin University, a layer of strange clouds smudges across the sky, and a mysterious rain begins to fall. This isn’t just a surprise spell of rain—this substance is slimy and gelatinous…and it’s not letting up any time soon.
The rain spreads across the country, the hemisphere, and the globe, with growing ripples of panic and paranoia gathering behind it. Is it a natural, undocumented phenomenon? A chemical weapon? Some kind of bacterial contagion? As fear turns theories into conspiracies and no clear answers are given, factions start to form between those who have been exposed to the rain and those who stayed dry. Who is safe? Who is marked? Who is dangerous, and who is not?
The rain keeps falling, and at Friedkin University, the sanctuary of the campus bookstore swiftly becomes a dangerous battlefield. Is it man versus nature? Or man versus man?
This novella shines a light upon humanity and watches as it is tested to its limits. As a species, most humans tend to fear the unknown and react in polar opposite ways when the chips are down. This story portrays those reactions in superb fashion.
Mark Allan Gunnells is an author I hadn’t come across until now. I thank Crystal Lake Publishing so much for introducing me to him with this novella ARC. Mark has such incredible storytelling prowess and a distinct ability to control the narrative of the story from a multitude of directions. Following a story from the eyes of multiple characters with hugely varied personalities, situational beginnings and journeys should be confusing and hard to keep track of but Mark’s technique ensures a engrossing read.
The story itself is incredibly well thought out and designed ensuring gripping action but also intense heart and soul. The character's individuality keeps such an interesting sense of diversity throughout a singular story contained to one location. It is testament to Mark’s ability that this all blends so seamlessly.
When It Rains is a dark look into humanity's responses during a crisis that will have you considering your own reactions to fear and the unknown. Whilst not a typical horror story, the novella’s scary side lies within its realism…What happens in relation to emotion in the story is not at all far-fetched and happens daily throughout the world. Also as an added note, at this point I wouldn't be shocked if it started raining a gelatinous gunk!