Arachnid by Aditya Modak (BOOK REVIEW) 5/5
As any writer can tell you, it takes talent to form something large out of a small amount of writing. It is often a challenge- write a short story, write a micro story, write a flash fiction of 200 words or less- and the best examples always shine through these mediums. As a writer myself, I can say that this is not a skill I possess. I can never fit the type of imagery, the type of story, that I read here into this amount. I always say too much- but what this novel holds is a powerful punch in a small, well done package.
When I received this novel, the first thing I noticed was the quality. A well done cover, strong binding, intricate details in the formatting. I dived into the story, and admittedly, at first I thought it was a slightly slow start. But then it began to unfold as it was meant to; proving to be revealing, thought-provoking, and clever.
What Arachnid does is present a statement on the mentality of our real world, and the real horror of the path we could easily go down. Many things presented here are not as outlandish as you would think- it was all too easy to imagine myself in the world of Arachnid. I would liken it to the type of society represented in popular video game, Papers Please, and the fictional country "Arstotzka". A clean cut, daily grind of a life where those that fit, thrive, and those that don't, sink to the bottom that everyone pretends doesn't exist, never to be heard from again.
Besides its social commentary, I found myself enamored in the mentality of the main character, Jay, as he went about his perfectly normal life- haunted by the spider of his nightmares. While I won't reveal the story here, I will say that I found Arachnid to be a subtle, well written insight into the human psyche.
The end, which could have been predictable if written by a less capable author, instead floored me and had me thrilled at what I had just read. Top notch prose, succinct in style, and a more than worthy read for anyone who likes a twist that makes you reflect.
I heavily recommend this novel for anyone who likes to read something that makes them see life in a new light- or perhaps, see themselves as someone else. I can say that Arachnid is an inspiration in its genre, and though it may be short, and it may look unassuming, it leaves a lasting impression. The next time I think of the darkness in the back of my mind, I might do so by envisioning my own spidery foe.