The Evolutionist by Rena Mason

20160618_123821 (2016-06-18T23_30_15.454)I read Rena Mason’s The Evolutionist, set in Las Vegas, while on my way to Las Vegas in reality. Talk about an immersive reading experience!

From the first paragraph I was drawn in to the bizarre, double world of Stacey. On one hand, she’s a social status wife with a perfect life. At night, however, she dreams of chopping her neighbors into pieces and burning them. It’s okay though – they are already dead.

The Evolutionist is definitely a book I recommend. Mason captures the life of a rich Las Vegas wife perfectly. From the rich descriptions and well built characters to the private angst that tears Stacey apart, every detail is well written. There are no dead, wasted paragraphs in this story. Mason grabs your attention quickly and does not let go until the last page.

The real Luxor Casino popped into view just as I was reading about the fictional Luxor in The Evolutionist.

Reading this book on the way to Las Vegas was a good choice. I was reading a scene that took place the iconic Luxor Casino in the story – a huge, black pyramid that sits in the center of Vegas. As we taxied in to the Las Vegas airport I glanced up to see the real Luxor rising up over the cityscape.

My seat mate must have thought this was my first time off the farm as I whipped out my phone and enthusiastically leaned into her lap to take a few photos. There was this wonderful moment when my brain was trying to sift through the fictional Las Vegas Mason created and details from reality and merge the two.

That is the mark of an excellent book – when the tale has the power to distort what is real. I am not alone in my praise for The Evolutionist – Rena Mason won a well-deserved Bram Stoker for this book.

I look forward to reading more work by Mason.

 

About Angela Yuriko Smith

Angela Yuriko Smith is an American poet, publisher and author. Her first collection of poetry, In Favor of Pain, was nominated for an 2017 Elgin Award. Her latest novella, Bitter Suites, is a 2018 Bram Stoker Awards® Finalist. Currently, she publishes Space and Time magazine, a 53 year old publication dedicated to fantasy, horror and science fiction. For more information visit SpaceandTimeMagazine.com or AngelaYSmith.com.
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