By Wrath James White
PB edition published in 2008 by Leisure Books
Succulent Prey is every bit as nasty as the title suggests. It requires its readers to indulge in many a shower as a feeble attempt to rinse off the sexually charged carnage certain to drench those who dare dwell in this book’s insatiable maw. That is Succulent Prey, and this is Wrath James White at his gut-wrenching best.
Released in the winter of ‘08, Wrath tells the story of a college kid named Joseph Miles who seems to have it all: a body builder’s physique, rugged good looks resembling superman, and a sexual appetite the envy of all who enlist his willing libido for their own fantasy-based needs. Kidnapped and tortured by a serial rapist as a young boy, Joe can’t get enough physical release to quell the growing hunger burrowed in his gut. With willing lovers from varying walks of kink, Joe’s hunger grows until he begins to see those around him as walking slabs of meat for him to devour if only to scratch the surface of his evolving tendencies.
As Joe struggles with his demons, he is convinced a cure exists to counteract the virus his childhood tormentor infected him with. While he fears such a curse may be his only salvation for quenching his hunger once and for all, his biggest fear soon becomes how far he will have to go before consuming everyone around him and whatever shred of humanity he might have left.
While the content of Succulent Prey absolutely captures the essence of the splatterpunk sub-genre in all its gory glory, the scenes which inevitable give cause to flinch and recoil the most also demand an intelligent reaction from its readers with a well-crafted examination of the human condition under extreme conditions. After all, the proverbial line we feel we must put in the sand separating us from the monstrous beasts Wrath so expertly infuses into this novel isn’t always as clear cut as we may think, or wish, it were.