Bloodbath on the Titanic came to my attention due to the fact that 2012 marks 100 years since the sinking of the RMS Titanic. The facts and circumstances of that fateful night in April 1912 are well-documented; but Stewart King takes them and puts a slightly different spin on events…
The following synopsis outlines the story:
“April, 1912. The world’s greatest cruise liner sets sail on its maiden voyage. The said it could never sink. But they reckoned without the unspeakable, flesh-eating monster lurking in the hold.
The passengers didn’t know it would be their last buffet – or that they would be on the menu.
Published to coincide with the centenary of the sinking of the legendary ship, Bloodbath on the Titanic is a whole new, gory take on the most famous nautical story of all time.
There was always a legend that an Egyptian Mummy was on board the Titanic – and it was the ancient curse of that diabolical creature than sent it to the bottom of the Atlantic.
What if it was true?”
The story itself centres on a recently married couple on their honeymoon and their interactions with other passengers, including Mr Hans Otterburn, who is taking his occult exhibition across the sea to America…
The synopsis above is not in fact entirely accurate, since it portrays Bloodbath on the Titanic as quite a serious story. There is no doubt that proceedings could have went down that route but when King opens his story with a man trying not to soil his underwear while on a deep-sea submarine tour of the wreck of the Titanic, the tone is set a little lighter than the outline would suggest! Additionally, King manages to poke fun at James Cameron’s Titanic film, as well as involving other horror genre themes and unleashing them onboard the ill-fated vessel. I think it’s fair to say that Bloodbath on the Titanic doesn’t take itself too seriously.
I feel I’m not giving too much away by stating that this book also includes a werewolf, not exactly a spoiler since from the front cover, it’s blatantly obvious! This isn’t exactly The Mummy meets The Wolfman but both genre archetypes are present throughout proceedings with one gaining the upper hand…
On a critical note, Bloodbath on the Titanic is incredibly short and the horror scenes although bloody and gory, lack any real scares. I feel that with a little editing, this could have been an entry in an anthology of horror rather than a short story on its own; or perhaps with a little more development, it could have been a satisfying novella. Moreover, I’m afraid that as much as this story has heart and is a novel spin on a historical event, I am of the opinion that it is not worthy of its current price tag of £1.99, since it really didn’t take long to consume this tale and unfortunately, I can’t recommend it as either a great story or value for money.