The Visitant is a dump truck of conspiracy theories, government shenanigans, and esoteric old world cataclysm. How can that not make for a great story.
It follows a therapist who embodies the current societal thread of superficial practicality. Someone who might label anything outside of her immediate understanding as nonsense. That’s until she meets her new patient. And that sets in motion bizarre events that can’t be rationally explained on pen and paper or through any diagnosis in the DSM.
Duran writes this in first person past, which takes on the mystique of the therapist putting down in her journal that time in her personal history that made her question everything. And the fantastic events, that peak behind the ever-thinning veil, that set her on a path she never thought to walk.
The story is novella length, or thereabouts. I’m a slow reader and was able to finish this in a couple days between everything else. Of course about halfway through the suspense had built so that I kept reading.
When I checked out the cover artist I saw that it was generated by AI, with an artist tweaking it. I’ve been fairly neutral on the whole AI debate that’s been raging online. But I can say this cover works. The impressionist-style imagery hints of something sinister in the backdrop, but that sinister thing remains obscure. It draws you in.
I especially like the typeface used. The heavy Gothic, textured title font conveys the appropriate antiquated vibe. All elements of the cover works. While AI might’ve been the jumping off point, I think the skilled hand of an artist was needed to pull everything together into a cohesive cover.
This is the first Mike Duran story I’ve read, and it won’t be the last.