Spiderman: Venom meets The Walking Dead with a diverse cast of teenage protagonists trying to survive the night in a town overcome by a scientific breakthrough that has rapidly gone incredibly wrong. A small town in Western Oregon becomes the epicenter of an epidemic of violence as the teenage daughters and sons of several executives who happen to work at the biotech firm nestled in the hills have become ill, and oddly, aggressively, murderous.
Jeremy Robert Johnson is a fantastic new voice in mainstream fiction, but to understand him, you must investigate the scene where he has already been a well-known pillar for over a decade ... His work is most aptly described as a mixture of all these things — thrillers that become bloodbaths, horrors that blend into fantasies, and apocalypses that transcend into high art ... Johnson’s short story collection I described in another review as crackling with 'dirty electricity,' a term used in the book for a particular kind of high, but also perfectly describing Johnson’s focus on the democratic nature of chaos in the world ... The Loop is the kind of book that is best enjoyed when unprepared for the weirdness within ... Johnson’s greatest gift is not his ability to imagine the worst things and present them in pulsing Technicolor — it is the human connection he makes with his characters ... Like the best of Crichton or Benchley, it is a great beach read, but it is infused with the neon blood of a brave new writer with his finger on the racing pulse of our society and everything wrong with it.
... the relationships of our heroes—amongst themselves and with their families—is only one of the things that elevates The Loop from your standard, and in this case well-written, nut-job nightmare ... Lucy feels complicated and real, which only serves to underscore the horror of all the gory, terrible things that are happening all around her. This is not a book for the faint of heart, but it was cathartic for me, as a brown person, to see an adolescent version of myself make the best of a hideous situation. It’s nice, too, that The Loop comes out during Hispanic Heritage Month, showcasing a Latina heroine who deserves to become iconic.