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Toxic Tales and Open Ends: Paul Tremblay's 'In Bloom'

Rating: 3/5 ⭐️

"In Bloom" by Paul Tremblay, part of the Creature Feature collection, introduces us to journalist Heidi Cohen, who is working on a story about the recurring toxic algae blooms along the coast.

We get a little backstory of Heidi and her potential relationship with her roommate. She is interviewing a local named Jimmy, who recounts a captivating tale of his encounter with the algae blooms many years ago, the incident in which he lost his father. Jimmy recalls seeing an algae monster swallow his father but isn't sure if it was a hallucination caused by the toxic algae, as everyone else involved in the incident seems to think.

Jimmy's story is eerie, unsettling and engaging. But the story does not venture far with its protagonist, Heidi Cohen. While central to the narrative, her journey lacks significant events or development. Additionally, the story's conclusion is open-ended. The suggestion of an algae monster at the end is left to the reader's imagination, which, while intriguing, is not that satisfying.

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