Resembling Lepus
Amanda Kool
Emergent Expressions
April 26, 2022
Reviewed by Brian “Skull” Lewis

Hey there regular readers, it’s your old pal Skull with some great news and a review of Resembling Lepus the first book of the Emergent Expressions imprint from none other than horror powerhouse Grey Matter Press. Yes! Is that cool or what? And, here’s a little secret from the Skull to you: If you go to the link below and pre-order your copy of Resembling Lepus before its release date, Grey Matter Press will give you 25% off the cover price. Now that’s something to smile about with a big, boney-toothed grin! See my previous post to learn more about Emergent Expressions and its plan to broaden readers’ options along with opening minds. Now, on with the show.

Amanda Kool, the author of Resembling Lepus, kicks things off with a murder. We arrive at the grim scene that’s oddly juxtaposed against a lovely nature preserve. In better times, it would be a wonderful place to visit, but right now it’s sullied by blood and tears. Beautiful groves of trees become potential hiding spots for the murderer, who likes to kill their victims by hand. Yikes! And who is the victim? Why a lovely female rabbit-a real one, to be exact. The detective narrating this story, police officer on scene, and the doctor are deeply shaken. Wait, why?

In our current world, we might chuckle and shake our heads at that. But in the future Kool reveals to us, it will be no laughing matter. The way things are going in the present century, there is a serious chance that our luckier descendants will live in a dystopian world. The rest of us will be long gone, riding the extinction train with many plant and animal species. Maintaining the fragile, manmade ecosystem requires many sacrifices. Privacy and personal freedom are things of the past, thanks to 24/7 monitoring by CC TV, doors, and even the furniture we sit on. There will be strict rationing of food and luxury items for working class citizens. City air will be so polluted that everyone will have to wear an air filtration device. Personal use vehicles will be a thing of the past. Everything will be recycled, including life force. Perfection in motion, right?

Well…no. During her investigations, the detective uncovers a lot of bugs in the system. One of the major ones being that just like in our current modern day lives, the wealthy have a free pass to do whatever they damn well please. It’s the actions of some of these entitled people that produce a very dangerous killer. Do they care or even consider the situation? Nah! They’re too busy getting ready to go on vacation for a whole month. Even when the detective points this out by saying “Must be nice” to the man of the house, he just replies cheerfully “Oh, it is!” So spoiled that he’s unable to view his vast, spacious home with a real lawn, trees, houseplants, and pets through the detective’s thirsty eyes.

As the bodies pile up, the detective finds an ally in the forensic doctor who performs the autopsies, runs tests, and even manages to plug them into the brain of a manmade rabbit that lives in the nature preserve along with a mix of real rabbits and ones like itself. While they learn much about the killer, the experience brings some painful realizations about how well this artificial world is really working. Is the doctor truly an ally or is she something else, a spy perhaps? The detective has figured out the mystery and wants to move forward with nabbing the murderer, but her captain wants to follow the rules that perpetuate a system that clearly isn’t doing what it claims. Our detective is a strong woman and she’s not backing down after all she’s been through, which includes nearly becoming one of the murderer’s victims. There needs to be a conclusion. But how much will it cost her?

Damaged Skull Writer and Reviewer gives Amanda Kool’s novella Resembling Lepus a FIVE STAR rating and a place on The Wall of Fame! Emergent Expressions’ debut shows readers that this is a brave new imprint producing works that make us think while keeping our eyes glued to the page. There are myriad ways to read Resembling Lepus, and with every pass through the book I saw something new. What always asserted itself was the hard reality that there’s no such thing as a perfect world that works for every inhabitant equally. Humans have tried to play God for centuries and it never works right because no one can be totally objective. Even the Greek Gods of mythology were constantly making mistakes, so what makes us think we’re any better? The murderer in Resembling Lepus reminds me a bit of Michael Crichton’s Terminal Man. Something science claims will work perfectly but doesn’t, with drastic consequences. When caught by the detective, Peter screams “We are vengeful creatures!” And the doctor shows the detective the past when rabbits were considered vermin and hunted for sport because people liked to hear them scream. So why are they protected now? What’s wrong or right? I don’t know, I’m just a book reviewer who calls himself Skull. You catch this book and read it.

For more information and to order a copy of Resembling Lepus go to: www.greymatterpress.com
For more information about author Amanda Kool go to: www.amandakool.net
Tell them your old pal Skull sent you!


Hello there readers, it’s your old pal Skull with some great news from Grey Matter Press! After ten years of doing great things in the Horror Community, editor and publisher Anthony Rivera is bringing forth the Emergent Expressions imprint to provide new opportunities for emerging authors. He also wants to widen the scope of what readers can expect from Grey Matter Press in the very near future. Please check out the press release below and consider pre-ordering your copy of Amanda Kool’s novella Resembling Lepus by clicking their link. If you order before the release date, you’ll save 28 percent off the cover price! There’s also a super Kindle offer as well.

Earth’s sixth mass extinction has ended, and survivors who have struggled with unhealthy air, food rations and regimented energy consumption are now faced with disturbing new challenges when a detective leads an investigation into a string of inconceivable murders that have rocked her city. This is the futuristic urban setting for Resembling Lepus, the new dark speculative fiction novella by Amanda Kool that becomes the inaugural release in the Emergent Expressions imprint from Grey Matter Press (GMP) when the title publishes on April 26.

Kool’s Resembling Lepus is a tautly written, multi-layered crime mystery set amidst a post-dystopian urban landscape at the end of the current Holocene Era after humans have caused irreversible damage to the planet. Citizens of this surveillance state now required to live with a higher reverence for all life are horrified by a series of murders in this cli-fi dark thriller that investigates the repercussions of man playing god.

“I’m thankful that GMP chose this story,” said Kool, the Melbourne-based author.  “And being the first cab off the rank for the Emergent Expressions imprint is an incredible honour. What an exciting line to be a part of.”

Resembling Lepus is the first of four titles to be published by GMP during the 2022 calendar year in its Emergent Expressions line that features genre novellas by the ascending voices of modern fiction writing in the thriller, horror, science fiction, crime/noir, horror, speculative fiction, fantasy and other dark genres.

“Amanda Kool’s Resembling Lepus is our first stand-alone, long-format speculative fiction title in ten years, and because of that it’s the perfect novella to kick off Emergent Expressions,” said Anthony Rivera, editor and publisher at GMP. “Kool’s impressive imagination, remarkable world-building and straightforward approach to complex storytelling combine to create this evocative and captivating story, made even more so due to tackling some disturbing moral concepts. Resembling Lepus proves she’s an ascending voice and one I guarantee readers will be hearing a lot more from in the future.”

The company’s Emergent Expressions imprint seeks to elevate the fiction of emerging authors by offering a viable, collaborative and professional publishing outlet committed to highlighting exceptional talent and generating greater awareness for their work under the banner of Grey Matter Press.

When Resembling Lepus is released on April 26th, it will be available in both trade paperback and electronic formats at bookstores worldwide.

Paperback copies of Resembling Lepus are currently available for pre-order exclusively at the GMP Bookstore. More information can be found at http://greymatterpress.com/product/resembling-lepus-amanda-kool/.


Earth’s sixth mass extinction has ended, and in its wake a post-dystopian civilization has struggled to rebuild after a global cataclysm shattered its ecosystems and propelled all life to the brink of eradication.

In a world where the air is unhealthy, food is strictly rationed, and the energy consumption that triggered the destruction is highly regimented, scientists experiment with artificial biospheres to secure survival and techno-mimicry to breathe life into long-dead species. It’s an unavoidable surveillance state where every living thing is tracked, numbered, and categorized.

In this fledgling society born out of catastrophic loss and now challenged with a new reverence for all life, a lone detective is haunted by a series of murders traumatizing the populace. Assisted by a medical colleague, she finds herself entangled in a crisis with far-reaching consequences and dangerous repercussions that threaten the fragile balance of all existence.

What is the impact on humanity when mankind is required to play god to the creatures they have all but destroyed?

* * *


Amanda Kool has been writing for most of her life, starting on her mother’s typewriter. Employed as a technical/proposal writer, she hones her fiction skill authoring crime, speculative, and science fiction. Kool co-authored 1000 Mettle Folds with horror author Steve Gerlach, and she wrote the children’s book The Paper Fox with her brother, Jeremy Kool, as illustrator. More information about Kool is available at http://www.amandakool.net.


Grey Matter Press is a Chicago-based publisher whose mission it is to discover and cultivate the best voices working in the dark fiction genre. The company is committed to producing only the finest quality volumes of fiction containing exceptional tales from the suspense-thriller, crime-noir, dark fantasy, literary fiction, horror, and speculative genres. More information about Grey Matter Press is available at http://www.greymatterpress.com.

Thanks for taking a few minutes to visit Damaged Skull Writer and Reviewer! It’s exciting to be involved with the inaugural release of Emergent Expressions-an imprint that will show readers a whole new side of Grey Matter Press. Please consider following my blog and stay tuned for my upcoming review of Resembling Lepus.