This is a damned clever book. Taking place in an Ikea knockoff store called Orsk, Horrorstör is presented in a format that resembles a catalog that so...moreThis is a damned clever book. Taking place in an Ikea knockoff store called Orsk, Horrorstör is presented in a format that resembles a catalog that someone would get in the mail from one of these flat-box furniture stores, complete with order forms, product descriptions and drawings of furniture sold in the store (that slowly morph in appearance and description into products that have a more sinister feel to them). Everything about the actual look and feel on the book is spot on in creating the feel of one of these catalogs. Kudos to the design team at Quirk!
The story opens like any other day at a retail location, with employees plodding along to their job. Amy is a disillusioned Orsk employee, and she's trying to stay out of her manager, Basil's, way, as she's sure he is out to get her and she's trying to keep from being fired before her transfer to another location comes in. Hendrix really gets the feel of the various retail employees. Amy, the disillusioned clerk who feels she's suited for better; Ruth Anne, the overly energetic and bubbly employee that everybody likes; Basil, the over optimistic manager who tries to turn everything into a learning opportunity for his employees; and so forth. On this particular day at Orsk, tho, something has happened that has Basil worried. Someone has vandalized a couch on the sales floor overnight.
The story falls back on several familiar horror tropes, yet doesn't feel familiar when you read it. The Orsk store is built on top of an old prison (the Beehive) that was demolished over a century ago, and since it's construction, there has been more and more unusual activity happening in the store. Thinking it's no more than vandals that sneak into the store at night, Basil decides to bring in two employees to stay overnight (Amy and Ruth Anne), to try to catch the culprits before Orsk corporate managers arrive at the store in the morning to evaluate what exactly is going on. What follows is a slow decent into madness for the Orsk employees as their world and that of the Beehive begin to blur and collide inside Orsk.
Really, this is one of the most unique horror novels, in both presentation and story, that I've read in a while. I'm hoping that there will be more to this story, as the ending leaves a little, tiny gap for more to happen. Recommended!(less)
This is one of those situations where the more I've enjoyed a book, the less I want to talk about it on here, lest I give something away. The Girl wit...more This is one of those situations where the more I've enjoyed a book, the less I want to talk about it on here, lest I give something away. The Girl with All the Gifts is one of those books that you really need to just go into blind, and let it reveal itself to you, chapter by chapter. There's honestly a part of me that is already wishing that I could go back and read this again, for the first time.
When Orbit started promoting this book on Facebook by releasing it one chapter at a time, I was hooked from the first chapter. Seriously, I couldn't wait for each chapter to be unlocked to see what was going to happen next. When I was presented with an opportunity to read an ARC of the book, I jumped at it. I'm hoping each of you jumps at a chance to read it as well.
M. R. Carey has created a terrifying world in which Melanie lives. There is something special about Melanie, but even she doesn't understand how special she is. As events begin to unravel quickly in Melanie's life shortly into the book, we embark on a journey with her as she grows and begins to understand herself and her place in the world. This is a true coming-of-age story, but one that you have probably never imagined.
The Girl With All the Gifts is so much more than this, though. It definitely is not for the faint of heart, as this book sits firmly between the science fiction and horror genres. You may be horrified by some of the events that happen to and around Melanie, but the story and Melanie's journey are worth it, all the way to an ending I did not see coming but in retrospect seemed inevitable. And I'm fearing that I'm already giving to much away.
Carey has taken a current trope and turned it on its head, in so many ways. I seriously wish I could tell you ALL THE THINGS about this book, but I simply can't. You just have to trust me. Trust me that this is a horror story filled with heart and hope. Trust me that I'd love to sit down with you when you finished it, to talk about it more. Trust me that this book is entirely worth picking up. Finally, trust me that you probably haven't read anything like it before. This will be a book that I know I will be returning to time and again.(less)
Really more a concept than an actual story/book, Mark Z. Danielewski's The Fifty Year Sword is a horror story, of sorts. The story is told from the po...moreReally more a concept than an actual story/book, Mark Z. Danielewski's The Fifty Year Sword is a horror story, of sorts. The story is told from the point of view of five children, in one long stream of conscious dialogue, with the only distinction about which child is speaking made through the color of the quotation marks set around each sentence. It almost reads as one large, run-on paragraph, so it would seem that the children almost speak in a collective, each continuing the sentence from the previous speaker. I gave up fairly quickly trying to determine who was speaking and just read through the story as if it were being told from just one person.
The story, as it were, is simple enough (and is really nothing more than a glorified short story drawn out into a 280+ page book). The five children are at a Halloween party when a stranger arrives carrying a long black box. The story the stranger tells is of the Fifty Year Sword, and his journey to acquire it. What follows is a display of the power of the sword, much to the dismay of one of the party goers. And that's it. The story the stranger tells is vaguely atmospheric, but the ending is reasonably predictable given the outcome of the strangers journey and his story.
About the length of the book. As I stated earlier, it's a glorified short story, and all the text in the book is presented on the left-hand page only. If there is some significance to this placement, it went above my head. I'd be willing to bet there aren't more than 40 words per page, and pages with that much text are few and far between. This was released as an ebook as well, and I think that the ebook had animated graphics and music accompanying it, so I think this was meant to be viewed on an ereader as opposed to something actually physically published. The story has also been performed lived, on Halloween, as a shadow show, and I have a feeling this is where the true impact of the story would be felt, but presented in this static, printed format, the story falls short.
I don't think I'd actually recommend this book to anyone except those that enjoy uniquely published works that have physical distinction that sets them apart from other physical books, which is the only reason I'm keeping this in my library.(less)
Well, this series has gotten nothing but better as it has gone along. I've been thoroughly impressed with Hill's writing and Rodriguez's art right alo...moreWell, this series has gotten nothing but better as it has gone along. I've been thoroughly impressed with Hill's writing and Rodriguez's art right along. They haven't lost anything in the storytelling and haven't weakened in their storytelling either. One of the things that I was worried about is that at some point they would lose their momentum, but five volumes in and that hasn't happened yet.
In Volume 2, Head Games, the kids are still recovering from the events at the end of Welcome to Lovecraft, events that may brought back a lot of memories that they were trying to forget. Kinsey and Tyler find some companionship in their new friend Zack, not realizing Zack's dark secret or intentions. Bode finds a new key, and as they start to uncover the secrets of this new game, Zack starts to become a little too recognizable for his liking.
Volume 3, Crown of Shadows, finds more secrets and more revelations in the background about Dodge and more keys. This volume deals a little bit more with the emotional impact prior events have had on each of the members of the Locke family. I really found these issues handled well in this volume, especially watching Kinsey after her change in the previous volume.
Volume 4, Keys to the Kingdom, was a series of shorter stories that all tied into the Key house and what is happening with the various characters. While not necessarily on complete story throughout the entire volume, each of these stories still successfully moves the story along.
I was concerned about going into Volume 5, Clockworks, as I'd heard that this was mostly a background story, and I wasn't exactly sure how a volume dedicated almost entirely to background was going to help move the story along, but holy crap was I wrong! I think this might be the best volume so far. We learn about the history of the Locke family, the Keys, Key house, the purpose of the villain behind everything (SPOILERS! - which ties directly in the title of the first volume). It just all came together amazingly well.
Needless to say, you won't find much about the actual story in this review, because it's almost impossible to talk about the story without giving anything away, as Hill seems to find a way to tie in almost every plot thread one way or another into all of the story. What I can say, is that this is completely worth reading and might be one of the better graphic novels you'll find. If you're not a fan of horror or of violence, this might not be the best series for you, but if you can stomach it, this is a fantastic series. I'll definitely be picking up the final volume when it's released.
I'll be straight forward, Zombie is a highly disturbing book to read. Not only is the subject matter disturbing (this isn't...moreSo very, very disturbing.
I'll be straight forward, Zombie is a highly disturbing book to read. Not only is the subject matter disturbing (this isn't about your typical zombie, but that's all I'm saying about that. Spoilers!), but Oates' writing from the view point of the main character is equally disturbing. You see, her main character is a serial killer sexual deviant psychopath, and there is nothing in the book that is even remotely uplifting. We are witness to his thoughts and his actions, while also seeing how he portrays himself to the rest of the world. The book is a disturbing look into the mind of a very dangerous, sick person, and I don't know that I'd recommend this book for anyone unless you have a strong disposition.
Saying all that, I think the book is fascinating. As a character study, Oates does an amazing job, but she also makes sure that she never sugar coats her character to try to make people feel for him. No, by the end of the book, I didn't have any emotion other than repulsion about the character. I honestly can't get away from the word disturbing when I try to think of another way to describe, the book, the character, the writing style... it is simply disturbing. I've never experienced Oates' writing before, and even though the nature of this book isn't something that I would read on a day to day basis, I think I'd be interested in reading more from her in the future.
Being young doesn't protect you. Horrors come for kids, too.
Never heard of Victor Lavalle before? That's OK, neither had I until I r...more**spoiler alert**
Being young doesn't protect you. Horrors come for kids, too.
Never heard of Victor Lavalle before? That's OK, neither had I until I received a notice from NetGalley saying that this book was available for review. After reading Lucretia, I think this is something that I think I need to fix. Lucretia and the Kroons is a prequel of sorts to Victor Lavalle's The Devil in Silver and if The Devil in Silver is anywhere near as good as Lucretia, I think I'm in for a treat. A creepy treat, but a treat all the same. (Full disclosure here, I had no idea that Lucretia and the Kroons was anything more than a standalone story. I only discovered it was a prequel after I looked up Lavalle after reading the story.)
After Lucretia's (or Loochie's) mom tries to throw her a birthday party (to disastrous results), all she wants is for her friend Sunny to come home from hospital, where she is undergoing cancer treatment. On the big day of Sunny's return, Loochie's brother comes to their apartment and tells Loochie about the Kroons, a family of druggies who lived 2 floors above them in their apartment building. According to her brother, the landlord boarded the Kroons into their apartment to let them fend for themselves, as they had become far too dangerous to deal with, and nobody had seen them in quite some time. Loochie isn't sure if her brother is telling the truth or if he's just trying to scare her, but either way he tells her to be careful, as terrible things can still happen to her even though she is young. When Sunny is kidnapped by none other than the Kroons, Loochie takes it upon herself to rescue her best friend.
What follows is hard to describe. It is equal parts horror, magical realism, and coming of age. Loochie finds herself in a world gone wrong, yet one that is strangely familiar. Loochie eventually finds Sunny and saves her, but at what cost to either girl, or the one Kroon sister that has come to their aid? Based on the description of The Devil in Silver, the events of Lucretia and the Kroons is the explanation as to how Loochie ends up in the situation she finds herself in.
I know this all sounds really vague, but it needs to be. The story is too easy to spoil and really too hard to explain it without sounding crazy. I felt like I was reading a lost Twilight Zone screenplay. I could imagine what the world Loochie finds herself in easily, and could easily picture what this would look like as a television program or even on the big screen. Everything about this story is just like our world, just a little off. I thoroughly enjoyed ever bit of it, even though it is fairly short, and will definitely be checking out The Devil in Silver in the near future.(less)