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Harrison Squared

3.78  ·  Rating details ·  1,510 ratings  ·  286 reviews
From award winning author Daryl Gregory comes a thrilling and colorful Lovecraftian adventure of a teenage boy searching for his mother, and the macabre creatures he encounters.

Harrison Harrison—H2 to his mom—is a lonely teenager who’s been terrified of the water ever since he was a toddler in California, when a huge sea creature capsized their boat, and his father vanish
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published March 24th 2015 by Tor Books
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Ernest While it's YA, it shouldn't put adult readers off. I know the point of the question is whether "kids" should be esposed to issues like losing a parent…moreWhile it's YA, it shouldn't put adult readers off. I know the point of the question is whether "kids" should be esposed to issues like losing a parent, or supernatural serial killers, but they already are in real life. Daryl created a world in which they retain some measure of control, and I think it's a good thing. We asked him a similar question in our interview at SFRevu, and he commented: a

A teenager might not have the life experience to cope with tragedy--but many adults don't, either. I do think that adults are more aware of how they're supposed to process tragedy, but that can cause more problems than it solves. (less)

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Average rating 3.78  · 
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 ·  1,510 ratings  ·  286 reviews

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Feb 20, 2015 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: fans of The Scorpio Races, Daryl Gregory
Review posted permanently (with photos!) at

Harrison Squared. Formally known as Harrison Harrison. Or, to be exact, H²×5. Despite some consternation about the name, it is an excellent book. However, followed so quickly after reading Kraken, I will note my suspicions of the order Teuthida. I'm just saying--I'd think twice about visiting the Tentacles exhibit at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Or stick with the jellies.

"'There are questions in that book,' the pro
Dan Schwent
Jan 29, 2017 rated it liked it
When he was three, Harrison Harrison lost his father and his leg in a boating accident. Or was it? Now, at age sixteen, he moves to the Massachusetts town of Dunnsmouth for his mother's latest research project. When she goes missing, Harrison quickly finds Dunnsmouth has more than its share of secrets...

Harrison Squared was a tough nut to crack for me. Aside from the missing leg, Harrison Harrison was kind of a Gary Stu. Also, I hated his implausible name. Who the hell would do that to their kid
Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Find all of my reviews at:

3.5 Stars

“You know what killed the cat? Me.”

Thirteen years ago Harrison Harrison (or Harrison Squared, if you prefer) and his family set out from the shores of Dunnsmouth for a three hour tour . . .

Palm Springs commercial photography

when a storm kicked up and stuff and things happened that caused Harrison to lose his leg and his father to lose his life. Fastforward to the present where H2 and his mother have returned to Dunnsmouth
Aug 18, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Harrison Squared is perfectly autumn and perfectly Halloween, which is why I'm now putting up a short write-up that I wrote awhile ago. Out of season. In spring. Over 2 years after having first read it.

Anyhow, this is another fun read by Daryl Gregory. I'm convinced he can write anything and I hope he does--write everything, I mean--because he's got a great way with words, well-timed humor, and a way of turning familiar, tired, old tropes into something new and exciting. They're still tropes, bu
Feb 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
My parents saved me. My brain can make up all the scary stories it wants to, but I know that much is true.

Harrison Squared is a prequel to We Are All Completely Fine, a book I thoroughly enjoyed, so when I saw it on Netgalley I had to pick it up

Harrison Harrison is terrified of the sea ever since an incident as a toddler left him without a leg and without a father. So when Harrison and his mother move to the strange town of Dunnsmouth he is less than thrilled. His mom, a marine biologist is sear
Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede
Jan 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2015
I was looking forward to reading this book, so, of course, it only took me months to read it. But anyway, the first time Harrison Harrison was introduced was in the novella We Are All Completely Fine and now it's been a while since I read the book, but stuff about his childhood came back to me while I read this book. But I must admit that I feel a bit inclined to read We Are All Completely Fine again now that I have read this book.

Harrison Harrison or H2 has his mother calls him has been terrifi
Jun 16, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, ya, lovecrafty
Fun, and better than the average YA (although do teens these days know Lovecraft? Dunno) but not as compelling and distinctive as the best Lovecraft, or as rich and original as Gregory's better novels. I doubt this will stick in my memory the way Pandemonium did. Still, a perfectly adequate book.
Jul 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
Harrison Harrison. Harrison Squared. H2 to his mom.

Actually he’s Harrison Harrison the 5th as this is a family trend going back generations, in a family where the members wait to have children as long as possible and who maintain a dynamic level of autonomy and narrative personality.

And so begins Daryl Gregory’s 2015 YA backstory to his character from We Are All Completely Fine.

And it’s Lovecraftian, painted with strong brushstrokes by a loving hand.

Harrison and his mother, a marine cryptobiolo
Paul Nelson
Mar 09, 2015 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: YA fiction lovers
Shelves: 2015-books-read
Harrison Harrison the fifth or Harrison Squared, so named as a bit of a family tradition is 16 years old and about to be dropped off for his first school day at Dunnsmouth Secondary school in the curious little town of Dunnsmouth. Opting to stay with his Mother who is rocketing into her latest adventure and obsession, the fuckmongus and very giant colossal squid.
The opening chapter begins with tentacles and teeth, at three years old Harrison nearly lost his life. He describes the memories, frag
Mogsy (MMOGC)
4 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum

I’m always on the lookout for good Lovecraft-inspired horror, and so when I stumbled upon the description of Daryl Gregory’s new novel Harrison Squared I just knew I had to check it out.

When Harrison Harrison (nicknamed Harrison Squared by his scientist mother, because geek humor is the best kind of humor) was a toddler, his family’s boat was capsized by a giant tentacled sea monster. Officially, the authorities said that
Althea Ann
Feb 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
I very much enjoyed Daryl Gregory's 'We Are All Completely Fine.' ( Seeing that this was billed as a prequel to that one, of course I picked it up!

In 'We Are All Completely Fine,' we meet Harrison Harrison, who's part of a 'survivors' therapy group, and learn that he was once known as the Boy Hero of Dunnsmouth. Here, we go back to Dunnsmouth, and find out exactly what happened, ten years ago.

Now, either there's going to be another chapter in the story o
Mar 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley, free
Four big fishy stars-Young Harrison Harrison is moving to a new town with his big water creature research obsessed mother. Not something he really wants to do but the other choices are much less appealing. Almost immediately he is left alone when his mother needs to go off on one of her research trips to track giant creatures. He is quickly placed in the local school, which is not at all the average school. He is treated like an outcast, unable to communicate with these odd students. The town is ...more
Rachel the Book Harlot
Not feeling that cover. In any case, this is the prequel to We Are All Completely Fine...but at $12.99 for the kindle version, I'm going to say that we are most definitely not all completely fine. Goodness. What is up with the pricing of these books? Mama is not paying that much for a digital version. Will purchase it at some point, but at a reasonable sales price. Sheesh.
Mar 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars.

Harrison Harrison--or Harrison Squared--is a character I was first introduced to in Daryl Gregory's outstanding novel, WE ARE ALL COMPLETELY FINE. In this new novel, we are presented with a prequel, of sorts, showing us events that Harrison faced in the town of Dunnsmouth, Massachusetts as a young teenager.

The first thing that I thought it vital to know: this novel is not of the same intensity of WAACF. As it is the story of a young Harrison, it is told in a young-adult style. You won'
F. Paul
Dec 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I was sent an arc and found it a complete delight (despite no buoy being named "F"). Even if you're not an HPL fan, you'll enjoy this expertly paced story, packed with engaging characters (especially Harrison's Dorothy Parker-esque aunt) in the New England town of Dunsmouth. And then there's the lagniappe of all those Melville references -- priceless.
*Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.*

Harrison Harrison has moved to Dunnsmouth where his marine biologist mother is doing research on a giant squid. WIthin a few days his mother has gone missing whilst out at sea and Harrison is left with a feeling that the strange town is hiding something. As he uncovers the towns history and secrets he soon sees that this is no small conspiracy and that it connects to a tragedy from his youth. With
Nov 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
First book I've read by this author, and I really liked this. There was a good mix of humour and mystery and a little horror. I found myself rereading many sentences because they were clever, amusing and well-written. Harrison is a good guy, and I want to know what happens after the end of this book, because there are several unresolved plot points, and a developing friendship between Harrison and Lydia that I liked, and Aunt Sel is a hoot.
Jan 16, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Last year, hands down, my favourite read was Daryl Gregory's We Are All Completely Fine. It ticked every box I have when it comes to enjoying a book - horror or otherwise. So when word trickled down that Gregory had written a prequel featuring one of the main characters from that novel, I could not have been more excited.

All of which is to say, I doubt I was ever going to dislike Harrison Squared. As long as it retained a semblance of the fantastic concepts on display in the original and stayed
Liz Barnsley
A few months ago I read a fantastic litte novella from Daryl Gregory called “We are all Completely Fine” – in which we met Harrison as an adult when he joins what turns out to be a particularly unusual support group. I was so engaged with it that I truly hoped that there would be more set in that world which was beautifully imagined so I was truly delighted to find “Harrison Squared”.

It is a terrific way of doing it, We Are All Completely Fine showing Harrison (just one of a whole bunch of amazi
I received a copy of this book for free from the publisher, in exchange for an honest review. Also posted on my blog, Rinn Reads.

I’ve been flitting about this review ever since I read the book, unsure what to really say about it. So this will probably be a short one!

The premise for Harrison Squared is an unusual one, to say the least. The protagonist, Harrison Harrison (hence Harrison Squared), moves back to the town of Dunnsmouth with his mother, a marine biologist. Having lost his father when
Jan 16, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars.

Harrison Harrison--or Harrison Squared--is a character I was first introduced to in Daryl Gregory's outstanding novel, WE ARE ALL COMPLETELY FINE. In this new novel, we are presented with a prequel, of sorts, showing us events that Harrison faced in the town of Dunnsmouth, Massachusetts as a young teenager.

The first thing that I thought it vital to know: this novel is not of the same intensity of WAACF. As it is the story of a young Harrison, it is told in a young-adult style. You won'
Mar 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2015, e-books
4.5 Stars

Harrison Squared by Daryl Gregory is a fun piece of Young Adult fantasy. I am a huge fan of Daryl Gregory and have loved much of his work. He excels as an author by appealing to a wide base. This book reminded me of something that Andrew Smith would write (He is one of my very favorite authors), and that is a huge compliment. Harrison Squared is a wonderful read due to the wonderful characters. Gregory has created a fun bunch of kids and adults. The setting is fun and full of a quirky
Aug 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Brilliant, funny and disturbing YA lovecraftian fantasy.

The blurb pretty much says it all and I can't really add to it without spoilers in terms of plot description.

The characters in this one are brilliant, with the general feeling of people just getting on with their lives, albeit as denizens of place with more in common with Innsmouth or Dunwich from Lovecrafts stuff. And there's so many characters that just make the story like Lub or Rachel and Isabelle.

The only problem I have is one I see of
Jul 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
It seems I was suffering a bit of derp with this book. I basically finished We Are All Completely Fine and said oooo! same character? BUY NOW! And never between that moment and the time I started reading it did I connect the obvious dots that should have told me this would basically be YA. I don't generally read YA books with hetero leads, but I'm glad I did this time.

As someone who only needed a small taste of Lovecraft to scratch him permanently off my to-read list, there were doubtless numero
Feb 25, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc, netgalley
The nitty-gritty: A hysterically funny Lovecraftian horror story, perfect for both teens and adults.

“What? You think I want you to go to school? Then who would entertain me? This place is stultifying. True, if there’s any news, they can tell you in school just as easily as here, but how much better to spend your time with your most beloved relative? I can teach you how to make a decent Bloody Mary.”

“You’re not a very good aunt.”

“Pardon me, but I’m fantastic. The best aunts aren’t substitute pare
Yzabel Ginsberg
(I got a copy through NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.)

A good story (definitely a 3.5 stars more than a 3), but one that also confirms once again that, in my opinion, "Lovecraftian influences" don't go too well with "written for YA audience": they need to be too downplayed, and end up too remote from the usually bleak, no-hope tone the original stories used to have, combined to the feeling of Sublime (in Burke's meaning of this word) elicited by the appearance of Old Ones and various
Jun 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
"When the supernatural turns out to be real, it's not supernatural anymore- it's just nature"

What a ride! This book is really, really good. I really wanted to avoid using this particular word, but here it is: it's Lovecraftian fantasy at its very best. Usually, "Lovecraftian" is paired with "horror", but there aren't many horror scenes in this book; I think that "fantasy" fits it better. (Note: I wanted to avoid using "Lovecraftian" because calling every bit of fiction that involves sea monsters
Sebastien Castell
Jul 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
Daryl Gregory is rapidly becoming one of those author's whose work I know I'll enjoy whether I think it's in one of my preferred genres or not. His style is brisk and easy to slip into, his characters quirky and sympathetic, and best of all, the relationships between them gives you a sense of watching broken people during the first moments of what will become life-long friendships.

Like Gregory's other books, Harrison Squared is hard to pin down from a genre standpoint. On the surface, it's a you
Feb 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Gregory is a wonderful writer. This book is a fantasy about a teenager who was in a terrible accident in the ocean when he was a toddler- he lost part of his leg and his father died. Thirteen years later, his mother takes him on a research trip to Dunnsmouth MA, where he is appalled at the lack of internet, cable, and other normal modern amenities, not to mention the really weird people. Then his mother disappears. Good story, although I enjoyed the "sequel" more- We Are All Completely Fine. And ...more
Rashika (is tired)
*** This review has also been posted on The Social Potato

Harrison Squared genuinely surprised me. It’s not that I expected to not enjoy it, but since I hadn’t read a single review for it or even heard much about it besides what I'd gathered from reading the blurb, I had no idea what to expect when I dived in (if you’ve read the book, that statement would amuse you).  I only knew that there was marine biology involved in some way and I was in.

This book is so atmospheric. It’s creepy to the bone,
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Award-winning author of Spoonbenders, We Are All Completely Fine, Afterparty, Pandemonium, and others. Some of his short fiction has been collected in Unpossible and Other Stories.

He's won the World Fantasy Award, as well as the Shirley Jackson, Crawford, Asimov Readers, and Geffen awards, and his work has been short-listed for many other awards, including the Nebula . His books have been translat

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