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We Are Monsters

3.48  ·  Rating details ·  344 ratings  ·  164 reviews
Nominated for a Bram Stoker Award for Superior Achievement in a First Novel. Some doctors are sicker than their patients. When a troubled psychiatrist loses funding to perform clinical trials on an experimental cure for schizophrenia, he begins testing it on his asylum's criminally insane, triggering a series of side effects that opens the mind of his hospital's most ...more
Paperback, 372 pages
Published July 7th 2015 by Samhain Publishing, Ltd.
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Average rating 3.48  · 
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Oct 27, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm going to do something that I seldom do, and that is to give a review with No reminders!
My thanks, as always to Flame Tree Press, Netgalley and the Author.
I actually didn't give much of a shit for this story. It's not that it was awful, it just wasn't that great. I did enjoy the character building. It helped a great deal in my understanding.
My son, Dakota is a paranoid schizophrenic. Some people have been stupid enough to tell me that he's not that...he's actually bi-polar. No. Unless you've
Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Find all of my reviews at:

“Half the patients were put in here because they claim to talk to God. But preachers do the same thing and they’re put in positions of power and praise.”

When I saw We Are Monsters available for grabs I was super stoked. I mean, a book about the apocalypse (real one, not zombie version) coming to an insane asylum????? YES PLEASE!!!!! But then I read it and I was all . . .

Houston commercial photography

First, I’m pretty sure before it’s all said and done someone
Sadie Hartmann Mother Horror
3.5 stars!
WE ARE MONSTERS is Brian Kirk's debut novel. It was released in 2016. Now, it has a new cover and some other special features-given new life/re-released by Flame Tree Press. Its publication date is January 30th, 2020 but you can use this code: NIGHTMONSTERS to buy it before the scheduled release.

WE ARE MONSTERS is an ambitious idea for a novel.
It tackles huge issues like mental illness, psychiatric treatments, and radical pharmaceutical trials. I don't know anything about how all of
Schizanthus Nerd
“It’s official. The Apocalypse has come to Sugar Hill.”
Alex, Eli and Angela work together in the forensics ward of Sugar Hill, which houses and treats the criminally insane. Angela is a social worker who is described by a friend as “Dr. Do Good by day and Little Miss Devil by night”. Alex Drexler is a psychiatrist whose views on treatment are diametrically opposed to those of his boss and mentor, Dr Eli Alpert, Sugar Hill’s Chief Medical Director. Eli’s approach is humanistic, with a focus on
Genre: Horror
Type: Standalone
POV: Third Person

Under Dr. Eli Alpert’s tutelage, Sugar Hill became one of the most esteemed asylums. As technology advanced, his protege Dr. Alex Drexler had the vision to take the hospital into new height by using a groundbreaking drug to cure schizophrenia. But Alex’s ambition could unravel the very thread that held everything together.

I love books that feature mental illness, and I went into this one with certain expectations regarding the story
May 24, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley, samhain
WE ARE MONSTERS, by Brian Kirk gives us a close up look at a mental institution with two doctors who have very different approaches on how to help their patients. Dr. Eli Alpert prefers a compassionate, drug-free approach when possible. Unfortunately for the residents of this facility, Dr. Alex Drexler has just formulated a new drug that he feels will cure schizophrenia.

Newly arrived Crosby Nelson, known as the "Apocalypse Killer" seems to be the perfect candidate for Alex's "cure". What if,
Janelle | She Reads with Cats
Thank you so much Night Worms, Brian Kirk, and Flame Tree Press for my free copy.

A horror book with a mental asylum, paranoid schizophrenics, and clinical drug trials was too good to pass up! Brian Kirk’s WE ARE MONSTERS starts off with some of the more intriguing few chapters I’ve come across - I was absolutely addicted.

Dr. Eli Alpert deals with the most psychotic criminals. Luckily, his mentee, Alex Drexler, is working on a drug that will cure schizophrenia, by ridding patients of their
Louise Wilson
Jan 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars rounded up to 4

Dr. Eli Alpert works with the criminally insane patients at Sugar Hill Psychiatric Hospital. His protege, Dr. Alex Drexler thinks medication is the way forward in the treatment of the patients. He's been trialling a medication of his own creation. But then trials aren't going well. He gets a new group of patients to conduct his tests on. This time he alters the medication and as a result, he's opened up the patients minds more than he intended to. He's released new
Jun 03, 2015 rated it liked it
Isn't craziness in the eye of the beholder? What if those that society has labeled as sane were really the mentally ill ones? Mr. Kirk's debut will leave you questioning the motives of those in charge of treating the mentally ill. What are their motives? Are their motives for their own good or for the good of us all? This book will also creep you out beyond what you ever expected, always a plus. .
Jan 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I think this one is going to stick with me for a while. More than anything in this novel, Kirk's first, I felt a connection to the characters, especially Dr. Eli Alpert. Like most of the people either living or working at Sugar Hill Mental Asylum, everyone is broken to some degree. While some of the patients see demons, in particular a new patient named Crosby Nelson, other's carry their demons inside them. Eli has many issues himself, definitely PTSD from serving in Vietnam, perhaps even worse ...more

At Sugar Hill mental asylum, patients have been ethically treated under the direction of Dr. Eli Alpert. With his views on how to treat patients, he has been well respected until his protégé, Dr. Alex Drexler, presents the possibility of a miracle drug to treat schizophrenia. With conflicting interests, the promise of success changes the expected course.

“What’s wrong with this world if a normal, sane person can be plucked out of it and placed in this pocket of insanity?”

This narrative is
Chandra Claypool (wherethereadergrows)
I'm a huge lover of asylum horror. The methods that have been put into place can be seen as a torture of their own to help those not quite of sound mind. We've all heard of shock therapy, lobotomies, water logging and allllll the medications. What realities do the criminally insane live in and can they truly be helped? Dr. Eli and Alex are determined to make this happen. But what happens when the doctors may turn out to be bigger monsters than the ones they are helping? Or are they? It's all ...more
Alex findingmontauk1
Jan 10, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
Asylums and serial killers with paranoid schizophrenia?! Sign me up! If those two things do not intrigue you, then perhaps it is worth adding that one of the doctors in the asylum here wants to use an experimental drug on one of the nation's most horrific killers to "cure" his schizophrenia. But when doing so it is like reality bends and all the "inner demons" of this murderer are unleashed on the world... or at least within the walls of the asylum. What is real and what is a lie? How are will ...more
The Book Dad
Jan 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
WE ARE MONSTERS is a dark and expansive look into the world of the criminally insane. Brian Kirk is incredible, he had my mind reeling in terror as I tore through this tale of those who suffer of madness and mania.

Crosby Nelson dubbed The Apocalypse Killer has arrived at Sugar Hill Mental Asylum and is under the care of Dr. Alex Drexler and Dr. Eli Alpert. This facility treats many of the states psychotic criminals and although they have conflicting methods of treatment, Alpert and Drexler are
Glenn Rolfe
Apr 09, 2015 rated it really liked it
“We’re sick. We’re all sick. But we can be cured. And we can be kind. We don’t have to let our lives be ruled by the shadows of our past.”

We Are Monsters. This is the debut novel for Brian Kirk. As far as debuts go, this one is very impressive. Kirk is a gifted writer and it shows in his details. The characters in this book have gone through tragic beginnings that lead them in, one way or another, to Sugar Hill Mental Asylum. Some come as patients, others work there in one capacity or another.
Matt (TeamRedmon)
Jan 14, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read We Are Monsters as part of a book party with Night Worms review team. Thank you so much, Night Worms, Brian Kirk, and Flame Tree Press for my free copy.

I was leery going into this book because of the theme of dealing with mental illness as a source of horror. I'm a special education teacher and have had experience working with individuals with various mental illnesses. I'm always hesitant of anything that could make those with mental illnesses to seem less than human. I can tell you that
Jan 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Sugar Hill psychiatric hospital in Georgia is home to some exceptionally violent individuals. The media is in a frenzy over the recent admittance of Crosby Nelson, better known as The Apocalypse Killer, as he is deemed “unfit to stand trial”. Rest assured, Crosby, a paranoid schizophrenic, is in good hands. Dr. Eli Alpert and Alex Drexler will be presiding over his care and rehabilitation during his stay. While Dr. Alpert, the Chief Medical Director at Sugar Hill has an empathetic, ...more
Frank Errington
Jul 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
Review copy

This is the first published novel for Brian Kirk, the father of twin boys, who makes his home in Atlanta, Ga.

From the 1st page of We Are Monsters...

"The Apocalypse has come to the Sugar Hill mental asylum.

He's the hospital's newest, and most notorious, patient--a paranoid schizophrenic who sees humanity's dark side.

Luckily he's in good hands. Dr. Eli Alpert has a talent for healing tortured souls. And his protégé is working on a cure for schizophrenic, a drug that returns patients to
Liz Barnsley
Jun 15, 2015 rated it really liked it
This was a clever little novel - haunting, often very disturbing with some great characters and a really intriguing premise. I hesitate to put it in a box - it is part thriller, part character drama, part horror leading to a very eclectic and interesting read.

Very impressive for a debut in its construction and multi layered themes, a look at the treatment of the mentally ill using a deliciously dark format and idea - this draws you into a strange world where not everything is as it seems.

Shane Keene
Dec 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I don’t usually read other people’s reviews before writing my own. I’m always afraid that they’ll influence or somehow bias my opinion of a given work. But in the case of WE ARE MONSTERS it was hard to avoid. A lot of people are raving about this book, including Brian Keene and John F.D. Taff, two outstanding authors that really know their business and don’t generally engage in hyperbole.

There was one review, however, that wasn’t so positive and it’s that one that I’m going to address here (this
Aug 11, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was judged by the cover. I admit it, the superficial appeal has it’s…well, appeal. I liked the cover and the title, Flame Tree Press might be new, but they’ve so far been pretty consistent quality wise, so I figured I’ll check it out. Turned out, it didn’t quite work for me, much like the last Flame Tree book I’ve read. The thing is, the quality was still there, it was more along the lines of reader/writer incompatibility. The story is interesting enough, actually, and you can’t beat ...more
Brian Keene
Oct 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2015
WE ARE MONSTERS is fantastic -- a frightening and intense thriller and one hell of a debut novel. I was blown away.
Dec 26, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
Please note that I received this book via NetGalley. This did not affect my rating or review.

Eh. I tried to get into this. I gave up halfway through and just grudgingly finished this thing over a period of like four weeks. Bah. It had a great premise, it just got boring to me halfway through. And then I kept finding other books to read instead. Maybe if I hadn't started King's "The Institute" (nope still not done) and seen some similar themes here, it would have grabbed me. Honestly it reminds
Jon Recluse
Sep 08, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror, netgalley
Dr. Emil Alpert runs the Sugar Hill mental asylum with compassion and humanity, treating his patients with understanding rather than drugging them into catatonic submission.
However, his protégé, Dr. Alex Drexler views treatment of the mentally ill differently, secretly testing a new experimental drug that he believes can cure schizophrenia. Driven beyond his means and his better judgement, he seeks fame and fortune at any cost.
When the brutal murder of a former patient, seemingly by a member of
Nov 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I received a complimentary copy of this e-book ARC from the author, publisher, and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Dr. Alex Drexler is determined to be rich by his new medication that would cure patients of their schizophrenia at a mental hospital. When his experiments with the medication failed and he is sent to face his inner demons with several others, will they survive or go mad? Read on and find out for yourself.

This was a pretty good, creepy, and twisted horror novel. If you
Barb (Boxermommyreads)
This book was originally written in 2015 and it was a very ambitious undertaking for a first novel. I think Kirk did a good job weaving a complex tale of medical treatment, mental illness and sanity which for me worked at times and during other times, confused me.

The novel is divided into three different sections. The first two focuses on character development and a look into the medical workings of an asylum and into the complex and controversial world of mental health treatment. Dr. Adam
Kirsty ❤️
Jan 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this debut psychological horror. I looked at the reviews beforehand it they seem quite polarised. You never quite know what to expect when that happens but I’m erring on the positive side. It’s a book of two parts with the first setting the scene of Alex testing his untried miracle cure for schizophrenia on first his brother and then a crazy serial killer. However the serum allows the patient to create new worlds which are transferred onto others. It’s a thought provoking piece ...more
May 18, 2016 rated it did not like it
This book had a neat cover and was cheap so I snagged it during a kindle sale. It ended up being a Stoker Nominee and I thought, Great! I made a good purchase.


So as far as I could tell, egomaniac with father issues invents psychotropic drug for schizophrenics that makes people's third eye open and then the apocalypse happens? Maybe? I don't know.

The writing was clunky and filled with confusing choices, was he trying to be clever, did he think he was being smart? All I know is many exhausted
Jan 14, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Why try and reason with insanity, he thought. Because insanity has its own rationality, his mind replied.”

Absolutely loved this novel!

This book has a way of pulling you in and making you feel a bit crazy, as if you are loosing your mind right along with the patients.

We are ultimately following a set of doctors, as they try to find a way of helping patients with schizophrenia. One wants to do things in a more “natural” compassionate way while the other wants to experiment with medications.
Sep 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
Thank you Netgalley, Flame Tree Press and Brian Kirk for allowing me to read this advance copy in exchange for an honest review

Honestly, I didn't know what the heck to expect. I saw the words asylum and horror and stopped reading the synopsis from there. Well, first let me say I'm not a big fan of dystopian or any zombie kind of books/movies. Second let me say, this book just may have changed my mind!

The author took his time and developed the characters in a way that made you care about them.
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Brian Kirk is a Bram Stoker Award-nominated author of dark thrillers and psychological suspense. His debut novel, WE ARE MONSTERS, was released in July 2015. In addition to being nominated for a Bram Stoker Award for Superior Achievement in a First Novel, WE ARE MONSTERS was optioned for film development by Executive Producer, Jason Shuman.

His short fiction has been published in many notable