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4.09  ·  Rating details ·  142 ratings  ·  46 reviews
In this all-too-real work of horror fiction, Rachel Autumn Deering explores the mind of a young man who is struggling to cope with the effects of post-war stress, drug addiction, self-doubt, and loneliness as they manifest themselves into his deepest, darkest fears.

Kevin Brooks returns to his rural Kentucky hometown after a three-year-long tour of duty in Afghanistan. He
Kindle Edition, 102 pages
Published March 9th 2016 by Tiny Behemoth Press
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4.09  · 
Rating details
 ·  142 ratings  ·  46 reviews

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Jul 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Tragic. Heartbreaking. Surreal. And damned scary. Highly recommended.
Aug 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
There is a darkness that has loomed over Kevin Brooks life ever since he came back from the desert of Afghanistan. It lives in the shadows that surround him.

It is smiling.

It wants to destroy everything that he is. Everything that he loves. It won’t stop until there is nothing left…

…but a husk.

A superbly written, tightly executed work with spot on characterizations and a heartbreaking and terrifying plot line.

4.5 Stars rounded up to 5 because there was a whole lot accomplished here in short forma
Stephen Kozeniewski
May 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
Outside of a month I spent at Ft. Knox in 2004 and watching the entire run of "Justified" I don't know much about Kentucky. From my position of (admitted) ignorance, Deering's portrait of a rural Kentucky barely-town seemed vivid in its verisimilitude.

For those of you (like me) who despise trying to decode attempts at transcribing dialects (think Jar Jar Binks: "Meesa no habba da boomba") you'll be pleased to know that all the Kentucky twang is reflected in syntax and word choice. For instance,
Alex findingmontauk1
Aug 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
I finished 15 minutes ago and I am still jaw-dropped like whaaa?! 5 stars! I need more of Rachel Autumm Deering in my life! I loved the way she built her characters up down to the dialect and how the characters acted. I grew up Southern Baptist with a preacher in my family so a lot of this rings close to home! Deering did a fantastic job in exploring PTSD post-war, drug addiction, and one man's re-entry into the real world. I loved the flirty romance between Kevin and Samantha and just loved thi ...more
Jul 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Really enjoyed this mix of psychological horror and Appalachian noir.
Michael Hicks
Mar 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: bought, horror
Rachel Autumn Deering has worn various hats in the comic book side of literature, and makes her prose debut with HUSK. Based on the strength of this novella, I'd say that's a pretty smart move and I'm hoping to see more works in this vein from her soon.

HUSK is a psychological horror story with some well-sketched characters. Kevin is a war veteran, recently home from Afghanistan and undergoing treatment for PTSD until the VA cuts off his disability checks. They claim he is addicted to the pills t
Jeremy Maddux
Oct 10, 2016 rated it did not like it
That was it? All that Brian Keene hype behind this? It's barely a horror novel. I'll give it credit for a nice finish, though I won't call it an ending. I think many will rate this five stars because Keene liked it and because it has a female main character in love with a combat veteran, all the essential ingredients for positive critic reception. I wasn't impressed.
Audra (ouija.doodle.reads)
I was drawn into this little novella by the intriguing cover, and I am always attracted by psychological horror, so it sounded right up my alley.

The true-to-life elements were perfectly sculpted; I was completely with the story from the beginning with the description of Kevin's life as a soldier abroad to the fade to his life after and the trauma that is left behind.

Even though no one can see Kevin's wounds from the outside, he is scarred by his experiences, experiencing loneliness, crippling se
John Collins
Jul 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
Husk is not only really, really good, it's also very important. Rachel Autumn Deeringhas given us a lean, mean novella. Not a word is wasted in this story of Kevin, an Afghanistan war veteran who has returned home after a horrific war time event. Suffering from PSTD, he faces one hurdle after another. Loneliness, despair and grief, when a chance for happiness opens up for him, unknown forces do their best to ruin it.
Deeming makes every word count, nothing is wasted or used as padding. She descri
Glenn Rolfe
Jun 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
Different, yet familiar. Give it a try

A US vet comes home to the house his grandparents raised him in,but something dark awaits. Is this creature he's seeing real? Or has the war ruined his mind?
The romance in here feels like a supernatural Hallmark movie, but it works.
I loved the ending.
Definitely worth your time.

I give HUSK 4 stars!

Deering is an author to keep an eye on.
Brian Keene
Mar 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2016
This novella is a phenomenal debut -- one of the strongest horror debuts in quite some time. Deering channels the spirit of Jack Ketchum, but her voice is strong and her own. Highly recommended.
Nov 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
Wow. Rachel Autumn Deering's HUSK is some dark O'Henry-like storytelling. It's the type of story that has you turning the page with interest and anxiety. Though HUSK is a fairly short novella, it need not be longer than it is. It's short and its bitter sweet and that's what it needs to be.

I found myself drawn through this story quickly. At the outset, I turned the pages out of interest in the characters and their relationship. By the middle of the story I was turning the pages, anxious for the m
Frank Errington
Oct 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
About two years ago, I met Rachel Autumn Deering at a Horrible Saturday event at the York Emporium used book store. I picked this up at the time and it kinda got buried on my ever-growing TBR pile and just never got read. Today, I finally corrected that error.

This novella is one of the most compelling and heartbreaking things I've read in recent memory.

Husk is some damn fine writing. The kind that gets under your skin, makes you think, makes you downright angry. Just because our servicemen and w
Mar 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016
I loved this story. It was super creepy, with the perfect amount of facts laid out and just enough left to my imagination.

What I enjoyed most is how the author makes the reader genuinely feel scared, and sometimes sad, through really well-done writing. I felt the emotions of the characters, especially Kevin, without feeling like I was being figuratively slapped in the face with them. I didn't need any of the characters to say "I feel sad/scared/etc" I just knew they were sad/scared/etc, mainly
Carissa Lynn Reads
First off this cover caught my eye right away! I saw it and knew I needed this book. I sat down with it last night and pretty much read the whole thing in one setting! I'm not sure if I would consider it horror, there are definitely some dark parts and let me say I absolutely loved this story!! I don't want to give away spoilers but there were some nice surprises in here and I really enjoyed the writing style.
Mar 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A haunting story for those that love horror!

A haunting story for any that love horror. Deering does not disappoint. Need to pull an all-nighter? Here is your non pharmacological alternative. This book is literary crystal meth. Slipping my copy (digitally) between Stephen King and H.P. Lovecraft. Yes, it's THAT good!
Feb 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
A fun, spooky romp through psychological horror.
Aug 07, 2018 added it
The prose here is beautiful. The author is obviously well read because this is horror written in the fashion of classic horror novels. It builds slow, and you’re drawn in by the prose and characters alike before you get to any of the horror elements.

I felt like it was a bit rushed at the end. Like this should have been significantly longer once the horror elements arrived. The relationship between the protagonist and his female companion blossomed really quickly and the last 20% or so flew by.

Nelson Pyles
Jul 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Subtle and Horrifying

Deering does my favorite thing with her characters; you come to like them so much that when something happens to them, you feel it too. That's solid writing.
And in this case, horrifying.
HUSK is a very subtle and tense story that takes it's time letting you get to know the characters. It also takes it's time setting up the terror underneath it all. The imagery is gorgeous and vivid. The scares are quite solid and the characters are eaay to fall in love with, right to the la
Steve Wynne
Jul 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing

Thoroughly engrossing. I sat down and read this book cover to cover in one sitting, which is a first for me. Husk hit lots of familiar ground for me, having had someone close to me get jerked around by the VA for years after numerous deployments. Engaging, and just flat-out an awesome read. Top notch.
William M.
Jul 10, 2016 rated it really liked it

Very engaging and believable characters and dialogue that rings true. The writing flows smoothly which makes an easy read. The weakest parts, for me, were the monster visions. They seemed to come out of nowhere and disappear nearly right away with little or no buildup or aftermath. The only other issue I had was that although the book is a novella, the first 4/5 feel like the pace of a full length novel (in a good way). The last 1/5, however, felt rushed like a movie on fast forwa
Jun 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018
I think this was free on Amazon for a day or something, I'd never heard of the author before someone who liked this book on Facebook mentioned there was a special. I looked her up, and she seems like she's more established in comics, which I could easily see this story being.

Plot synopsis, young vet returns from Afghanistan to rural Kentucky to the house where he was raised by his grandparents (both long dead), some really spooky little monster is hanging around the house, he gets a crush on th
Cedar Hollow Horror Reviews
Dec 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Rachel Autumn Deering can straight write. This is my first time reading her work, but it's safe to say I'm hooked. Being a Veteran, I connected with HUSK on a different level. HUSK is deeply unnerving and made me misty-eyed. I'm not crying, you're crying. My eyes are just a little sweaty.

HUSK is very much a psychological horror story, but it also contains one of the creepiest monsters I've ever read about. As I type this, I'm constantly running my fingers through my hair. I have yet to see the
Lee Glenwright
Mar 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
At first I was a little wary of attempting to write a review of 'Husk,' Rachel Autumn Deering's prose debut. I wasn't sure how I'd be able to approach it, seeing that, in the interests of full disclosure, we are friends (Transatlantic friends, but friends nonetheless).

I needn't have been wary. Nope, not in the slightest. I'll get to the point (hopefully forgoing my usual verbal diarrhoea in the process); Rachel's work as a comic writer stands her in good stead for the transition to prose. The wr
Paul Anderson
Nov 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
In Husk, writer Rachel Autumn Deering effortlessly creates the world and the voice of a veteran suffering from PTSD and forced to rebuild his life after his final tour. Kevin joined the military when his grandparents died, his last-living relatives. While fighting, his unit is attacked and his best friend is violently killed right in front him. Now Kevin’s come home, left with just the broken pieces of his life prior to serving, the pieces of his time in uniform, and not much else. Worse, he’s b ...more
Russell Coy
Jul 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Deering has written an amazing piece of fiction here, one that can be read fast, for the harrowing and expertly built storyline, or slow, for the sentences that flow like dark, sad melodies. I truly felt and feared for Kevin, the main character, and I'm still feeling the impact of the closing chapters.

5 stars, highest recommendation!
Adam Carter
Jan 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A soldier returns from Afghanistan, no family, his best friend killed in action. Nothing is the same.

This is a deep, tragic, heartbreaking look into PTSD. Psycholgical horrors manifest physically. Hope is a pinhole, despair engulfs, emotion becomes monstrous.

Rachel Autumn Deering's writing is beautiful, her characters live and breathe. Mid-paragraph POV shifts lend the story an immediacy which verges on stream-of-conscious. I'm very much looking forward to whatever she writes next.
Jeremy Hanes
Jul 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing

Husk is short, a novella but it will leave a long impact on your soul. It is an utterly devastating story. But is is so beautifully done, in that you care for the characters and dread what is happening. Every character is so well described that you feel like you know them, their pain and suffering, their love and hope. It is all there. Now go and buy it and read it.
Jorge Palacios Kindelan
Feb 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Short but devastating, excellent psychological horror novella
Sandra Burns
Jul 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing

What a fast, great read. I did not see the story ending like that. It really described what this man was feeling & dealing with.
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RACHEL AUTUMN DEERING is an Eisner and Harvey Award-nominated writer, editor, and book designer from the hills of Kentucky. She has written, edited, lettered, designed, and published comics and prose for entertainment companies including DC/Vertigo Comics, Blizzard Entertainment, Dark Horse Comics, IDW, Cartoon Network, Thunderstorm Books and more.

Deering lives in a small town in Michigan with her
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“The cancer set into her bones and whittled her down to nothing. The weariness of the world and the weight in her heart laid her to rest in January.” 2 likes
“She had developed a number of habits in her younger years, none of which carried with them a bright future, and the things she would offer to do for a couple of dollars would make the Devil blush.” 1 likes
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