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The Atrocities

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3.15  ·  Rating details ·  920 ratings  ·  257 reviews
Jeremy Shipp brings you The Atrocities, a haunting gothic fantasy of a young ghost's education

When Isabella died, her parents were determined to ensure her education wouldn't suffer.

But Isabella's parents had not informed her new governess of Isabella's... condition, and when Ms Valdez arrives at the estate, having forced herself through a surreal nightmare maze of twisted
...more
Kindle Edition, 104 pages
Published April 17th 2018 by Tor.com
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Average rating 3.15  · 
Rating details
 ·  920 ratings  ·  257 reviews


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Diane S ☔
Jul 31, 2018 rated it liked it
Curiouser and curiouser. Danna didn't fall down a rabbit hole, nor did she follow a rabbit, but she did answer an ad to be a teacher, one with strange instructions. She did have to find her way through a strange maze, full of extremely strange and gruesome statues, to arrive at the house. There were no rrsbbits but there were rats that seemed alive one minute, and the next plastic. Her student wasn't from Wonderland, but maybe somewhere else just as strange if not stranger. There was no Queen of ...more
Schizanthus Nerd
Apr 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kindle-food
How can a novella with such a brilliant concept and deliciously creepy execution wind up with such a blah ending?! I feel like I was taken on a trek up a treacherous mountain with the promise of an incredible view at the summit only to find out that someone built a wall blocking the view.

I was hooked from the first two sentences:

Turn left at the screaming woman with a collapsing face. Turn right at the kneeling man with bleeding sore the size of teacups.

What a wonderful hedge maze! What an a
...more
Sadie Hartmann Mother Horror
Review originally published on Cemetery Dance Extras Oct. 24th, 2018

When a novella starts off with a line like, “Turn left at the screaming woman with a collapsing face,” I’m going to sit up a little straighter in my chair and pay close attention. And that was my reading posture during the duration of time it took me to get to the one hundredth page. Focused.

Captivated.

This story is not for the lazy reader, and I don’t mean that it’s too intellectual or complicated, I just mean that this was new
...more
Tim
Aug 27, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed, 2010s, horror
Disappointing. Extremely disappointing. I really wish I could just go off on a tirade dismantling this book from the start of the review to finish, but the problem is that the book it is not all terrible; there are moments of utter genius, and that makes the situation even worse as it should have been amazing.

The plot sounds ingenious. A little girl dies, and her ghost lingers in the manor the family owns. The parents hire a governess to continue the little girl's education, despite the fact tha
...more
Michelle
Apr 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley-arcs
What a strange little book this is.

Danna Valdez is summoned to Stockton House to home school young Isabella. Upon arrival she finds she has to navigate her way through a labyrinth of Atrocities. These are hideous sculptures of depraved images. When she is finally greeted at the front door and is shown around the mansion she can't help but feel eyes upon her. The artwork through out the house is just as sinister as the Atrocities she met outside. These images have the ability to cause horrific n
...more
Heidi The Reader
Jun 05, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: horror, fiction
"You see, Ms. Valdez, we require a governess with very specific qualifications. And this goes beyond a mastery of math and science and linguistics."

Ms. Danna Valdez is summoned to a gothic mansion filled with grotesque artwork to tutor a girl who has died.

But no one told her about the special circumstances of her pupil before she arrived.

"Isabella isn't coping well with this new phase of her existence. A few months ago, she started breaking things. At first it was only a lamp or a vase every few
...more
destiny ♡⚔♡ [howling libraries]
Turn left at the screaming woman with a collapsing face. Turn right at the kneeling man with bleeding sores the size of teacups.

What an incredibly atmospheric, beautiful, haunting little read this was.

Ms. Valdez is such a kindly narrator; despite being faced with absolutely bizarre circumstances, she never judges, only views the world around her with wary curiosity and, at times, heart-aching pity. She knows the pain of loss too well to be terribly surprised by the nature of her new occupati
...more
Bob
Jan 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: horror, hauntings
A haunting, grotesquely beautiful, atmospheric work of Gothic horror, The Atrocities didn't play out quite as I expected, but it's those final twists that elevated it from memorable to unforgettable.

Jeremy C. Shipp throws a lot at the reader in the opening pages, with the walk through the hedge maze more surreal than some stories in their entirety, but that's just setting the stage.

Turn right at the woman sliced into twelve pieces. Please don’t touch the statues. Please don’t litter.

Inside the h
...more
Veronique
Jun 01, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: r2018
This novella had plenty of potential: a creepy house full of gruesome artwork and even weirder people. Is Isabella truly a ghost or is her mother impersonating her out of emotional/psychological hardship? What is haunting Danna? All very Gothic in feel. The language was rich, especially when describing all the unsettling elements, and built the tension nicely. However, all the modern references kept jarring me out of the narrative. Also, I would have preferred a little more depth.
Fiona
Turn left at the screaming woman with a collapsing face. Turn right at the kneeling man with bleeding sores the size of teacups. If you come across a big-breasted bear with a child's head in her jaws, you're going the wrong way...Turn right at the woman sliced into twelve pieces. Please don't touch the statues. Please don't litter.

3.5 stars rounded up for all the promise in this weird and enticing novella from Jeremy Shipp. The first half? Three-quarters even? while rushed in places, were doing
...more
Konstantin
The plot of this book is very similar to that of last year's movie Voice from the Stone. An employer who is a sculptor; an obsession with stone; a secretive gardener and a seemingly good housekeeper; and the mother hearing the voice of her absent child - as opposed to the reverse concept in the movie.

So this attempts at being labyrinthine and atmospheric (drawing inspiration from, presumably, Shirley Jackson), but the only puzzle to me was how the book with such an unoriginal plot and a lacklust
...more
Lindsay
May 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
Another excellent addition to the tor.com novellas line with a beautifully atmospheric haunted house story.

Danna Valdez is a governess hired to tutor Isabella but on arriving at the Stockton House she finds herself navigating a maze of grotesqueries to find a gothic mansion almost as bizarre as the maze. The Stocktons are weird, their servants nearly as strange and their daughter ... well, she's a ghost.

The language used to describe all of the monstrous artwork is lush and conveys most of the cr
...more
Lata
May 08, 2018 rated it liked it
A governess is hired to teach a young girl, who she is told is a ghost. Weird, creepy and a little unnerving in spots; the house is full of disturbing art and items, while the family seems a little strange. 3.5 stars.
Kaitlin
May 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
I was entirely surprised how much I enjoyed this short story. Normally with short fiction I find it hard to get behind a character and really enjoy their adventure, but our main character here is Danna and she's a new Governess going to try and help a family with a daughter who has an unusual 'condition'. What she doesn't realise is that not only it the daughter an enigma, the whole household has its secrets...

This is short and sweet with just over 100pgs and I read it super quickly. The story i
...more
Sheila
Apr 23, 2018 rated it it was ok
2 stars. It was OK.

Things I liked:
1. The cover! It's fabulous!
2. The first 25% of the book--the description of the house and garden--was creepy and gothic. Great setup, and a great premise for a book.
3. It was really fast to read.

Things I didn't like:
1. The ending. It just sort of drifted off.
2. A lack of depth. Things were hinted at but never explained.
3. Though I expected, from the cover and description, that this would be a gothic novel, it's more like a dark fantasy or even surreal/weird fic
...more
Taryn
Apr 15, 2018 rated it liked it
"Turn left at the screaming woman with a collapsing face. Turn right at the kneeling man with bleeding sores the size of teacups. If you come across a big-breasted bear with a child's head in her jaws, you've gone the wrong way."


The Evers are looking for someone to teach their troubled young daughter who has already scared off two governesses. When Danna Valdez arrives at the job interview, she immediately notices that the eccentric Evers' family will not be ordinary employers. As she approa
...more
Kaycee Bowick (Off_The_Press)
image1_6

Actual Rating: ★★★.5
(A very positive 3.5... This one was hard to rate, due to the short length)

I have to say... for the first half of this novel--every time I stopped to reflect on my reading, I was thinking "what the actual heck am I reading?!"... This novel is super dark, super eerie, and sometimes, just plain super weird. And most of the time, I love that.. but there was just so much going on in this novel. The setting is over-the-top horrifying and dark.. creeping sculptures ("The Atroci
...more
Clare
Aug 10, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This was a weird ass book. I’m usually a fan of gothic fiction and any stories having to do with old houses and family secrets. But this one just didn’t do it for me. It started off interesting. The author did a good job setting a very creepy tone to the story. There’s a lot of mention of statues and paintings with contorted faces, the color red, and odd symbols. To some extent, the writing reminded me of Edgar Allan Poe. But unlike Poe, a lot of the story didn’t really seem to make sense. The e ...more
Michael Hicks
Apr 04, 2018 marked it as quit-dnf
Shelves: netgalley
DNF at 36%. This is a short read, but despite that I just cannot get into it and cannot fathom spending the next hour trying to finish it. This is boring as fuck. I’ve got way too many freaking books in Mount TBR and this one is doing absolutely nothing for me. There’s no hook to engage me or hold my interest, and it’s far too plodding for my tastes. I give up.
Barb (Boxermommyreads)
Apr 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018
This is one of my most anticipated books this year and lately I've been seeing it everywhere. So I was thrilled when I received an ARC from Netgalley and Tor.com in exchange for an honest review. "The Atrocities" tells the story of Danna Valdez who is hired by a somewhat eccentric couple, Mr. and Mrs. Evers, to tutor their daughter Isabella. When she arrives, she first has to navigate the maze depicted on the cover which is staged with scary and horrific statues - The Atrocities. Danna soon catc ...more
OutlawPoet
Apr 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If I had to narrow down The Atrocities to just a few words, I would choose: surreal, beautiful and grotesque.

This is such an odd little book. It’s got the dread of Shirley Jackson mixed with the funhouse terror of Hieronymus Bosch.

From the moment our main character steps into a maze reminiscent of Italy’s Parco dei Mostri (park of the monsters), it’s clear that there’s something very wrong here.

The overtones are gothic, though the story is modern – and it’s very, very chilling.

It seems a little
...more
Stephanie (That's What She Read)
The Atrocities was an atmospheric and spooky gothic story about a teacher who is hired to tutor a young girl named Isabella. When she arrives, after making her way through maze filled with grotesque statues called the Atrocities, she finds that there might not even be an Isabella. I thoroughly enjoyed the dark dreaminess of the story along with the twists and turns it took along the way.
Jerry
Dec 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Hallucinogenic. This is how you will feel while reading The Atrocities. The story rips you directly into Stockton House, and it seems as if it won't let go. The imagery is surreal and constant. The bright sun of the garden and the dripping shadows of every chamber and hallway pull you gently into a dream state. These dreams, they explore the depths of the eerie existence of Mr. and Mrs. Evers, of Robin and Raul, and of course Isabella. Ms. Danna Valdez doesn't flinch, though maybe she should.
Avery (Book Deviant)
Mar 30, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: review-copy, 2star
See more of my reviews on my blog the Book Deviant

When I picked out The Atrocities, I was specifically looking for that creepy story that, while not giving me nightmares, gives my spine chills or gives me goosebumps. I have a hard time finding these stories, ranging from just the creepy to true horror, so when I get in this mood, 9 times out of 10, I'm disappointed. The Atrocities wasn't any different.

I think, maybe, that the parts that were intended to be scary weren't actually scary because th
...more
Tammy
Apr 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The nitty-gritty: A surreal, Gothic nightmare of a story that beautifully explores the depths of grief and loss.

I didn’t know I was in the mood for a creepy, Gothic horror story until I picked up The Atrocities , and boy did it deliver! This is one strange story, but it’s so well written and has so many emotional layers that I highly recomm
...more
Lena
Apr 22, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: own-e-copy, arcs
"You must let me have them, Molly. They are nothing to you. They are walking corpses, held together my memories and dreams."

I liked the premise, I really did, but the execution just wasn't up my alley. Jeremy C. Shipp seems to be quite well acquainted with the horror genre but this short story didn't cut it. I felt like Shipp was trying way too hard to portray an eery, chilling, creepy atmosphere. But there is a borderline which, when overstepped, makes everything overdone and far-fetched. And,
...more
Anna (mybookishdream)
I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

There were some aspects of this novella that I enjoyed and some that bothered me. The Atrocities left me feeling conflicted and for the longest time I didn’t know how to rate it.

What I really liked about this story was its setting and atmosphere. I was very intrigued by the mansion and I wanted to know more about it. The author managed to create an eery and uneasy atmosphere within the first few pages. The atmosphere contin
...more
Philip
May 23, 2018 rated it it was ok
2.25ish stars.
Etienne
3,5/5. A novella who was able to establish a very atmospheric gothic vibe to it very quickly and hold on to it which was very great. The book is weird, even some dark humor at some point, and like I said, a very good ambiance. The characters are okay and well introduce/develop for such a short story, the story itself is a bit less than 100 pages. The only reason I drop my rating, and having read some reviews I'm not the only one who think that, is because the ending is terrible. The book is clos ...more
Nicky
Jul 17, 2018 rated it liked it
I really liked the sound of The Atrocities right up front; I did expect something horror/Gothic ish in tone, but kind of expected something maybe less dramatic than this turned out to be. It starts out with great atmosphere and that uncanny feeling, but even after thinking it over for a few days, I’m not entirely sure what I make of it as a whole. Once things started being explained, it didn’t feel quite satisfactory to me, and by the end I was a little confused about what was real. The main cha ...more
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Jeremy C. Shipp is the Bram Stoker nominated author of Cursed, Vacation, and Sheep and Wolves. His shorter tales have appeared or are forthcoming in over 50 publications, the likes of Cemetery Dance, ChiZine, Apex Magazine, Pseudopod, and Rosebud. While preparing for the forthcoming collapse of civilization, Jeremy enjoys living in Southern California in a moderately haunted Victorian farmhouse wi ...more

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