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The Chrysalis

3.19  ·  Rating details ·  438 ratings  ·  108 reviews
"Creepy, powerful, wonderfully twisted."--New York Times bestselling author Jonathan Maberry

Spawned by Brendan Deneen's own experiences relocating to a New Jersey suburb with his young family, The Chrysalis combines chills, thrills, and a literal monster in the basement with commentary on love, marriage, and impending parenthood.

Welcome to the dark side of suburbia.

Hardcover, 304 pages
Published September 4th 2018 by Tor Books
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Average rating 3.19  · 
Rating details
 ·  438 ratings  ·  108 reviews

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Chelsea Humphrey
A couple of things:

1) I found this to be categorized improperly. I went in expecting the horror it is billed as, only to find out it's really a science fiction novel. Nothing wrong with that, just disappointing when you're picking up a book you hope is scary but turns out isn't frightening at all. I'm not a regular reader of horror novels, but even I was disappointed, which isn't the author's fault.

2) I think this would make a swell movie. The story has a very vivid writing style and I think if
Mel (Epic Reading)
Jan 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc-netgalley
I really had no business reading this book. I don't read a lot of straight-up horror and so it's difficult for me to compare this to other horror as my experience with it is very limited. However, my husband is a horror buff and as I read this and told him about it he was intrigued. I stopped giving him plot points later on as I'm hoping he will read it. What I can say for certainty is The Chrysalis kept my attention and hooked me right from the opening pages.

The Plot
While there is nothing spec
Mogsy (MMOGC)
Sep 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: review-copy, horror
4 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum

Every so often, I find myself pleasantly surprised by books like The Chrysalis, which, for the record, I believe was indeed written as a horror novel, though marketing for the book may have oversold the whole “monster in the basement” and “haunted house” angle a little too zealously. I get it, though. With a story like this, the creep factor is easier to sell, despite there being so much more it has to offer.

The book follo
Aug 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
"The basement gaped open like a mouth."

The Chrysalis was a fun read. It wasn't entirely what I was expecting, but I enjoyed it. It has a great opening & proceeds with some slow-building suspense.

I was very curious about what was going on with the house, and the story was intriguing enough to hold my attention throughout the book. I saw a couple reviews calling this sci-fi instead of horror, but I think it's just horror on the lighter side.

Even though I liked the book overall, I did have some i
Sep 25, 2018 rated it it was ok
2.0 stars for this light horror story involving a millennial couple who buy their first house. Hmmm, What is that reddish stain on the kitchen floor that just won’t clean out? I’ll give you one clue - it’s not ketchup!

The title gives it all away what is lurking in the basement behind the piles of junk and behind the old refrigerator. What this is, where it came from, what it does, what it needs and what it becomes are all revealed. It’s rather lame.

This corny story of a thing/monster in the ba
Thanks to Netgalley for a Kindle copy of The Chrysalis.

This is my first book by the author so I was open minded and excited, mostly because Netgalley approved this read.

** Spoilers ahead **

Tom and Jenny Decker are already living hand to mouth when they are forced out of their tiny apartment by a huge rent hike.

They are pleasantly surprised when they find an affordable house in Jersey, despite their strict budget.

The house needs work but its roomy, spacious, and most importantly, cheap.

Then, T
Jul 16, 2018 rated it it was ok
Thank you to Net Galley and the publisher for giving me the opportunity to review. I'm really not sure what to say about "The Chryalis." It was marketed as a horror novel, but it was far from it - more like light sci-fi. There were no jump scares or really anything worth noting. Very disappointed in this as I was expecting something more.
Nov 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Don't go in the basement!
Philip Fracassi
Apr 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: genre
THE CHRYSALIS by Brendan Deneen is a very well-written, fast-moving, skin-creeping horror novel that deftly combines literary prose and graphic violence with more than a dash of the cosmic entity trope. A beautifully-paced tale of human deconstruction with just enough twists and surprises to keep you guessing the outcome until the very last page. Highly recommended for fans of Barker, King, Straub, or anyone looking for a fresh-take horror read.
Sarah Pearce
Sep 11, 2018 rated it did not like it
Gak...this was a remarkably bad book. I say remarkably with tongue in cheek...because I'm slowly realizing that there is a good chance that the next dozen books I read will be meh. What's happening in literature today? Has everybody taken a Benadryl and quit for the day? Remarkably hideous. And this one popped up on my Kindle as a "must read". Must not pay attention to my kindle.

This book, The Chrysalis, is about Tom and Jenny who get booted out of their apartment in someplace called Alphabet C
Nov 11, 2018 rated it liked it
unsurprisingly, the cover is what pulled me into this one. the creepy house, the night sky, the overgrown yard tangled with weeds. and that tag line, "don't go in the basement." (which at first, i mistakenly thought was the title.

then i read the inside flap. millennials. new house in the suburbs. creepy basement. yep.

now, this book was very compelling. something kept me reading, and invested, even though not a whole lot went on for awhile. the writing style was undeniably good.

but i just didn
Claire- Louise
Aug 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourites, horror
The Chrysalis was a subtle, twisted Amityville of the modern day. The horror of the suburbs. I thought the characters were absolutely great, I relished the contemporary feel to the story, it complimented perfectly the slow and insidious building of mania and dread. I was completely invested, until the grotesque, bitter end. For a book with such horrific qualities, the standard and authenticity of the writing went down as smooth as silk. I’m disturbed to say the least. 5 beautiful stars.

For love
Alex | | findingmontauk1
Aug 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned
The Chrysalis was a fun book to read! My initial interest in the book stemmed from reading the synopsis and seeing the tagline on the cover, DON'T GO IN THE BASEMENT. I had expected a lot more horror than I got, and even read a few reviews that considered this sci-fi and not horror at all. While I agree that it is not as MUCH horror as I wanted, it is still horror (horror light? horror adjacent?) and I do not really think it is sci-fi by any means.

I really enjoyed the protagonist's descent into
May 29, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley, kindle
Easy read with a tiny creepfactor. The book mainly covers ordinary life in an ordinary street experiencing some extraordinary events. The thing in the basement has a funny hold on people, but it didn't freak me out until the very end when the situation became quite surreal. The Chrysalis kept me pleasantly entertained. Well worth the time.

Thank you Netgalley and Macmillan/Tor Books for the ARC
Jul 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: e-books, netgalley
I enjoyed this book. It wasn't scary or anything, more of a kind of creepy, sci-fi type book. You sort of knew where it was headed before it was revealed. Good for a weekend read.

I was given an eARC by the publisher through NetGalley.
Lars (theatretenor) Skaar
Oct 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book! Super creepy and suspenseful. Loved the idea of the Chrysalis and what it was doing to Tom and Jenny and what it ended up being. Some solid gore at times and some scary parts and anxious parts! Would recommend!
Sep 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Thanks to Netgalley for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

I LOVE horror. I love horror movies and creepy books, so I was excited to read this book when I requested it on Netgalley. I do have to be honest, I'm not sure if it's really horror, or more Sci-Fi, but the book does have some very creepy parts. If you like horror and Sci-Fi as well, you could easily read this book, I finished it in two days!

A longer review can be found at Bite Into Books

I see a lot of
Nov 20, 2019 rated it it was ok
An ok horror story that could have been much better. The premise: A couple buys a new house that's suspiciously cheap. It's because there's a strange chrysalis growing in the basement. The husband discovers it, gets gross with it, and things go bad.

I feel like this story either needed to be fleshed out A LOT more or cut back A LOT and just made a short story. There just wasn't enough to sustain a whole novel although the ending was fun.
Nov 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Fan-freaking-tastic horror novel! Part "Amityville Horror", part "The Ruins", with some nasty insect ickiness to boot. I thoroughly enjoyed this novel for it's creepiness. My only criticism is that I want a prequel novel to follow the story of Abigail and Spencer, with her discovery and yet another prequel of the origin of the chrysalis. As Johnny 5 would say: NEED MORE INPUT!
Nov 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror, sci-fi
I am so confused by the low ratings because this book is great!!! Ok, so maybe it's more sci-fi than horror, but it's still seriously creepy. The entire book is drenched in a feeling of hopelessness and dread, and i hated to put it down.
David Blake
Nov 01, 2018 rated it did not like it
Just couldn't stick with it -- found the dialogue sophomoric and poorly paced.
Sep 30, 2018 rated it liked it
This book got a creepy vibe on it but it didn’t quite achieve the chilling factor I was expecting. The title spoiled us of what’s lying in the basement although what it can do remains a mystery. After the prologue, you can immediately get an idea of what’s about to happen to our characters and yet hoping that maybe it will still surprise you along the way.

The characters are okay, but they are not someone you can easily relate to. I had trouble connecting to any of them especially Tom. He appears
Oct 23, 2019 rated it it was ok
This was just too much and not in a good way. I came into this story thinking it was going to be more of a spooky read I was looking forward to, but turned into something I don't really know how to explain. The thing in the basement is definitely not what anyone was thinking it was going to be, leaving the reader (at least myself) wondering why I put myself through this.

As I kept reading, there were moments that felt like this was going somewhere great, the scariness of the thing in the basement
Heather Miller -- Quaint and Curious Volumes
Well, we have a disgusting slimy thing growing on the basement wall and a man slowly descending into madness because of it. So the story has a lot going for it. It's well written and creepy with a fever dream sort of vibe. But the ending...was anticlimactic. And there were multiple loose ends that I felt needed tying up: things mentioned in the beginning of the story that feel like they should be important but just sort of fade away as the story progresses. So I'm torn on this one. 3 1/2 stars r ...more
Sep 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Terrifying. I tried to binge read it but needed to put it down and walk away so I didnt fall into the chaos and mind-twisting dementia along with Tom and Jenny. Took me 4 days to fully digest it and I feel like starting on page 1. Tomorrow. During daylight hours. Well done my friend. Well-freaking-done.
Jul 29, 2019 rated it liked it
Moderately gory, decently creepy. I appreciated the way the monster's growing influence was portrayed through the changing POVs of the two main characters.

That said, the book overall felt a little light; Jenny did not do nearly as much as the inside cover flap led me to hope for, and there were times the story seemed to be ignoring things that it had previously focused on.
Lauren Paletta
Nov 13, 2018 rated it liked it
I still don't know what I think about this book, but it would make a intriguing movie. All I can say is it was not as frightening and sinister as I was hoping it would be.
Sep 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
One of our favorite new releases. Creepy, fast-paced, likable main characters. This is a book for fiction readers - not just horror or sci-fi.
Oct 17, 2018 rated it did not like it
Sorry, when the source of the "horror" is revealed In the first 10 pages, there is no build up. It dragged and after 200 pages 8 just couldn't waste anymore time. I never was invested in the characters. Didn't care about them.
Sep 02, 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: Disturbing and atmospheric, The Chrysalis combines traditional horror elements with solid character development and delivers a cautionary tale about addiction.

The Chrysalis is being described by a lot of readers on Goodreads as “science fiction,” but I just don't get that. To me, this was pretty clearly a horror story, an
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