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Rites of Extinction

3.73  ·  Rating details ·  133 ratings  ·  42 reviews
Rebecca Daniels is a down-and-out private investigator on the hunt for her daughter’s killer. The trail leads to Bright Fork, a sleepy New Hampshire town where Rebecca discovers this is no ordinary manhunt. Her investigation becomes a tangle of brutal killings, secret rituals, and terrifying visions that force Rebecca to question reality. This is more than an opportunity t ...more
Paperback, 150 pages
Published March 30th 2019 by Grindhouse Press
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Average rating 3.73  · 
Rating details
 ·  133 ratings  ·  42 reviews

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Sadie Hartmann
May 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: scream-mag
This review appears in the Sept/Oct 2019 issue #56 of SCREAM Mag

If we’re all honest with ourselves and one another, nothing is more terrifying than the idea of losing a loved one to an act of violence. I’ve stood at the edge of thinking about such things and peered down into the abyss--the utter ruin and darkness of a painful tragedy and it could possibly break me wide open. I don’t know how to survive that.
I won’t even read stories about abducted or missing children because it’s too much. The p
Janie C.
Apr 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book began as story of crime and revenge, then threw in a chilling twist that took me completely by surprise. The psychological elements and the strong occult background combined to make this a tense and disturbing story of the ties between a mother and her child.
May 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
My friend Sadie turned me on to this novella, and we actually ended up reading it at the same time without discussing it. I'm so thankful to her and Matt Serafini for hooking me up with a copy of this. I absolutely loved it.

I'm really going to have to tread carefully here, because I don't want to give anything away or spoil a single thing for anyone. You need to go into this novella knowing as little as possible. Sincerely, the less you know, the more of a gut punch this story turns out to be. A
May 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
"All of yesterday, a dream. All of today, a nightmare."

I'm not going to say very much about Rites of Extinction because you deserve to go into this one without knowing much. Just know that I loved this book, and I had such a blast reading it. This story grabbed my attention in the beginning, and then it ended up being wilder than I expected it to be. It was so much fun to see how everything unraveled. This was by far one of the most satisfying novellas I've read since I feel like everything was
Rachel (TheShadesofOrange)
Aug 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror, review-copy
4.0 Stars
Well that was unexpected!

This is one of those novellas where it is best to pick it up without knowing too much. Now that I have read it for myself, I understand why other reviewers have been so mysterious when they talk about the plot.

The characterization of our protagonist was excellent. Rebecca played the role of the alcoholic private detective and I absolutely loved it. She was not just a stereotype, but rather a complex, fully fleshed out woman.

It's honestly hard to discuss this one
Stephanie (That's What She Read)
"Every day on the road is like this now. All of yesterday, a dream. All of today, a nightmare."

Absolutely loved this little folk horror novella, and it has less to do with the fact that I'm a sucker for an alcoholic PI main character and more with how wonderfully horrifying this book was. This follows Rebecca Daniels, a private investigator heading to a small town to hunt down the man that murdered her daughter and ruined her life. I went into this thinking it would be a generic revenge story an
The Grim Reader
Y'know, Rites of Extinction is a decent book. It begins as a crime thriller before moving into supernatural, cult territory. The first half of the book is excellent; really good writing, solid characters, a desperately grim atmosphere and then things get bogged down with seemingly endless dream sequences and a confusing timeline of events. I would've been more than happy for the story to continue as a dark thriller but the strange events in the second half of the book didn't float my boat. Rites ...more
Ashley (spookishmommy)
May 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
In the words of our lord and savior, Britney Spears, gimme gimme more. This was the first book I've read by Matt Serafini and I am looking forward to reading more. What a gory surprise! These characters were insane and I loved every second. Also I'm a sucker for a cult. So bonus points there. For such a small book, it ran my emotions through the ringer! ...more
Sep 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
4.5/5 rounded up for GR.
Full review coming soon.
Tracy Robinson
May 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
“But memories have a way of crystalizing the happiness the further you get away from them” (2).

Matt Serafini, Rites of Extinction
This novella is a unique take on revenge, psychosis, and more that I won’t divulge here. So much of the success of this story depends on coming to it fresh, with little idea of what to expect. Hell, even if you do have some expectations, they are probably incorrect. So unique is the best way I can think of to describe this right now. No fear, I am not giving anything a
Kevin Jones
Apr 07, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What does it mean to make a sacrifice? And how do you know it was worth it? These are the questions, at least for me, at the heart of this gripping, new novel of occult horror.

The premise of Rites of Extinction is as simple as it is grisly: a bereaved mother, Rebecca Daniels, is hell-bent on using her skills as a private investigator to avenge the gruesome death of her daughter. The book hooked me in Chapter 1 with one of the best meditations on parenting I may have ever read. A clearly distraug
May 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is my first time reading a Matt Serafini story and I won’t let it be my last! This one made me sit back and take notice! He is a force to be reckoned with.

It shocks me that there are authors out there, such as Matt, that can still shock and horrify me. Well, this one did it! The first part of the book had me wondering what was really going on, by the end I realized, not only what was going on but was left stunned. This is a deeply disturbing, psychological story with ancient ritualistic und
Apr 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I had no idea starting this book what it was about. All I knew was I was OBSESSED with the cover. And I’m a sucker for grindhouse press.

I haven’t finished a whole book this month and so I picked this up hoping it would break this awful slump.


This was grief horror. Occult stuff. Everything I never knew I was missing. The author did a fantastic job taking you through all the emotions as you watch this mom deal with the loss of her daughter. She sets out to find her killer and the
John Lynch
Jan 19, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Rites of extinction, this is truly a mind bender.

This is my second Matt Serafini book, the first being ocean grave. I’ll be reading more soon. The story follows Rebecca on a quest for revenge. To say more truly is to give the book away. I enjoyed this a lot, although for much of it, I wasn’t sure exactly what was going on, although I believe that to be by design. The story is interesting and the end was great. I’d recommend this to horror fans for sure
Cat Voleur
Apr 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
"This is desperation. And desperation breeds sacrifice."

I am so glad that I stuck this book out to the end, because I'm not sure that the early chapters do the story justice. Getting into it I had a lot of questions (outside just the general mystery of the plot) that at first I found were distracting, but all the pieces really fell into place by the end.

Darker sexual themes that were running throughout the book bore a surprisingly satisfying significance to the plot later on and characters that
Amy Vaughn
Apr 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
In the beginning, I was interested in this book because it gives a hard boiled detective voice to a middle aged mom. (Full disclosure, I am a middle aged mom.) But at the halfway point the simmer turns to boil and things get out and out weird, in a way I can get behind, and the second half of the book barrels toward a satisfying end.
Isaac Thorne
Dec 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Creepy and engaging, Matt Serafini's RITES OF EXTINCTION reminded me a great deal of Stephen King back when Stephen King was trying to be H.P. Lovecraft. The ending of this short novel, in particular, is reminiscent of those earlier King days. Serafini is a crafty storyteller, able to guide what begins as a crime novel to a brutally satisfying supernatural conclusion. ...more
There were aspects of this I loved but overall did not enjoy the reading experience. It felt very disjointed to me and would have dnf'd if it were a longer book. Many scenes were like a fever dream and I wasn't a fan. I kinda how it ended but at that point I had just wanted it to be over. ...more
Cassie Daley
WOW! Loved this, 5 stars - full review to come!
Jul 21, 2019 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Brennan LaFaro
Nov 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I just closed this late last night and let it settle, or maybe unsettle? I'm not sure this was the best intro to Matt Serafini's work for me. Don't get me wrong, this book is phenomenal, but having never read Serafini before I was ill-prepared for the things this story did to my mind, without even having bought dinner first.

Rebecca Daniels takes unreliable narrator to a new level, and as such the timeline and narrative can be a bit hard to follow. I'm more than willing to chalk that part of the
Sep 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
I loved “Rites Of Extinction”! This novella is a blood-soaked, mind-bending, sex-driven, shit-spattered trip in the sick mind of Rebecca, a former police officer, now private investigator, on the hunt for her daughter’s murderer. The erudite narrative, by using the present tense, engages the readers to the point that this book is pretty hard to put down. Matt Serafini creates his own small theogony of “Great Old Ones”, including an XXX-rated version of the “Necronomicon”. The huge difference wit ...more
Scott Waldie
Oct 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
What opens almost like a procedural, with a troubled detective tracking down a ghastly killer, begins to spiral into labyrinth of lust, ritual and madness, with a few stunning revelations that begin to change how you perceived the story up to that point. Rites of Extinction accomplishes in 150 pages what a lot of books struggle to do with over twice that many, and manages to drop hints of a broader, horrifying universe in the process. A very brisk, visceral, page-turner of a book. Serafini manag ...more
Alex Gray (gray__pages)
Feb 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
What in the HOLY HELL did I just read??!! I mean this in a good way, of course.

This little novella just kept increasing the shock value until its ending, which is when urs turned up to the absolute MAX. Seriously, I haven’t had an ending shock me like that in a while. It was so deliciously disturbing and I was there for Every. Single. Minute of it!

This book follows a PI who seeks revenge after her daughter is brutally murdered, and sets on a quest to find those responsible. This is costing her e
Oct 07, 2019 rated it liked it
This was a truly crazy book. It was certainly a roller coaster ride for me. First of all, the narration was really well done except for the unusually long pauses and odd inflections when stating who said what (he said, she said). It was distracting for me. I liked the way the book was written, but I kept losing my personal spacial awareness in the tale. I lost position in time, space, and direction at times. I hated the ending because it made me feel dirty. So as far as a horror book is concerne ...more
Chris Hosmer
Jan 10, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really like Serafini's writing style. I've read number of his books and they are all well written. Make sure you give the story time to get going. His books may seem a little shallow and mundane at first but once you get into the story it's always a fresh take.

This story was like this as well. It was a little slow to get started but once it got going it was an excellent story. There is really good character development and he paints a graphic picture in your mind. I love the twists throughout
Matt (TeamRedmon)
Jul 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror, read-2019
A story of revenge that takes. a. turn. Whoa, this story is good. I burned through this novella and it kept me on the edge until the end. I won't give any details as I went into it without even reading the summary. I will tell you that it's not for the faint of heart, as if the cover wasn't a clue. There's tons of stomach turning stuff in here but if that doesn't turn you away, then I would definitely recommend this one. ...more
Camille24 (camilleisreading)
***3.5/5 stars***

Folk horror novella following an alcoholic PI on the hunt for her daughter’s killer. In a sleepy New Hampshire town, Rebecca finds evidence of disturbing rituals and more murders. As she spirals deeper into depression, substance abuse, and the inability to look in the mirror, Rebecca learns about the dark secrets her daughter was hiding.

Extra messed up short story that packs a punch. Anyone looking for more in the vein of Midsommar should check it out.
Josh Warfel
Oct 08, 2019 rated it liked it
"I recieved a free copy of this audiobook in exchange for an honest review."

Rites of Extinction has a truly unique voice that is reminiscent of the matter-of-fact tone of Bret Easton Ellis. This demeanor of our storyteller lends itself greatly to the coldness of the book.

I'd like to revisit this at some point is I feel like some of the motivations and plot were unclear by design and I'd like to read it again having the full story in mind as I feel like it is woven together very carefully.
Oct 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book makes me so happy I am gay and childless, lol. One would have you believe that this book is about a mother who lost in her grief goes to a small creepy town in search of her daughter’s killer but it is really about the curse of being a parent, and how your kids will suck the life right outta ya. It starts out tinged with grey and sadness and ends red with blood and guts and love? I look forward to more by this author. Some of these sentences were just really nice eye candy. Good shit!
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