Devolution: A Firsthand Account of the Rainier Sasquatch Massacre by Max Brooks - Book Review

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ISBN: 9781984826787
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Published: Del Rey - June 16th, 2020

If it matters: this was my first foray into the "Horror" genre. (That's the dept we file it in.) And to be sure, there was, ultimately, quite some gruesome passages in here. Overall, though, I was impressed with the scientific reality brought to bear by Brooks on this unprecedented display of Big Foot aggression chronicled in 1st hand journal form. Very astutely, he brings existing knowledge and observations from the fields of zoology and, most specifically, primatology into sharp focus in analyzing this post-volcanic Big Foot ape attack on the ultra-eco conscious mountain community of Green Loop.
Did you think that big hairy ape was our friend? Think again. And if you do come across a Sasquatch in the woods and must take a video, do it while running for your life; please, I beg of you. The image will have a lot of blur and vibration to it, but we're all used to that. Just run. ~ Reviewed by Jon Fine

The Institute: A Novel by Stephen King - Book Review

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ISBN: 9781982110567
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Published: Scribner - September 10th, 2019

The Institute is a terrifying, psychological thriller that sits on the shoulders of young children, all of whom display extraordinary abilities and intelligence. Inside its walls, experiments are performed for classified reasons, children are held against their will, and heroes sometimes come in unexpected ways.

In a surprisingly satisfying deviation from his usual classic horror stories, this novel is completely mind-bending, suspenseful, terrifying, and heart breaking. An instant favorite for me, and a perfect choice for anyone who wants to start reading books by King. ~ Reviewed by Angela Turon

Kill Creek by Scott Thomas - Book Review

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ISBN: 9781942645825
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Published: Inkshares - October 31st, 2017

If you think the idea of four horror authors spending the night in a haunted house is cliche, you are in for a surprise. It's what happens to them after they leave the next morning that is truly terrifying. This book scared me from start to finish...and what a twist ending! ~ Reviewed by Sarah Donner

Imaginary Friend by Stephen Chbosky - Book Review

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ISBN: 9781538731338
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Published: Grand Central Publishing - October 1st, 2019

Christopher is... missing.
Christopher is... different.

After disappearing for six days, a little boy named Christopher reappears unharmed.. but not unchanged. So begins a terrifying spiral into an imaginary world, where monsters and creatures blur the line between reality and imagined. Will Christopher - with the weight of two worlds on his shoulders - be able to save them both, the people he loves, and live to remember it?

Reminiscent of a much darker version of Neil Gaiman's Coraline, Chbosky's horrifying novel devoured me from beginning to end. Its twists and turns left me questioning my own sanity as I delved deeper into the nightmares, which, if you read this terrific book - are just dreams gone sick. ~ Reviewed by Angela Turon

The Ancestor: A Novel by Danielle Trussoni - Book Review

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ISBN: 9780062912756
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Published: William Morrow - April 7th, 2020

While trying to understand why her marriage is failing, Berta instead learns she is the sole surviving heir to a centuries-old Italian dynasty. Accompanying her to claim her rightful heritage, Berta’s husband, Luka, learns he, too, is from an ancient famiglia, one from whom he has inherited a feudal grudge against hers, leading to their wedlock’s inevitable ending, and also to his death. Still, Berta explores her lineage, deep into a genealogical history wherein her maternal blood has long described a kind of “missing link” to the village upon which her ancestors amassed its fortunes. ~ Reviewed by Ray Marsocci

Horrorstor: A Novel by Grady Hendrix - Book Review

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ISBN: 9781594745263
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Published: Quirk Books - September 23rd, 2014

Take everything that people say about IKEA - stores you can get lost in, hard-to-assemble cheap furniture, making fun of the weird names - and make a full length horror novel from it. Might seem like it's a bit far to stretch the joke but Hendrix is up to the challenge with Horrorstör. While the characters and plot are good (not great), the trappings really make the experience of reading the book. Formatted to look like an IKEA catalog - to the point where a passerby legitimately thought I was reading one - each chapter is preceded by a spot-on product illustration of something in that chapter. It starts innocently enough with Liripip wardrobes and Brooka sofas, but as the story turns these give way to things like the more sinister Jodlöpp "helmet" and Bodavest office chair... complete with full-body restraint system. (It also apes IKEA's hallmark use of the Futura typeface, my personal favorite, because I am the type to have a personal favorite typeface.)

Combine these immersive elements with a story and cast of characters with just enough to say on the nature of soul-crushing retail jobs, and you've got enough for an enjoyable read with just a bit of hesitation left over to maybe put off your next IKEA trip. ~ Reviewed by Andrew Bugenis


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