Connect with us

Published

on

Barrett has created a truly sardonic dark comedy horror novel in The Bus on Thursday. Eleanor’s life was turned upside down when she found a lump in her breast, resulting in chemo and a mastectomy. When she finally finds a new job in a super small Australian town, she ignores many of the creepy warning signs about the place. A strange cast of characters swirls around Eleanor as she navigates this new position: the priest offers to exorcise her “cancer demon,” a lonely lady offers her a spot at the decoupage club, and one of her students – who is way too old to be in her class – starts to have sexual feelings for her. All of this while Eleanor may or may not be sleeping with a demon.

Shirley Barrett

Written in an epistolary style, Eleanor journals and walks the reader through her strange experiences – memory loss, weird new relationships, and post-treatment cancer medications. Eleanor is a revealing narrator, never afraid to show the reader the worst parts of herself. This is why she is so captivating. I read this novel in one sitting. It was hard to set it down with the crazy events Eleanor describes. The small diary chunks also keep the reader super engaged.

This novel is captivating, laugh out loud funny (even though you feel quite wrong for laughing), and surprisingly graphic at times. It is easily comparable to Ash vs Evil Dead, one of my absolute favorite television shows. It is extremely difficult to write humorously, but to write horror comedy is an even greater feat. I have never read a work of dark comedy as good as this one. Barrett makes us feel terrible for laughing but pats us on the back and nods for us to continue.

Despite its measly 3.23 rating on Goodreads, this is a 5-star read. I highly recommend this to the true horror lover who knows how to laugh even though you’re also covering your eyes.

5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)

Sarah Moon is a stone-cold sorceress from Tennessee whose interests include serial killers, horror fiction, and the newest dystopian blockbuster. Sarah holds an M.A. in English Literature and an M.F.A. in Fiction Writing. She works as an English professor as well as a cemeterian. Sarah is most likely to cover horror in print including prose, poetry, and graphic forms.

Book Reviews

A Murder in Reverse: “Wrong Place Wrong Time”

Published

on

The Plot

“A brilliantly genre-bending, mind-twisting answer to the question How far would you go to save your child?”  — Ruth Ware, #1 New York Times bestselling author

Jen watches her son murder a stranger. Stab him to death. She and her husband, Kelly, watch as their son Todd is taken into custody.

The next morning, Jen wakes up and it’s yesterday. Jen knows that at the end of the night, her son kills someone. She is determined to stop it.

Jen goes further and further back in time trying to discover why Todd murdered a stranger and how to stop it.

The Verdict

This book is twisty. Right when you think you know the ending, something else is there to prove that the story is more multifaceted than that. While the premise of the novel is simple, Gillian McAllister elevates a simple concept with deep, dark twists.

It is best that you don’t know too much going into this one. For fans of Blake Crouch, this is such a good thriller with time travelling vibes.

4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

Continue Reading

Book Reviews

Woom: An Extreme Horror Novel

Published

on

“That doesn’t invalidate it,” Angel said. “There’s no statute of limitations on pain.”

The Plot

Angel is a man who knows pain: physical, mental, sexual. The story begins with Angel visiting Room 6 at the Lonely Motel and ordering a plus-size sex worker to his room. What comes next is Angel’s retellings of painful stories while performing sexual acts on the sex worker, Shyla.

The novel reads as a book of short stories, as Angel relays stories to Shyla and she tells him stories back. This is a novel of pain and disgust. Angel’s stories are so dark and traumatic that Shyla can’t believe they are true. As Angel bares his soul, we see a side of him that is melancholy and unable to process hurt in a natural way.

The Verdict

This novel is full of disgusting visuals and isn’t afraid to get dirty. This truly is an extreme horror novel. As a warning, there is discussion of feces, blood, rape, sex, and body horror. This novel is not for the faint of heart. You’ll close this short novel feeling dirty. Angel is a character that begs for sympathy while his stories narrate that he may not be as innocent as he perceives.

When the subtitle says this novel is extreme horror, believe it. Only the strong will survive Duncan Ralston’s Woom. It is more splatterpunk than anything, but true literary quality lies beneath the filth.

4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

Read it yourself by clicking below!

Continue Reading

Book Reviews

Did She Do It? Stacy Willingham’s “All the Dangerous Things” Asks Us Just This

Published

on

One year ago, Isabelle’s life crumbled when her baby was abducted from her home. Her marriage to her husband, Ben, is destroyed as they try to navigate the fallout.

The Plot

Even one year after the abduction, Isabelle seeks answers. She is still doing appearances at true crime expos to get information on the attendees, thinking the abductor will be there one day. Abductors usually revisit their crime and Isabelle swaps her appearances for the event guest list, never taking any money for her talks.

Some think that Isabelle killed her own baby as evidence from the case says the perpetrator came from inside the house. Isabelle hasn’t slept – not fully – since Mason was abducted. Her therapist is worried that she may be having hallucinations. Is Isabelle the killer or is she on a quest for true justice?

The Verdict

I absolutely loved the complication of not knowing whether Isabelle was a reliable or unreliable narrator. This was my favorite aspect of the novel. It made me question everything that Isabelle had to say and the actions she executed.

Isabelle is a character that, as a mother, I really felt for. I wanted to believe that Isabelle was innocent, but I was hanging on the edge of my seat waiting to find out. Stacy Willingham is the master of a story that winds all around, waiting for you to find the truth.

If you are interested in reading Willingham’s first novel, A Flicker in the Dark, check out my review here.

4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)

Continue Reading

Trending