I liked everything about this book!… except most of the characters. And the setting. And the plot.
I mean, I’m a big fat sucker for good ghost stories. And don’t even get me started on places that shouldn’t exist (like the Beehive) and getting lost in places that should be familiar. Disembodied arms are also a favorite of mine. The parts that involved these elements were fucking brilliant. I love any mention of ectoplasm in fiction or everyday life. Oh, and the chapter with the chair? *kisses fingers*
But the things that I liked were too few and far between. Sure, Amy and Basil were very strong characters. But everyone else involved, despite how strong they appeared to be, failed to deliver in my eyes. The main villain, “The Warden,” was just one bible verse away from being as villainous as my own papa. Fire and brimstone doesn’t scare me – it’s a tolerance I’ve built up over time. I suppose I want a villain that’s likeable… that’s much scarier to me. (And it appears to be a lesson that the author learned after this book.) Oh, and the setting of a furniture store seems like a winner… but it’s a boring place to set a horror story. Or any story. Sorry.
Still, this is a solid first attempt at a debut novel but it definitely didn’t blow me away. I’d say I’m looking forward to reading the rest of the author’s work, but I have already read the rest and I have formed strong opinions about the remainder of their catalogue. Stay tuned for another Grady Hendrix book review in the near future!