Written by Grady Hendrix
Published by Quirk books, September 23, 2014
My star rating: 3.75 stars
Something strange is happening at the Orsk furniture superstore in Cleveland. Every morning, employees arrive to find broken Kjerring wardrobes, shattered Brooka glassware, and vandalized Liripip sofa beds – clearly someone, or something, is up to no good. To unravel the mystery, five young employees volunteer for a long dusk-till-dawn shift and encounter horrors that defy imagination. Along the way, author Grady Hendrix infuses sly social commentary on the nature of work in the new twenty-first-century economy.
A traditional haunted house story in a contemporary setting, and full of current fears, Horrorstör delivers a high-concept premise in a unique style.
If you remember correctly, I was obsessed with this very same author over the summer. He just so happens to be the author that wrote My Best Friends Exorcism. And I apparently had a thing for his book covers long before I ever read his books! This is a book that caught my eye when it was first released. It looks exactly like an Ikea catalogue. It’s even the perfect size for it. There are also diagrams, forms, and instructions like you would see in an Ikea catalogue. But look closely. The names of the items are different and then there’s the picture frames………. And now that you’ve seen it you can’t unsee it!
Grady Hendrix’s style is a different one. And I don’t mean that in a bad way. His books always seem to be one thing but then they turn into something that’s so much more. He has a quality like he’s a spoof writer. Taking something that has been seen and done before and making it unique. But in a way that seems like it’s got some humour and isn’t meant to be taken seriously. And that’s how you start his books – with the sense that you’re going to be rolling your eyes with delighted annoyance. But the next thing you know you’re thoroughly creeped out and you have goosebumps on your arms. He’s a bit of a sneaky writer that way! Everything seems all light hearted then the small details come out of nowhere and have your fears on edge.
Something else that seems to be this authors style is gross descriptions. If you love over the top horror filled with dirt, blood, and gore – this is your man. I’ve read worse, but still I think that this isn’t necessarily for the faint of heart. He travels down the road of disgusting and twisted…… actually twisted is kind of the perfect word for this book!
To be a little more specific about this book – it takes place in a giant store that is just like Ikea. We get a little insight to the store chain itself and a few of its employees. Very quickly we see that there’s a problem with the store and it’s being vandalized. So to take matters into his own hands, store manager Basil has two employees help him stay overnight to figure out whats happening. But the “vandalism” isn’t as it seems and they quickly realize it’s going over their heads. The pace and format worked really well actually. There was a little bit of info dumping in the beginning but it was done in a way that consistently held your attention and kept you interested. It wasn’t overly exciting but like I said, I was interested. The meat/horror aspects of the book comes in very quickly which helps as well. Things are introduced and moves along at an even pace.
I do feel like there was a little bit of flip and flop with the main character though. Like her decisions were unrealistic and she couldn’t make up her mind if she was coming or going. Or if she wanted to save herself or everyone else. It in a way fit her character type though. She’s struggling with adulthood and is all together unreliable. But, to be fair, we aren’t reading a book like this to meet amazing characters! We are reading this to be scared and creeped out – which more than served its purpose.
If you’re looking for a quick and creepy read, full of dark and creepy corners, in a really unique setting, then I highly recommend this one! It’s not your typical horror yet somehow, it’s everything familiar. I was really entertained!
Until next time, happy reading!