Slewfoot is an intriguing horror story that is both extremely unsettling and utterly satisfying. It is both a tale of finding oneself and pure, unadulterated vengeance. It is both exactly and not even close to what I was expecting upon completion, and I thoroughly enjoyed my gateway drug to Brom’s library.
I am so happy to review my second book of spooky season! I want to read more horror/thriller this year, and The Last House on Needless Street is a super creepy book that really hits those Fall vibes right on the head.
I think this book is more thriller than horror, maybe a combination of both (thorror?), though it is more eerie than violent. Which, in my opinion, is much harder to do. Do not get me wrong, I am 100% down with a good slasher (and writing in that styles comes with its own set of difficulties), but making the hairs stand up on someone’s arm with just a description of a scene or person is much more challenging, I think. Catriona Ward does an amazing job of bringing those feels to this book, and that is not surprising. While this is my first of the author’s books, Ward is an award-winning horror author who has several published novels already out in the world.
I am actually not going to talk too much about the book, because I am in super non-spoiler mode on this one. It is such a trip that you really have to experience it yourself, but know this: I heard the hype pretty loudly before reading, and I am always skeptical; but, guess what? It definitely lives up to fanfare. It is just as chillin and thrilling as is its billing. The plot, the characters, the setting… it all comes together in a near-perfect combination that had me on edge until the last word.
I mean that literally, because one of the aspects of this book I was really impressed with was the fact that it felt like it just kept on going. I often watch shows or movies, or, more often, read books that I just do not want to end. This book, while not long by any stretch, left me completely fulfilled, and I think that is due to the way the author unravels everything at the end. The reveals felt very systematic, which I really enjoyed. Not everything was resolved at once; it came a piece at a time. Completing the story in this way allowed me to ruminate on each fragment and chew it 28 times before taking the next bite. This method also gives the reader a cascade of information, one after the other, at the end versus what could have been more of a data dump.
By the way, not to sound like a cliche, but, yeah, Olivia is my favorite character. I know, everyone loves the cat. Olivia is sassy and smart and weird, and really levels up the story with her spunky attitude. You could read this book for Olivia alone and not be disappointed.
The only reason I am not giving the book a perfect rating is that there was one character whose story I would have liked to see go a little differently at the end. But, you are going to have to read it to find out.
It’s spooky season, y’all! Set it off! If you are looking for a great thorror (I have said it twice now, so that officially makes it a thing, right?) to get you in the mood, read The Last House on Needless Street. It has definitely set the tone for me.
Certain Dark Things is the new, sharply set, novel from Silvia Moreno-Garcia; it bares its fangs right away with action scenes in fast beats under the glow of the neon lights. It’s what twilight would be if it was dark and riddled with bullet holes, if the vampire families were warring drug cartels, not welcome by the human ones that inhabit, run and rule Mexico City. This alternate reality where ten types of vampires will come for you in the night, or day, is sure to keep you gripped.
o in conclusion, not one for me. But if you’ve never read horror or just starting out, and love short stories with a strong-internal-dialogue-prose driven narrative, then Nothing But Blackened Teeth might just be a great novella for you.
The Last House on Needless Street is as good, if not better, than advertised. Believe all of the hype surrounding this novel from names like Stephen King, Joe Hill, Paul Tremblay, Alex North, Sarah Pinborough and a litany of others. It is an absolutely mesmerizing novel; a bone-chilling masterwork of dark fiction that is as disquieting as it is heart-wrenching. A true standout in the genre.