Book Review: Horrorstör by Grady Hendrix

Posted October 27, 2014 by Kara in book review, Kara / 1 Comment

Book Review: Horrorstör by Grady HendrixHorrorstör by Grady Hendrix
Published by Quirk Books on September 23rd, 2014
Genres: adult, horror
Pages: 243
Format: Paperback
Source: Publisher
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two-half-stars

Something strange is happening at the Orsk furniture superstore in Cleveland, Ohio. Every morning, employees arrive to find broken Kjerring bookshelves, shattered Glans water goblets, and smashed Liripip wardrobes. Sales are down, security cameras reveal nothing, and store managers are panicking.

To unravel the mystery, three employees volunteer to work a nine-hour dusk-till-dawn shift. In the dead of the night, they’ll patrol the empty showroom floor, investigate strange sights and sounds, and encounter horrors that defy the imagination.

A traditional haunted house story in a thoroughly contemporary setting, Horrorstör comes packaged in the form of a glossy mail order catalog, complete with product illustrations, a home delivery order form, and a map of Orsk’s labyrinthine showroom. It’s “a treat for fans of The Evil Dead or Zombieland, complete with affordable solutions for better living.”—Kirkus Reviews.

I keep trying to read thrillers or horror novels throughout the month of October. I’ve done really great so far, and I was really looking forward to Horrorstör. Obviously I got this book a while back, so I am a little late in getting to it, but this month was the perfect month to read it anyway, so it kinda worked out.

But alas, this book and I were not meant to be.

It started off great. The creep factor built slowly, and even though I had a couple early issues with the writing, I was still enjoying myself. But as soon as the lights in the store went out, It went from creepy to corny in the blink of an eye. Now I know that horror is not exactly supposed to be realistic. But I should still be able to believe what is going on in the context of the story, and this just came off like a b horror movie all the way through.

I don’t know how to explain it. I feel that the author should be able to convince me, through the writing, no matter how unrealistic the plot is, that the story arc is realistic. Instead we have View Spoiler »

The idea of the novel was really fun and intriguing. I liked the setting and the way the book was laid out, and the store being an IKEA knockoff and all that. I didn’t have issues with the characters, though I wasn’t attached to them. But I did find them realistic enough even though they were underdeveloped.

It was the execution that I had trouble with. I have no doubt in my mind that a more inventive writer could have done more with this premise and showed me instead of told me what was going on. The writing was too simple, it wasn’t vivid, there wasn’t enough atmosphere for a horror novel. I wanted to be scared. I’ve always wanted to stay overnight in a store. By all accounts, this book should have scared the pants off of me, but it didn’t. It’s not like it was horrible–I rated it two stars, so there was some good here (mainly the characters and the premise).

The world-building was just kind of poorly put together. I expected more. The ghosts just did not convince me that they were real or scary.

This one was just okay for me.

kara

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