Friday, October 10, 2014

Horrostor by Grady Hendrix

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.

I picked up Horrostor because my husband bought it on a whim. It is written in the style of an Ikea catalog. It is about five employees at Orsk, a box furniture store, who wind up spending the night in the store not realizing it is haunted by mad inmates and a sadist warden from the prison that used to reside on the property that has been all but forgotten.

This book is an easy read, and I thought it would be a silly little book fun for near the Halloween holidays. I was wrong; this is a great haunted horror story! There is depravity, death, ghosts, torture and peril throughout this book, as well as some dry humor, great character building and decent story telling. The creep factor was high and I couldn’t put it down.

The chapters have pictures of furniture that steadily get more and more disturbing. Earlier chapters start out with items like the WANWEIRD a do it yourself kitchen counter that a stove and sink can be attached to. Later chapters are darker including items like INGALUTT which is essentially a chair that allows you to experience drowning.

Now it wasn’t the best book ever, the pace is fast because it’s not a long book, but for what it is, a story inside a catalog, it is successful.

This was a good book that I enjoyed reading and highly recommend, especially if you want an easy to read weird ghost story.

The Fall by Bethany Griffin

She has spent her life fighting fate, and she thought she was succeeding. Until she woke up in a coffin.

Ushers die young. Ushers are cursed. Ushers can never leave their house, a house that haunts and is haunted, a house that almost seems to have a mind of its own. Madeline’s life—revealed through short bursts of memory—has hinged around her desperate plan to escape, to save herself and her brother. Her only chance lies in destroying the house.

In the end, can Madeline keep her own sanity and bring the house down? The Fall is a literary psychological thriller, reimagining Edgar Allan Poe’s classic The Fall of the House of Usher
I didn’t like Bethany Griffin’s first book, Masque of the Red Death, the MC bugged the crap out of me, but because I like Poe so much I just HAD to read her new book, The Fall. I was pleasantly surprised.

This was a dark book, with great story telling and imagery. It is a retelling of the Fall of the House of Usher from Madeline’s POV, but at the same time it reverses Madeline and Roderick’s characters. Instead of Roderick going insane first and calling Madeline home from school it is opposite and this was very well done and set the tone for the story very well.

The house is the villain in this book, warping the family of Usher, twisting their emotions, wants, desires and talents all for the betterment of the house itself. This novel is a great Haunted House type story.

The novel opens with the end of the story and unless you have never read Fall of the House of Usher this shouldn’t be a spoiler, with Madeline buried alive. The next chapter throws you back into the past with Madeline and Roderick at nine years old. Each chapter starts with the title: Madeline age ____ and tells the story in a backwards frontwards sort of way that is ingenious and makes the plot twists even creepier.

There is no romance in this story, just depraved horror and madness. A great read for this time of year.