by Grady Hendrix
Published by: Quirk Books
Something strange is happening at the Orsk furniture superstore in Columbus, Ohio. 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 they encounter horrors that defy imagination. Along the way, author Grady Hendrix infuses sly social commentary on the nature of work in the new twenty-firstcentury economy.
A traditional haunted house story in a contemporary setting (and full of current fears), Horrorstör comes conveniently packaged in the form of a retail catalog, complete with illustrations of ready-to-assemble furniture and other, more sinister accessories. We promise you’ve never seen anything quite like it!
Let's just start from the very top: I love horror stories but I'm so scared of them. Therefore, I rarely ever do. But I was intrigued to say the least when this story was pitched to me, and I am beyond ecstatic to share my thoughts with you. Because I loved this book.
First off, I've been seeing multiple posts on social media sites lately saying how cool it would be to have a horror story set in a retail store. Yeah, that is this book. It is contemporary, most definitely, but that makes it so much better than any horror story I've read before.
I love how each character develops throughout the story. And the nerdy, study-the-book side of me loves how the characters arc and change something about themselves by the end. I was a bit distraught when Ruth Anne was taken, though I can definitely say I liked Amy the most. Probably because of her backstory.
That leads me to another thing: Grady Hendrix doesn't leave you questioning anything from the characters' pasts. I was able to see inside each one's life, without it seeming like badly-told necessary tidbit of information. It just happened to pop up in dialogue.
Now for the plot. Wow. Wow, wow, wow, wow, wow. This was so well-paced and the entire story advanced greatly throughout. I can say that I was thoroughly scared beginning right from the first few noises heard by the characters. I actually almost cried a few times and I wasn't sure if I could take it. Which is why I ended up reading this during French and Anatomy classes.
I absolutely love the originality of this story. From the very start, I was expecting something great. I got something even better. The Beehive part was fabulous, as was the story with all the penitents. And I like how Amy saves Basil, even though she didn't fully like him much. But the epilogue, where she and Basil start going back every night? That made me so happy and content with everything and I thought it was the perfect end to a perfect story.
The layout was amazing. From the Orsk order forms to the product advertisements preceding each chapter, the layout hooked me as much as the story. And it was kinda-sorta so well-done that I thought Orsk was real for way too long. As in I told everyone I knew that I'd have to find one to shop at. And I Googled it like crazy. Until I found out the truth...
Last thing? The humor. From the very start, I was chuckling. Horrorstör is set in a knock-off Ikea store. And the dialogue has the dry humor that everyone loves. But what really got me is when the chapter advertisements turned dark and sinister. I literally had to cover my mouth and stifle my laughter without looking like a nut in Anatomy. That good.
Overall, I loved this book. From page one to page 243 (I think that's the very last), I was hooked and intrigued and internally screaming from fear. I'l recommend this to anyone I haven't yet.
Rating: 5 stars. If I could rate above a five-star, I would. I'd give it ten. Or one hundred.
*I received a review copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This has not in any way affected my opinion.*