WILL HAUNT YOU
Horror | 288 pages | 03.14.2019 | Flame Tree Press
This story is meta! It begins with a warning to the reader that were you to proceed there is no turning back and bad things will happen to you – at times “the author” even speaks directly to you. If you continue reading, you’ll be sucked into whatever craziness this is. Of course, that immediately drew me in. The book starts off with a bang. We get to meet disillusioned guitarist, Jesse, who now writes commercial jingles instead of touring with his former heavy metal band. He is barely scraping by trying to support a wife and a child with a disability. Immediately after a one-time reunion concert, he is giving his drunk friend (and frontman of the band) a lift home …. and now things get weird. As Jesse is driving down the road, ominous creatures appear out of nowhere, subliminal messages stream over a radio station, are they hunting him? why does the radio host know his name? and his friend bizarrely sleeps through all of this. Are these events related to a book Jesse recently read and who’s warning he blissfully ignored (same as you, the reader)? Or is he going crazy and all of this is happening in his head? Or could this be an elaborate prank orchestrated by his former band members? You, as the reader, may never find out. All you do need to know is that a journey through a funhouse on steroids begins and a hunt for survival begins. Honestly, that is where the author lost me. The chaos was so extreme and elaborate that I didn’t have time to even imagine the scary stuff that was happening. I was confused and irritated. I couldn’t follow the story. I know that this was done on purpose so I could experience what Jesse is experiencing but it just didn’t work for me. I wanted to be scared so badly but I never got there, and I am usually super susceptible to this kind of horror.
I am sad that this novel left me wishing for more. Great concept, much much less great execution. What I appreciated the most are the parallels between the things that happen to Jesse and his past steps to sobriety. His alcoholism led him to many questionable life choices, which he regrets but has to live through one more time.
I would like to thank NetGalley, the publisher and the author for my advanced copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.