An out of practice reader discussing the books I get around to reading.
I checked this book out on a whim because I absolutely adored the concept. A haunted house story taking place in an Ikea? It doesn't get much better than that.
Horrorstor is about an Ikea-knockoff store that experiences paranormal activity. Someone keeps soiling the couches, weird graffiti is found in the bathrooms, and staff keep getting a mysterious text reading "help". Five employees end up staying the night to investigate, some thinking the the occurrences are the result of an intruder and the others blaming ghosts.
Spoiler alert: It's ghosts.
If you've ever seen the movie Grave Encounters (a personal favorite that I highly recommend), Horrorstor reads very similarly to how the movie plays out. It starts out reading incredibly ridiculously. It's funny and you think it's going to be a funny satire piece about the ridiculous nature of the retail industry. And in many ways I think it does provide that sort of commentary. But then when shit goes down, it seriously goes down and all the humor evaporates. I did not expect the book to scare me as much as it did but Hendrix comes up with scares that make you forget all about the fun you had earlier on. I'm going to be feeling uneasy about the fates of two of the characters for a couple of days, I think. It's a fun, intense plot and I burned through about 100 pages in the past hour. Maybe a little less, but in any case I wasn't planning on finishing the book but just HAD to. It's intense and fun to read.
All the characters were unique and fun but Amy in particular was my favorite. As a millennial struggling to get by and who put off moving back into my mom's basement for as long as possible, I strongly related with her. We even have the same foot wear, though my Chuck Taylor's aren't black. Green, blue, and a purple Batman set, in case you're curious. Anyway, she was also just a really well-rounded character. Her arc was incredibly satisfying and it was easy to root for her. I wanted her to make it out alive and I wouldn't stop reading until I knew her fate. Amy is the kind of hero I want in a story, horror or otherwise. Seriously, I love her.
If there's one thing I need to knock points off for, it's that it did take a little while to demonstrate that it is supposed to be a horror story and not just a comedy. It spent more time in the comedy, retail commentary gear. Those parts were fine but the horror was SO good that I wish Hendrix had brought that forward sooner. It definitely could have been integrated a little better with the rest of the plot.
Overall though I really enjoyed this book. It was funny and scary in just the right proportions. A fun Halloween read for the casual horror fan, me thinks.
Final rating: 4 out of 5 stores. I definitely recommend this one for a fresh take on a common horror trope, the haunted house.
Final thought: The phrase, "Just Orsk!" is my favorite.