Welp, I'm back! Sorry for the itty bitty hiatus, guys. School just started and things have been kind of crazy. I'm not sure if I can post as often as I did during the summer, but I will try to post something at least twice a week until the weekends or breaks.
So, here's my review for SLIGHTS by Kaaron Warren:
Author: Kaaron Warren
Summary (from AngryRobotBooks.com):
Stephanie is a killer. After an accident in which her mother dies, she has a near-death experience and finds herself in a room full of people – everyone she’s ever pissed off. They clutch at her, scratch and tear at her. But she finds herself drawn back to this place, again and again, determined to unlock its secrets. Which means she has to die, again and again.
And she starts to wonder whether other people see the same room… when they die.
After a lunch with her mother, celebrating her small lottery win (enough to pay for, well, the lunch), Stephanie, or Stevie, drives home. After imagining a child on the road, she swerves into a wall, killing her mother. Despite being told her mother died painlessly, Stevie still remembers her screams.
She wakes up in a cold, dark room, surrounded by twisted, unblinking eyes and the smell of death. Everyone she's ever slighted stares at her.
But she lives. And she remembers the room.
As she attempts to continue the normalcy of her life, the room becomes her fascination, her obsession. The smell of mothballs and shit, the scars littering her body, the wavering edge of death. And she tries to go back.
This is a creepy book.
That's it, plain and simple; it's creepy. Frightening. Disturbing. It is indescribably horrific, something you can't tear your eyes from no matter how much your brain tells you too. It is what every horror movie should be.
The fashion in which it's written is minimilistic; no excessive word play or over-description (I'm lookin' at you, Stephan King). Flawless in it's simplicity, Slights fills the reader with a sense of dread that builds up and swallows you whole before you even realize it's there. I'm not even sure how to write this review, because it left me absolutely speechless.
It's slow goings at first, an introduction of sorts of the coldness to come, I suppose. It's one of those books you cannot bring yourself to rush through, one where every word carries signifigance. Bouncing from past to present, fiction to reality, the lines so blurred your left confused and a tad heartbroken.
There is no such thing as secondary characters in Slights; everyone is simply a tool, a vehicle for Stevie's own self-destruction. Everyone is discribed in their worst light, through Stevie's scattered first person narrative. The only person Steve really shows affection for, throughout the entire novel, is her father. but, as you get farther in, you discover how unreliable a narrataor she really is.
Stevie is not a character that begs for sympathy or even empathy: her voice is a constant spew of venom, full of loathing and indifference for her fellow human beings. I could say there's a plot, but it would barely be the truth. I think it's more of an examination of a really messed up character and how they advance over time.
In a strange, twisted sort of way, I loved Slights. I've read a lot of horror novels in my day, and it is the only one to really scare me since Stephan King's Pet Semmetary. Stevie is not a likeable character by any means, yet I found myself genuinelly concerned with her future. It's kind of like the Saw movies--you know it's wrong, but you can.not look away. Kaaron Warren is able to turn a terrible unlikeable character and make her break your heart without even trying.
Ms. Warren doesn't rely on gore, on the shock factor, to make her book scary. She takes something we're all afraid of and makes us watch the reprocussions, and that is the real horror that lurks beneath the average.
So, at the risk of sounding more corny then I alreay have, I'll leave you to your thoughts. But, hopefully, these thoughts include Slights, because it is definetly something to check out.
Rating: 9 out of 10
Also: Check out Angry Robots other releases at their website, AngryRobotBooks.com
...and look out tomorrow for an interview with the author herself, Kaaron Warren!