30 Books in 30 Days, Vol. 2
I was discombobulated for most of listening to this book. But I was interested the whole way through, and nothing about it felt lazy or half-done, like a certain other author’s work did for me.
I should probably state up front that I am not at all a fan of slasher movies. In fact, I quite dislike them in general because I find them incredibly stressful and not cathartic in any way (although I have seen a handful as a teenager). I have also only recently begun dipping my toe into the horror genre for books (other than Stephen King’s horror, that is; I started on that in 2012), I think partially because publishers are just publishing more horror! And more creative horror, at that. But also because I’m finding that when I was younger, I thought all horror was like slasher movies, just death and gore and stress. And it’s not! So that’s my cultural background/context going in to this book. I have no doubt that people who actually like slasher movies will have different reactions to this book. You know, since it’s pretty much written for them. (Which could be both good and bad!)
And I KNOW people on the internet have OPINIONS about slasher movies.
As a story, mostly divorced from its context, I think this book is successful. The premise is that it takes place in a slightly alternate Earth where there actually are slasher killers, and they are modeled after many of our most famous slasher movies (Friday the 13th, Scream, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Silent Night Deadly Night, Nightmare on Elm Street, Halloween). Only, in this reality, the movies are modeled after real killers, and there are real Final Girls who have became famous (and who are very traumatized). Especially our first person narrator, Lynnette Tarkington, who has let her fear take over her life. She is smart and cautious, but paranoid. Her mental health is not great. Her only contact with the outside world is basically her therapeutic support group, consisting of five other Final Girls and their therapist, which has been together for sixteen years. When one of them is murdered, Lynnette quickly comes to believe that someone is targeting all the Final Girls. I don’t want to explain beyond that because things get weird.
I liked Lynnette’s character arc, I liked the ending, and I think I liked all the weirdness. I liked Hendrix’s explanation for why this is happening, and the meta elements he put in there (via traitorous Final Girl Chrissy) about What It All Means. I think it works. Above all, I wouldn’t describe any of what happens in this book as cliched or boring. I added almost all of Hendrix’s other books to my TBR after finishing so I would say it went pretty well.
Worth noting: the audio is very good. It’s narrated by Adrienne King, who was the Final Girl in Friday the 13th, which I have never seen. But I liked her performance!
[3.5 stars, rounded up]