This was a great little send up of not only haunted places, haunted buildings, and ghosts, it was done in a clever way by having it happen in the American version of a lesser IKEA. I ended up liking all of the characters very much and really liked the backstory on the site of the Orsk furniture store. The main reason why I didn’t give this one 5 stars is that the book started to drag after a while and also thought the ending was slightly unfinished. I would love to know what happens next in the story, but I guess we can just imagine instead.
“Horrostor” follows Amy who works at the Orsk furniture store in Cleveland, Ohio. Amy hates her job, but it’s the only thing that she can do that allows her to make over minimum wage. She’s been trying to avoid Basil, the deputy store manager, because she thinks she is going to be on the chopping block to be fired due to the low sales at their regional store. If that’s not bad enough, it seems that someone keeps breaking into the Orsk store every evening and the employees keep finding weird things. When Basil makes Amy and her fellow employee, Ruth Anne, a deal about spending the night at the store to catch whoever is vandalizing it, they both agree for their own reasons. The three of them quickly realize though that things are odd at the store at night. And when two of their coworkers (Trinity and Matt) sneak in to catch ghosts things go from bad to worse real quick.
I enjoyed the writing and thought Hendrix did a great job of mixing horror with humor throughout this. Hendrix is obviously a fan of old school horror books as well as movies, and you can get that sense a few times by some dumb things that the employees do (splitting up, hey let’s do a séance, etc.) Also I really liked how he somehow taps into the inner workings of an IKEA like store. For example, a few times he was describing, via Amy how the stores were set up and I was having bad flashbacks to the last time I visited an IKEA and dared to go into all of the cut throughs just so I could get downstairs faster to lighting. A few employees were not pleased with me and having people in blue and yellow shirts marching after you as you sprint through an IKEA is something I would like to not do again. LOL!
The flow gets a bit slow though. I think it’s because the book comes to a couple of stop/starting points.
I absolutely have to give a thumbs up for the book design. Besides the cover, inserts in the book look just like IKEA inserts and the furniture names cracked me up a few times. I am still stunned Hendrix got away with this book and didn’t get sued by the almighty IKEA.
The ending was interesting and I saw some reviewers hoping that Hendrix revisits one day with a novella or short story which I would love to read as well.