Please note that I received this via NetGalley. This did not effect my rating or review.
I just need to give up. I am never going to be in love with Stephen Graham Jones works like my horror friends are. I have tried people. This book was just a mess. Parts of it shone, and I get why my friends like his books when you get to the shiny parts. But the whole plot just gets beyond confusing at one point. And I am so sick of the character of Jade (or as she is known now, Jennifer) being all I am not a Final Girl, only Final Girls can truly defeat slashers and I want to shake her for a whole minute. If she had not done what she had 4 years ago maybe she could still believe that, but I just got sick of it. Also for those who complained last time there wasn’t enough killing/gore, well you get it in spades in this one. First few pages starts off with a gruesome kill and it just keeps going up the more you read. In the end, this book just had too much going on and people doing way too many stupid things for me to not just read and shake my head about.
“Don’t Fear the Reaper” is the sequel to “My Heart is a Chainsaw.” Taking place four years later, we follow Jennifer (formerly Jade) Daniels as she returns to Proofrock. Jade was in jail for four years, but is eventually is released (her conviction is overturned). She is a different person now, she’s 21, and has grown her hair out, and she just wants to forget everything that happened. But returning to Proofrock right before Christmas leaves Jennifer and the rest of the town in the path of convicted serial killer Dark Mill South. And for 36 hours, Dark Mill South is going to do what he can to take down Proofrock.
I don’t want to talk too much since I would spoil, but just so you know there’s a lot going on with this one. If SGJ had stuck to just the above the book I think would have worked. But he didn’t. There’s something else that gets tossed into the mix and then you start wondering who is doing what to who and why. I still don’t get it and I re-read the last 20 pages at least 3 times at this point. There’s also some supernatural things afoot again (which I don’t mind) but think that could have been saved for another book since we know there’s one more of these things out there. Honestly if the book was Jennifer and Letha running around trying to stop a serial killer, I would have rated this higher. They are the only parts of the book that worked for me (when they are together and going back and forth at each other). Everything else falls flat.
I will say though that the character of Jennifer/Jade was good. I wish we had managed to stay with her for the majority of the book. Instead we once again get someone writing a paper to a history teacher (don’t ask that was another plot point that could have been tossed out). We follow Letha (didn’t mind) but also we get in the heads of the teens right before they get killed. We also have Banner, Hardy, etc. all from the prior book and some new characters too. I really wish we had gotten a character list of everyone before the book kicks off. I just stopped paying attention to names after a while.
The flow was pretty awful. The book just stops and starts. And people do dumb things I liked Jade and Letha, but them going off to track a serial killer with no weapons made zero sense. Jade thinking that only the new Final Girl could take out Dark Mills South was beyond dumb too. I think at one point Jade is yelling because Dark Mills South uses a gun and she’s all, slashers don’t use guns! Hey, he’s a serial killer, I don’t think he cares about movie slasher rules.
The ending was just I don’t even know.