Thanks to NetGalley and Macmillan Audio for the ARC. It hasn’t affected the contents of my review.
My initial thoughts as posted to GR upon reading the summary: “biTe mArKs oN tHe bAbY”. You can tell by the funky usage of capitals that I was very intrigued and disturbed by this book’s possible contents. And it turns out my excitement/interest radar wasn’t wrong. This was fantastic, in a horrible, creepy, bugnuts and all kinds of fuckery sort of way.
The general premise here is inspired by a combo of Rosemary’s Baby (which I just read for the first time this month, so the parallels really hit me) and ‘Salem’s Lot, but it’s not quite either of those things and definitely branches off into doing its own weird, creepy as hell but really smart thing. Ana and Reid Green have just won the NYC low income housing lottery and we meet them as they’re touring their potential new apartment in the old and prestigious Deptford building. Despite Ana using a wheelchair*, and the Deptford having almost zero accessibility accommodations, neither of them can pass up the chance to live in such a beautiful historic building at such an affordable price. So they move in with their almost one-year old baby, Charlie.
*Her spine was compressed severely during childbirth to the point where she is now paralyzed and can’t walk. This disability and the fact that it was brought on by childbirth is important, and handled surprisingly well by the male author. His wife must be cool.
And then shit gets weird. I really don’t want to say more than that. I was basically in agony over not being able to spoil myself for the plot of this book like I do most horrors, because there were no spoilers bc ARC, but I’m glad I stuck it out and read on because this was definitely better with all the surprises and turns to the plot left unspoiled (which isn’t always the case for me!)
But the thing that upped this one to five stars for me was the ending, which Nat Cassidy knocked out of the park. Oh, and definitely don’t miss out on his afterword where he goes into his inspiration for the book, which gives it even more depth.
The audiobook was great, performed very nicely by Cassandra Campbell. She probably helped me get through the book when otherwise I would have spoiled myself all to hell (somehow?) on the plot or given up on it entirely. Very glad I persisted! Putting his first book, Mary, on my TBR immediately.
[4.5 stars, rounded up for the ending]