Cover Image: Brainwyrms


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Member Reviews

DNF @ 40%
I really tried hard with this one but honestly just can’t do it anymore. I feel like at 40% there should have been something that made me want to keep reading. This book had its moments but they were far and few between.
The author consistently switches narration styles between 1st 2nd and 3rd person and as a reader I found that to be super confusing.
I feel like I have a grasp on what the book was setting out to do (Queer, Horny, Horror.) but it didn’t do it well. I think there were a lot of themes and the book lacked focus. As far as the horror goes it felt like the writing was trying hard to be “disturbing”.

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3.25 stars
I do wish this book was more horror (ex. Tell me I'm Worthless) instead of the focus on the grotesque. "Downright filthy" scenarios don't do much for me and leave me bored. The cover conjures up more images in the reader's head than the worm body horror in my opinion. I wanted to be affected by the internal worm scenarios but it never reached that point. I was always waiting for those scenes to finally get to that climax but it never happened. Those scenes left me unfulfilled. I wasn't a fan of how Rumfitt wrote the political terrorism outside of the woman bomber. I think in some ways the kink and sex distracted from the message. There were times where I replaved the audio in those sexual moments to see if I missed something that would move the novel along. All in all it was too gross and sexual that it slightly distracted from the " reality of political terrorism while exploring the depths of love, pain, and identity."
1 am looking forward to her novel as she is the only author l've encountered who writes about trans identity (specifically women which is sadly under written) in a transgressive horror style.

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Thank you to NetGalley and Macmillan Audio for this ARC. This was my second read by Alison and I think it will be my last. I think Rumfitt wrote a very compelling and interesting story, but I struggled through this. I ended up switching to reading the physical ARC of this one and I found myself skimming a lot of the book.

Very well written story but the body horror was a bit much for me.

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Another queer horror masterpiece by Alison Rumfitt.

Brainwryms was so kinky and incredibly revolting, yet I could not put it down and I finished in one day.

There were definitely some jaw dropping, nauseating, and cringing moments, but I could not tear my eyes from the pages.

What I liked:
- short chapters
- shocking content
- broken characters
- dual POV (Frankie & Vanya)
- nod to a certain British terf

What I didn't like:
- sometimes Vanya's chapters, which were just a constant stream of their consciousness, were a bit difficult to read (thankfully the audiobook helped with these chapters)!
- the ending felt rushed

Overall, I was captivated by this read and found the experience to be enjoyable. I think I would only recommend this book to people who enjoy more extreme/graphic body horror.

Thank you to netgalley for the eARC and ALC!

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‼This is Extreme Horror‼‼

TW: use of c-word, language, mention of rape, graphic sex scenes, watersports, eating disorder, scat, molestation, grooming, incest, sexual kinks, r-word, gaslighting, suicide

About the book:When a transphobic woman bombs Frankie’s workplace, she blows up Frankie’s life with it. As the media descends like vultures, Frankie tries to cope with the carnage: binge-drinking, fucking strangers, pushing away her friends. Then she meets Vanya. Mysterious, beautiful, terrifying Vanya.The two hit it off immediately, but as their relationship intensifies, so too does Frankie’s feeling that Vanya is hiding something from her. When Vanya’s secrets threaten to tear them apart, Frankie starts digging, and unearths a sinister, depraved conspiracy, the roots of which go deeper than she ever imagined.
Release Date: October 5th, 2023
Genre: Horror
Pages: 304
Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ ⭐️

What I Liked:
1. Great cover
2. Some of the kinks made me laugh
3. That orgy scene

What I Didn't Like:
1. Writing style
2. Very political
3. A lot of parts just rambled about nonsense
4. Midway if feels so repetitive

Overall Thoughts:
There is a LOT of kinky stuff in this book.

This book was intense and someone else commented that they couldn't believe a major publisher published this - I agree. I'm shocked. This is like something that should be on Amazon Kindle Unlimited.

Omg I think I just threw up... The worms and oral sex. Omg. Omg. Omg.

Omg omg omg they put fox shit inside themselves.

You reach a certain point in this book about the halfway mark where it just feels like you're kind of repeating the same stuff over and over again. There's no real story going on other than this person getting broken up with, another person that is obsessed with parasites living inside them, and there's a bombing. I wish there was more story to this book besides the over the top kink addition going on throughout.

There is so much insane stuff going on in this book that the peeing on someone seemed about the most normal thing that was happening. There was guy who eats shit. A pregnancy kink. And so so much more.

I did like how things tied up for the ending and it was Vanya's mother was the bomber.

Omg that weird incest worm scene that Frankie was dragged into.

Final Thoughts:
So this book is intense. There is so much sex that is outside the scope of what people call normal.

This book started out so good but I grew kind of bored from the obsession it felt to be over the top. In that way it reminded me a lot of John Water’s Pink Flamingos. You should check that movie out, some serious obscene things happen in it.

I did not care for the writing style. It never felt as though it flowed and at certain points it felt choppy and would just go on white rambling.

I did give it 3 stars because there were things that happened in this book that I found shocking and I thought added to the story and the characters.

After the orgy scene I raised it to 5 stars. Insane! Insane!

Recommend For:
• Eric LaRocca
• Extreme Horror

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Thanks to Netgalley, Macmillan Audio, and Tor Publishing for this advanced copy of the book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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Disgusting, I love it.
So many “extreme horror” books seem to be over the top without reason other than to be over the top, which is fine. However, when it can combine the gruesome, graphic scenes with actual meaning and story, it’s an automatic win. I finished in one day, I simply couldn’t stop.
The narration was perfect, no notes.

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I would like to just preface this review by saying none of my feelings towards this book are due to the characters being trans. I saw a lot of the reviews were positive and where I landed with this book I wanted to make that absolutely clear that this has nothing to do with that, I just did not like this book. We will always support everyone no matter what their sex or gender is.

I wish I could tell you what the story is about but I am still not entirely sure. The narrative was confusing and it changed perspectives with little to no warning which left me guessing which character we were following.

From the cover and the description I was expecting a horror book but I don’t know for sure what this would classify as. The book does come with a warning that it will have some extreme elements but I shook that off as thinking it was nothing I couldn’t handle. I was wrong and we now know what my limit is. This story follows people who have a fetish of getting and receiving parasites. I don’t know if this is a real fetish and to be honest, I am too afraid to find out. The detail given in this is just downright disturbing. Parasites turning someone on in a sexual way made this a book I just did not know how to connect to.

Normally when a story doesn’t click with me I find other good points but I struggled for that here. The writing was extremely inconsistent. Some descriptions and other situations were written so well and so clearly and then in other areas “lol” was used. It almost seemed like two different authors.

I hate finishing a book and feeling like it's a tough sell to recommend but unfortunately, that’s where I am at with Brainwryms.

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Rumfitt’s debut, Tell Me I’m Worthless, is one of my horror favorite novels of the last few years. I recommend it to everyone. Brainwyrms is different.

Frankie, a trans woman, is lucky to be alive after a terf bombs her workplace. Then she meets Vanya, who is hiding a secret, disturbing fetish. The reader is dragged into a strange underworld, and Frankie experiences levels of hatred no one deserves.

I love that this book exists. It is brutal, disgusting, violent, and sometimes vomit-inducing (the narrator suggests the reader grab a cup of tea and take a moment before a particularly gross section). Don’t get me wrong, none of the above strikes me as unnecessary; it all fits into the narrative.

It’s been disturbing to see how much trans hatred has developed over the last few years. With “celebrities” constantly voicing their misguided views on trans people, it feels like people would rather choose blind hatred over understanding and compassion. Rumfitt has captured this hate-filled panic in an effective but brutal way, but no more disturbing than the treatment of real trans people (one recent example is Brianna Ghey).

Nicky Endres does a fantastic job of narration. They really capture the various characters, and I swear I could detect a smile in their voice in the more disturbing parts of the book. An absolutely perfect choice.

Brainwyrms felt like a departure from Worthless, but still undeniably Rumfitt. Her writing is urgent, political, violent, and necessary. This is next-level horror, and not for the faint-hearted.

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Brainwyrms by Alison Rumfitt 🧠🪱💜💚

This book was filthy and disgusting and I LOVED it. I requested an e-galley and missed the chance, so when I saw this title available as an audiobook I jumped fast. I’m so freaking glad I did! This book has been absolutely haunting me in the best way ever since I finished it. This is going to be an automatic buy for me on pub day - I need a physical copy. 😂

Frankie and Vanya were iconic characters that I couldn’t get enough of. The wyrms have wriggled into my brain and made a home, and I’m not even mad about it. Along with the pure kink and gore, there’s an insanely good storyline. I couldn’t stop listening to this. I restarted and rewound it so many times. God, was this an amazing read (listen). If you’re a fan of extreme (& bonus: queer) horror, pick this up no matter what the form. This was my first experience with the author and I cannot wait to pick up Tell Me I’m Worthless.

We get to explore the depths of pain, obsession, love and identity in this title. I can’t wait to read it again! What absolute filth, I can’t say again how much I loved it. October 10th can’t come soon enough!! Thank you so much to the author, publisher, and NetGalley for allowing me the opportunity to read and review this ARC!! 🩷📚🎧

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Obscene body horror at it's most invasive.
Did I almost puke listening to this audiobook? Yes.
Should you listen to this audiobook immediately? Also, yes.

This waking nightmare of a book follows two trans folks, Frankie and Vanya. Frankie struggles to cope after she's caught in a terrorist bombing targeting the trans health clinic she works at. We follow the speed run destruction of her life through hard drugs, binge-drinking and sex with strangers. Her life becomes entangled with Vanya's when they meet at a club and start seeing each other. Vanya is a damaged, non-binary, eighteen year old with dark secrets and an obsession with having insects/worms living inside their body.

The social commentary around bigotry/violence against the trans community juxtaposed with the wyrms storyline is what elevates this from a traditional body horror to something so much more insidious. This story will stay, like a wyrm, in my brain for a long time.

I highly recommend listening to the audiobook. Narrator Nicky Endres does an amazing job infusing the many character voices with their own cadence, tone and intonations.

Thank you to NetGalley and Macmillan Audio for this advanced listener copy.

This book is best read outdoors, alone in the forest where no one can see you dry heaving into the bushes.

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I liked this one more than anticipated. It was grossly inappropriate at times and horrifyingly vile in others, with more than one or two wtf moments.

So, of course, I liked it.

Amongst the kink and viscera there is also a very good horror story in here. Conspiracies, politics terrorism, bigotry. It reads like an underground kink and fetish 8mm film. Fun for the whole fam damily.

3-1/2 to 4 Stars!

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I've been trying to find the right place to begin with this review and I'm still not sure where that is. Brainwyrms is extremely vulgar and unsettling, but you can't look away from it. It's a forest fire worth watching.

Our two main characters, Frankie and Vanya develop an instant romantic relationship after meeting. They're both messy and complex, which are two traits that I love in characters. You find yourself repelled at times by them, but other times, you can't help but enjoy their company.

The descriptions were what made my rating decrease in the end. Listening to this novel on audio, I found myself cringing and having to pause quite frequently. Despite reading Tell Me I'm Worthless, I was not prepared for what this book was offering and that's honestly my fault.

When it came to the descriptions of the worms I was reminded of reading Things Have Gotten Worse Since We Last Spoke by Eric LaRocca. I had found myself squirming at moments of that story, too as I don't believe I am one to read about people ingesting and/or supporting the lives of parasites.

If you are into extreme horror, then, by all means, I believe you would enjoy this novel. It's entertaining, but just keep in mind that it can be a lot to digest. The author places trigger warnings at the beginning of this novel, and rightfully so, as you need to be aware of what you are getting yourself into.

Thank you to Netgalley for providing me with an arc of Brainwyrms in exchange for an honest review!

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Utterly disgusting in the best way! I thought Brainwyrms was better than Tell Me Im Worthless as well. Hard to follow at times but Im guessing thats the point? Either way it was a fun read

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Brainwyrms is a difficult, sometimes disgusting horror novel. The depths that Allison Rumfitt is willing to explore in search of metaphor can be unsettling and overwhelming-- and honestly? This is most of what I love about the book. The implied social commentary is clear and insightful, the characters are interesting and surprising, and the book, Brainwyrms, helps the reader viscerally understand the stakes of our social & political climate. Rumfitt is not necessarily for the feint of heart, but has so much to offer a careful and willing reader.

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I feel like the internet has desensitized me to most disgusting things so I didn't have a hard time with that aspect of this book at all. What I did have a problem with was the writing style. This book was way too hard to follow. I am not an expert when it comes to writing so I'm not really sure of the correct terms but the book would switch character perspectives but also switch between I, she, you, etc so often and I'm just not a fan of that. At the beginning of every chapter I would have to try to figure out who this point of view was from and how it fit in with the rest of the book. There were some parts that I thought were really good and actually felt like a statement on how trans people are treated with cruelty and violence but it was just all over the place and thrown in at random times. Also I hated how the end of the book made the whole thing into something completely different. The other thing I noticed is how the descriptions would come off so juvenile. For example she would say something like - they were hugging so tight they were shaking like a dog taking a shit. Uh, what?

Another issue I had with the book is right in the beginning she says that any similarities between real people or real situations is coincidental but I call BS. I found a lot of things that seemed to be direct references to people and events that actually happened.

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Excellent narration, but it seems I didn't take the description seriously enough. Very, very graphic. I couldn't handle it, but this certainly will find its audience.

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Synopsis; When a transphobic woman bombs Frankie’s workplace, she blows up Frankie’s life with it. As the media descends like vultures, Frankie tries to cope with the carnage: binge-drinking, sleeping with strangers, pushing away her friends. Then, she meets Vanya. Mysterious, beautiful, terrifying Vanya.

The two hit it off immediately, but as their relationship intensifies, so too does Frankie’s feeling that Vanya is hiding something from her. When Vanya’s secrets threaten to tear them apart, Frankie starts digging, and unearths a sinister, depraved conspiracy, the roots of which go deeper than she ever imagined.

Shocking, grotesque, and downright filthy, Brainwyrms confronts the creeping reality of political terrorism while exploring the depths of love, pain, and identity.

My Thoughts: I never know how to properly explain Alison’s books. I feel this is one people will either love or hate. It was disgusting. I loved it.

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WE LOVE QUEER HORROR, but holy fuggin shiz, Alison Rumfitt has completely outdone herself after the body-horror possession that Tell Me I'm Worthless was. Brainwyrms is profoundly sad and dystopically terrifying especially as the government and certain political parties continue to rip bodily autonomy from us. I SCREAMED when Macmillan Audio gave me audiobook access to this highly anticipated horror, and I'm additionally thankful to Tor Nightfire, Netgalley, and Alison Rumfitt for granting me advanced digital access as well.

There's a parasite plaguing the sex-curious LGBTQ+ community and people are both equally terrified and turned on. Because the media and politicians are always eager to input their opinions where they aren't needed, they flock to this night scene, transforming mothers and other family members into murderous conspiracy theorists looking to eradicate the anomalies.

Rumfitt's symbolism runs deep, for I'm sure all of the bigoted people view the LGBTQ+ community as a parasite and stop at nothing to point, mock, and discriminate those individuals. What may have read as gross horror is unfortunately distantly close to normal for so many trans-persons facing hate and danger from those who have no place distributing such actions.

Brainwyrms is set to hit shelves on October 10, 2023, and I cannot wait.

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