by Naben Ruthnum
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Pub Date 26 Sep 2023 | Archive Date 07 Sep 2023
The small-town mysteries of John Bellairs are made modern with a dash of Stranger Things in this spine-tingling supernatural horror-thriller
After his father returns from treatment for addiction, high schooler Vish — lover of metal music and literature — is uncertain what the future holds. It doesn’t help that everyone seems to know about the family’s troubles, and they stand out doubly as one of the only brown families in town. When Vish is mistaken for a relative of the weird local bookseller and attacked by an unsettling pale man who seems to be decaying, he is pulled into the world of the occult, where witches live in television sets, undead creatures can burn with a touch, and magic is mathematical. Vish must work with the bookstore owner and his mysterious teenage employee, Gisela, to stop an interdimensional invasion that would destroy their peaceful town.
Bringing together scares, suspense, and body horror, The Grimmer is award-winning author Naben Ruthnum’s first foray into the young adult genre. This gripping ride through the supernatural is loaded with vivid characters, frightening imagery, and astonishing twists, while tackling complex issues such as grief, racism, and addiction.
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 52 members
The Grimmer is a perfect novel for younger readers or those who want to start reading horror fiction without it being too bloody or extreme.
I loved the relationship of the main family. The feelings of hurt, betrayal, forgiveness, and acceptance were all fully explored and really made you want to root for them.
This book gets into the spooky stuff rather quickly, which is fantastic, and we're all along for this wild scary ride with our main protagonist almost from the get go.
The supernatural antagonist is quite frightening and the author conveyed how absolutely terrifying it would be to run into this thing. With the addition of two other characters with our main protagonist, we're going to learn about magik and spells and other things in a way that hasn't really been written about before.
While I prefer my horror a bit more "raw", I truly enjoyed this story. If you know any younger people or someone who wants to start reading horror fiction without anything extreme, this is definitely a book to recommend.
This is a soft horror/ coming of age story with elements of the metaphysical and paranormal that would be an excellent choice for YA or readers that want a spooky/ creepy read without the terror or gore aspects of other books in the genre. I appreciated that the author managed to steer clear of the romantic tropes that tend to go hand in hand with YA fiction and rather focused on some rather mature and topical family dynamics. The characters were well written, believable and ultimately very relatable. The pacing was good and the plot was well thought out. This was a solid stand alone read, but there is just enough wiggle room that I imagine (hope) a sequel will be written as well.
Thank you to NetGalley and the author for providing me with an ARC of this title free of charge. I am leaving my honest review voluntarily.