By Grady Hendrix
Source Received from the publisher
Published by Quirk Books
on September 23, 2014
Received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Cover image and summary from Goodreads:
Something strange is happening at the Orsk furniture superstore in Columbus, Ohio. Every morning, employees arrive to find broken Kjerring wardrobes, shattered Brooka glassware, and vandalized Liripip sofa beds clearly, someone or something is up to no good.
To unravel the mystery, five young employees volunteer for a long dusk-till-dawn shift—and they encounter horrors that defy imagination. Along the way, author Grady Hendrix infuses sly social commentary on the nature of work in the new twenty-firstcentury economy.
A traditional haunted house story in a contemporary setting (and full of current fears), Horrorstör comes conveniently packaged in the form of a retail catalog, complete with illustrations of ready-to-assemble furniture and other, more sinister accessories. We promise you’ve never seen anything quite like it!
Horrorstör is a book that I’d been looking forward to reading in large part because of the format: the book is the size of, and resembles, a furniture catalogue. The chapters all have what looks like a page from an Ikea catalogue at the start, with an image and description of a piece of furniture. It was a really fun format, and fit perfectly with the story.
The story itself is simple: during an overnight shift, employees of Orsk – an Ikea store imitator – encounter something supernatural and are in mortal danger. The store is haunted, and the employees must figure out who is haunting the place, and why – and how to survive the night. I don’t want to spoil the story, so I hope it’s not a big spoiler to say that the ‘why’ appealed to my interests in history and criminology.
I love a good ghost story, and I got into this book right away. The story was fun, easy to follow, and definitely spooky. I liked the writing, and there was some nice foreshadowing at the beginning that had me on edge and tense right from the start.
The characters weren’t overly complex, and a couple of them felt pretty underdeveloped, but I liked them. I cared about their fates and hoped for their survival, especially Amy and Basil. They had a very interesting dynamic, and I was easily caught up in their plight.
I liked the ending. It maintained the creepy atmosphere of the story and although it seemed to leave aspects of the story unresolved, I enjoyed the way it was done.
Reading Horrorstör made me think of my own days working retail, imagining myself working an overnight shift and encountering ghosts. It was fun to think about, in the way reading scary books but knowing you’re safe is fun, and definitely not something I’d want to experience in real life!!
If you’re looking for a spooky, dark read – especially with Halloween coming up next month – I definitely recommend Horrorstör! You can also check out this fun book trailer!