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Husk by Rachel Autumn Deering #BookReview

In this all-too-real work of horror fiction, Rachel Autumn Deering explores the mind of a young man who is struggling to cope with the effects of post-war stress, drug addiction, self-doubt, and loneliness as they manifest themselves into his deepest, darkest fears.

Kevin Brooks returns to his rural Kentucky hometown after a three-year-long tour of duty in Afghanistan. He has lost the grandparents who raised him, his lifelong best friend, and his trust in the government he once proudly served. When Kevin meets a kind, young girl named Samantha, he thinks his luck might have finally taken a turn for the better. But something else has its eye on Kevin. Something dark and brooding and mean. Something that knows Kevin better than he knows himself. 

The cover shows an old house that is morphing into a monster of some sort. In muted colors of yellow and blue, the black title and author name (Husk by Rachel Autumn Deering) stands out.

Title: Husk  | Author: Rachel Autumn Deering | Publisher: Tiny Behemoth Press  | Pub. Date: 5 March 2016 | Pages: 102 | ASIN: B01CRTIWBA | Genre: Horror | Language: English Source: Self-Purchased

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Husk Review

The beginning pages of this novella will make readers sit back in shock. It starts innocently enough, with a group of soldiers on a routine mission. The reader will likely expect that routine to be disrupted, but not quite in this way. This sets up the pace and other jumps the story makes as well as cements Deering’s writing skill early on.

The stand out skills in this book lay in the author’s beautifully descriptive prose. There are several extreme scenes the reader is propelled through, they have lasting power well after the book is finished. The scenes move at a break-neck pace (with a few exceptions) and this book is easily read in one or two sittings.

This might miss the mark for some readers as different parts of the novella are sped through. One moment a soldier is struggling with PTSD and VA bureaucracy, and the next a love interest enters, along with an erotic daydream. The scenes themselves are great, it is in the transition that readers may become lost. More explanation or even time to process what is happening would be beneficial. The love interest comes in the form of a young preacher’s daughter and the whole family is just, well, off. I found myself thinking she was more like 13-14 years old and this made the romantic pieces seem awkward. I dug the sex scenes and they are well-written, they just seemed abrupt and out of place.

Conversely, I did enjoy the feeling of “what is HAPPENING” in most parts. I dig an undefined monster and Deering develops this well. This one may have missed the mark for me, but I will definitely seek out more from this author. I am in a minority on some of this, so be sure to check out some of the many 4 and 5 star reviews for this book.

 You can find this book at many retailers via clicking on the appropriate link on Goodreads; however, in the spirit of supporting literacy programs, we would like to point out that you may be able to purchase this book through BetterWorldBooks

Published inBook ReviewsHorror Book ReviewsUnstarred Reviews
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