Stephen Graham Jones returns with Night of the Mannequins, a contemporary horror story where a teen prank goes very wrong and all hell breaks loose: is there a supernatural cause, a psychopath on the loose, or both?
Title: The Night of the Mannequins| Author: Stephen Graham Jones | Publisher: Tor.com | Pub. Date: 1st September 2020 | Pages: 136 | ISBN: 978-1250752079 | Genre: Horror | Language: English | Starred Review: Yes | Source: Received a free copy from NetGalley
The Night of the Mannequins Review
If you read the first chapter of this book and think you know the direction it’s going, you’re wrong.
Courtesy of the young protagonist’s flippant voice, Night of Mannequins presents itself as a campy love note to classic teen horror flicks. What it becomes is something much deeper and far more disturbing. While the voice remains authentic to a immature teenager on the cusp of his final summer with childhood friends before college, the content tackles mature themes through the use of unsettling violence. Weaving these two ends of the spectrum requires delicate balance that Stephen Graham Jones mastered.
Sawyer and his cluster of life-long friends are about to go to college. They decide to play one last epic prank with the help of Manny, an old discarded mannequin they found in the woods. Something goes wrong, and now they are all in danger. The plot moves quickly from tragedy to tragedy keeping the tension dialed up and the reader flipping the pages with anticipation. The motives of Sawyer, our protagonist, are a bit strange, which add realism to the unreliable narrator troupe used in this book.
I’m left with knots in my stomach after reading this book. It’s an odd blend of B-horror and psychopathic tragedies wrapped in a coming-of-age story that pulls at your heart strings. It’s something different and fresh, with undertones of all the things we love in horror stories. Give it a try!
You can find this book at many retailers via clicking on the appropriate link on Goodreads (Buying direct from retailers is a good way to support indie authors); 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.