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Rites of Extinction by Matt Serafini #BookReview

Rebecca Daniels is a down-and-out private investigator on the hunt for her daughter’s killer. The trail leads to Bright Fork, a sleepy New Hampshire town where Rebecca discovers this is no ordinary manhunt. Her investigation becomes a tangle of brutal killings, secret rituals, and terrifying visions that force Rebecca to question reality. This is more than an opportunity to take revenge on the one who tore her family to pieces. It’s a chance to confront the darkness growing inside of her, the madness that threatens to possess her entirely.

Rites of Extinction by Matt Serafini

Title: Rites of Extinction | Author: Matt Serafini | Publisher: Grindhouse Press | Pub. Date: 30 March 2019 | Pages: 150 | ISBN: 9781941918463 | Genre: Horror | Language: English | Triggers:  None | Rating: 5 out 5 | Source: Received a copy from author for review consideration

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Rites of Extinction Review

“But memories have a way of crystalizing the happiness the further you get away from them” (2).

Matt Serafini, Rites of Extinction

This novella is a unique take on revenge, psychosis, and more that I won’t divulge here. So much of the success of this story depends on coming to it fresh, with little idea of what to expect.  Hell, even if you do have some expectations, they are probably incorrect. So unique is the best way I can think of to describe this right now. No fear, I am not giving anything away during the rest of the review, the synopsis from the book (listed above) is enough.

     Serafini’s writing is spare, but disturbingly delicious when the story needs it. I read so many different types of horror and writing styles. Combine that with my day job as an English teacher/adjunct professor, and it takes something special to hit that sweet spot for me – Rites of Extinction does it. No gimmicks.  No tricks. Just the story how it begs to be told. I appreciate that.

Beyond the writing, I love that Serafini was able to subvert my expectations without the plot feeling contrived.  The build up is organic, the characters are believable and act accordingly for the insane situations they find themselves in. The dialogue (external and internal) plays a major part in making sure this moves smoothly.  The ending is fast-paced, multi-layered, and there are a million ways it could’ve been a hot mess; however, the skill with which Serafini crafts his dialogue and pacing makes this part sing.

I haven’t read anything else from Serafini prior to this, multiple bookish friends mentioned that I needed to. After this? Definitely.


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.

Published inHorror Book ReviewsStarred Reviews


  1. Whoa. The book sounds as chilling as the cover art!

  2. Wow, it sounds great. I took a peek at the first pages on Amazon. I like Serafini’s voice!

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