Sadomasochism. Obsession. Death.
A whirlpool of darkness churns at the heart of a macabre ballet between two lonely young women in an internet chat room in the early 2000s—a darkness that threatens to forever transform them once they finally succumb to their most horrific desires.
What have you done today to deserve your eyes?
Title: Things Have Gotten Worse Since We Last Spoke | Author: Eric LaRocca| Publisher: WeirdPunk Books | Pub. Date: 1st June 2021 | Pages: 120 | ISBN: 9781951658120 | Genre: Horror | Language: English | Starred Review: No | Source: Purchased
**Content warnings can be found at the end of the review under a spoiler tag.**
Things Have Gotten Worse Since We Last Spoke Review
If you’re at all active in the horror community on Instagram or Twitter, chances are good that you’ve seen Things Have Gotten Worse Since We Last Spoke making the rounds recently. This weird, gruesome novella has been EVERYWHERE recently, and of course I needed to read it for myself and see if it lived up to the hype!
In my case, the answer is… well…not really.
That’s not to say I didn’t like the novella. Things Have Gotten Worse has some very strong points in its favour. It’s a quick, ridiculously engaging read. Even though it’s horrifying in its brutality in a couple spots, I found it impossible to put down. I read it in one sitting of a little over an hour, too invested to look away.
The format of emails and IMs exchanged between Agnes and Zoe was both one of the strongest and weakest points of the novella for me. I loved the format, and it was a huge part of what kept me so engaged, because it feels raw and personal. I love epistolary novels and mixed media novels, so that element was a definite win for me. Where it fell short, though, is that the format really highlighted how similar Agnes’ and Zoe’s voices are. Their mannerisms, their way of expressing thoughts, the floweriness of the prose, it’s all just a bit too much the same. This may have been intentional on the author’s part, to further bring Agnes into Zoe’s grip, but it doesn’t ease up much as the novella wears on so it felt less intentional and more like an oversight.
I’ll admit, going into this book with no knowledge of the plot except that many reviews touched on how gruesome the plot is…I expected a bit more in that area. The plot has moments that are not easy to read, by any stretch, but I guess I was anticipating something really next level and extreme. Things Have Gotten Worse is certainly horrifying and toxic, but the gore and gruesomeness aren’t really the elements that stood out to me. That said, the story did not got AT ALL where I was positive it was heading, so it gets points for keeping me on my toes until the very end.
Things Have Gotten Worse Since We Last Spoke sadly fell victim to overhyping for me, but it’s still a novella worth reading. It goes some unexpected, unpleasant places and doesn’t apologize for it. While it may not have been a 5 star read for me, I can absolutely see why others have loved it.
You can purchase a copy of this book via your normal retailer, but please consider purchasing it from a local indie bookshop instead. It can be found here at Indiebound or at Bookshop. Please note the Bookshop link is an affiliate link and each purchase you make through it helps to support Sci-Fi & Scary and keep the site running.
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