Participating in Beat the Backlist has been a tremendous amount of fun this year! Not only has it enabled me to focus on books that I’ve wanted to read for a long time, but it has also given me the chance to try some books and authors that I might not have read otherwise.
One of the books I decided to read for Beat the Backlist during the month of May was Horrorstör, by Grady Hendrix.
Horrorstör focuses on a character named Amy, a retail associate who works for a store called Orsk in Cuyahoga, Ohio. The store is basically an IKEA copycat, from the products to the layout of the building.
When the store experiences some overnight vandalism, Amy’s boss asks her and one of her co-workers to pull a double shift with him in order to keep an eye on the place. In desperate need of the money the overtime hours will bring, Amy agrees.
But while the night starts out fairly normal, Amy and her co-workers soon discover that they are not alone in the building. Two other associates have sneaked back in after hours to shoot a pilot for a ghost hunting show that they hope to sell to a big television network.
Unfortunately, there is something supernatural in the building…and it’s a danger to them all.
Horrorstör was not originally on my TBR list for this year, but I decided to read the book because of a review that I found over on The Book Nut: A Book Lover’s Guide (which is run by co-bloggers Jennzah and Erin). In Erin’s review of the book, she described the story as “something that you might find in an episode of Supernatural,” which is ultimately what sold me on reading Horrorstör for myself.
I ended up really enjoying Horrorstör, mostly because of the book’s setting. I’ve always maintained that IKEA would be a horrible place to be stuck in the event of a zombie apocalypse (mostly because of the large windows and difficult to navigate floor plan), so I found it very amusing to see a similar location used for a horror novel. I also loved the fact that the store’s confusing layout caused so many problems for the characters as they tried to escape the supernatural forces haunting their workplace.
Personally, I did not find the book particularly scary, but it was very fast-paced and exciting. I ended up reading the book in a single afternoon, because I just couldn’t put it down. I also really liked the fact that the author included descriptions and images of various products on offer, as well as pictures of employee performance reviews, a map of the showroom, and advertisements. They really emphasized the similarities between Orsk and IKEA, and also added to the overall atmosphere of the book.
I do think it is important to mention that Horrorstör does include a few moments that might cause emotional distress for some readers. The author does include some vivid descriptions of violence and physical injuries, as well as references to some extremely questionable “medical procedures,” which would be more appropriately described as torture.
If you are a fan of the horror genre, especially if you enjoy titles that focus on the supernatural, then I would recommend giving Horrorstör a try. It’s a really unique book, and one that I’m glad I took the time to read. If you are interested in reading it, however, I do recommend trying to find a physical copy of the book. I actually read Horrorstör on my phone, because I’d gotten it from my library’s app, and I did find some of the more detailed images difficult to see on a small screen.