Tuesday, August 29, 2023

The Last House on Needless Street by Catriona Ward


DNF @ 9%

Okay, so here's the thing. I'm very picky about horror. I want mind horror, and I don't want my favorite characters or any cute animals to die. It took me ages as a reader to realize that I actually like the horror genre, in principle; I just don't want to be traumatized while reading. As you can imagine, this has led to both slim pickins and a lot of broken hearts on my end. Sorry for being real.

Catriona Ward is an author who kind of toes the line for me in terms of what I will and won't read. I think she can have a fabulous way with words, case in point SUNDIAL, which was creepy AF and lured me right in with its whispers of culty shenanigans and fucked up family dynamics. Parts of that book were 5-star worthy but I ended up giving it a three because it got weird on me in the final act.

HOUSE ON NEEDLESS, on the other hand, just feels... campy. Campy and mean and bloody. Any book that opens and lingers on a gratuitous bird death scene is probably not going to be a "nice" horror book. I always try to read to at least 15% before reviewing but sometimes, a book asserts itself so well that you really get a sense of whether a book is going to be for you or not right from the beginning. The only character I liked was the cat, although having the cat narrate in a book like this adds a preciousness that is really quite at odds with the dark and disturbing content.

I will not be finishing this book, but I do recommend SUNDIAL if you have the stomach for it. I think I also own her other book, RAWBLOOD, because that sounded amazing (albeit terrifying). 

1.5 to 2 out of 5 stars

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