Book Review: Nightsiders by Gary McMahon

17230890Title: Nightsiders

Author: Gary McMahon

Genre: Horror, Supernatural Horror

Age Group: Adult (18+)

Rating: 1,5 stars

Purchase: Goodreads, Amazon

Review copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Keep repeating, it’s only a story, it’s only a story, it’s only a story…

Welcome to Number One Oval Lane, the last house at the top of the hill. Robert Mitchell thought he lived there with his wife and children, but he doesn’t. Not anymore. A new family—the Corbeaus—has taken up residence, and they are on a deadly mission for mischief.

Soon Robert will understand the true nature of ownership, and he will discover that real life is nothing more than a story…a horror story.

We’re playing games now. We’re just beginning.

I don’t get this book. There, I said it. I don’t get it. It’s not scary – it’s disgusting. It’s not frightening – it’s weird. And not in a good way. It’s like a writing exercise gone wrong, and it feels unpolished and unsophisticated, like something thrown together in a day.

The book starts out promising enough with Robert Mitchell, our main character, and his family coming home from a short trip. The family tried to escape the big city after something happened to Robert’s wife, and they want to start a new life in a quaint little town. But when they return to the house they purchased, it’s inhabited by another family, the Corbeaus, a strange, darkly unsettling, violent family. When Robert threatens them, they call the police and an officer shows up, escorting the Mitchells from the premises. Robert is forced to take his family to a motel, but the Corbeaus aren’t done with him yet. They stalk him, they threaten him, and their kids start hanging around with his kids. Robert begins to suspect something is seriously wrong with the Corbeaus, and that’s when things get even weirder…

There’s a graphic sex scene somewhere in the middle of the book, and there’s some violence toward the end. I actually thought both scenes were hilarious – probably not the mindset the author was going for. The violence is so surreal and over the top that it’s hilarious, and the sex awkward and clumsy. As a whole, this book is awfully clumsy, and it made no sense, at least not to me. There’s no brilliant conclusion, no truly amazing reveal of who or what the Corbeaus are, and nothing makes sense. There are no rules.

The writing was promising, and the story had potential if it hadn’t been so plainly bizarre. I’m willing to give the author another shot, but this story didn’t work for me.

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