Author: Grady Hendrix
Illustrator: Michael Rogalski
Page Count: 243
Publisher: Quirk Books
Original Publication Date: 2014
Genre(s): Adult fiction, Horror, Paranormal
A brand new Orsk furniture store has popped up in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio. A competitor of the notorious Ikea, Orsk is designed in the same dizzying, maze-like style. Amy hates working for Orsk almost as much as she hates working underneath Basil, a rule-spouting Orsk floor manager. But creepy things seem to be happening inside the store overnight, so Basil recruits Amy and her all-good co-worker Ruth Anne to pull an all-nighter shift with him. Basil intends to catch the vandals and put a stop to the mayhem. But vandalism turns out to be the least of their worries…
Are you afraid of Ikea? I mean, I already was before, but I especially am now…
After finally finishing Jeff VanderMeer’s Southern Reach trilogy, I was ridiculously excited to start Horrorstör, as I bought them all around the same time. I’ve only gone to Ikea twice, but I hope never to return… I found the concept of this book exciting and unique, a fun twist on the haunted house trope, and I wasn’t disappointed.
The book is gorgeous—it’s designed like an Ikea catalog with crazy, made-up Scandinavian brand names, diagrams, maps, coupons, etc. It’s definitely a cool-looking coffee table book. It’s got large pages with large print, so believe me when I say it’s not very versatile for activities such as reading in the bathtub… But it’s pretty, so.
It’s told in third-person POV and mainly follows Amy, a smart-mouthed 24-year-old who hates retail but really does’t know what else to do with her life. She’s not terrible at her job, but definitely not great at it, either. In contrast, Ruth Anne, a lonely 40-year-old woman who is always kind and positive and helpful, also winds up in the store overnight, along with manager Basil, ghost hunter Trinity, and her sort-of boyfriend Matt who doesn’t really believe in ghosts but wants to get out of Ohio. I feel ya on that one, Matt.
The story is slow at the start and a bit hard to get into but progressively gets ridiculously crazy and creepy. Like, one minute it’s just a plain story about a furniture store, and the next it turns into I don’t even know what, with someone gouging out their eyes and another slitting their throat and it’s midnight while I’m reading this and I’m like WHAT. So yeah, it’s one of those once-you-start-you-can’t-stop kinda books, once the action picks up. Though I don’t really care for any of the characters, I enjoyed the book and felt bad when bad things happened to them. I feel that’s a good trait for a book to have.
Its definitely an interactive story, and a fun take on the classic horror story. I haven’t read a good horror novel in a long time, so this was really refreshing! However, I finished the book at 1:30 a.m. and couldn’t sleep, so, thanks, Hendrix.
Anyway, happy 4th of July to those of you celebrating independence here in America. Rather than watching the fireworks, I’ll be at home with my dog, protecting her from the scary loud booms. She’s a baby…
—“The problem was the liars. They said she could do anything she set her mind to, they told her she should shoot for the moon because if she missed she’d be among the stars, they made movies tricking her into thinking she could achieve heroic things. All lies. Because she was born to answer phones in call centers, to carry bags to customers’ cars, to punch a clock, to measure her life in smoke breaks. To think otherwise was insane.”
—“The more Amy struggled, the faster she sank. Every month she shuffled around less and less money to cover the same number of bills. The hamster wheel kept spinning and spinning and spinning. Sometimes she wanted to let go and find out exactly how far she’d fall if she just stopped fighting. She didn’t expect life to be fair, but did it have to be so relentless?”