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Thanks to NetGalley and Flame Tree Press for providing an eARC in exchange for an honest review.

Release Date: September 8th, 2020

288 Pages

Synopsis: During the height of the 90s grunge era, five high school friends living on the fringe are driven to the breaking point. When one of their friends is brutally raped by a drunk townie they decide to take matters into their own hands. Deep in the woods of Milbury, Connecticut, there lives the legend of the Melon Heads, a race of creatures who shun human interaction and prey on those who dare to wander down Dracula Drive. Maybe this night, one band of misfits can help the other. Or maybe some legends are meant to be feared for a reason.

Dare to walk,

Down Dracula Drive,

In day or night,

You won’t survive.

They wait in trees,

And hide below,

Hungry for people,

Too blind to know.

Misfits is the fourth book I’ve read by Hunter Shea, and just when I thought he couldn’t possibly go darker, he’s proven me wrong. I need to warn you there are two fairly graphic rape scenes, so these might be a trigger for some readers. The first happens near the beginning and is the catalyst for almost everything that happens next. The second takes place near the end and in a rare gender reversal, features one of the male characters as the victim. Neither is gratuitously written in as each serves as an integral part of the story. There is plenty of blood and gore as I’ve come to expect from Shea, but what I love about his writing is the unique and creative twist he always gives his stories. In this case, he sets an urban legend into the early 1990s, and I was instantly sucked in. As usual his characters are complex and easy to connect with, as all of them break with stereotypical teen roles. I know not to expect happily-ever-afters from Shea, but to my surprise, the ending (in a perverse way) here is about as positive as I’ve read from him. Undoubtedly Misfits will please Shea’s many fans, and for those who are new to him but are fans of hardcore horror that also has some depth, he’s an author you should definitely check out.