Thanks to NetGalley and Del Rey Books for providing an eARC in exchange for an honest review.
Release Date: July 20th, 2021
Synopsis: A family returns to their hometown—and to the dark past that haunts them still—in this masterpiece of literary horror by the New York Times bestselling author of Wanderers
Long ago, Nathan lived in a house in the country with his abusive father—and has never told his family what happened there.
Long ago, Maddie was a little girl making dolls in her bedroom when she saw something she shouldn’t have—and is trying to remember that lost trauma by making haunting sculptures.
Long ago, something sinister, something hungry, walked in the tunnels and the mountains and the coal mines of their hometown in rural Pennsylvania.
Now, Nate and Maddie Graves are married, and they have moved back to their hometown with their son, Oliver.
And now what happened long ago is happening again . . . and it is happening to Oliver. He meets a strange boy who becomes his best friend, a boy with secrets of his own and a taste for dark magic.
This dark magic puts them at the heart of a battle of good versus evil and a fight for the soul of the family—and perhaps for all of the world. But the Graves family has a secret weapon in this battle: their love for one another. (Goodreads)
I’m thrilled to say my 2021 winning streak of scoring outstanding horror books continues with Chuck Wendig’s The Book of Accidents. There are a lot of reviewers comparing this to classic Stephen King, and they’re not wrong. The Book of Accidents shares many elements from vintage King books; strong, complex characters each hiding secrets and battling inner demons, a creative and genre-defying storyline, heart-pounding action, and thought-provoking social commentary. But make no mistake, it stands entirely on its own merits.
The majority of the story revolves around Nate, Maddie, and their teenage son Oliver, whose empathetic nature is far more advanced than his loving parents realize. Maddie is a strong, bad-ass sculptor, whose colorful language is startling yet funny at the same time. She has a fierce love and devotion for her son and husband and will do anything to protect them. And Nate, well, he’s a survivor of an abusive father, and he’s still dealing with the after effects from his traumatic childhood. They all form a tight family unit which is what they need to fight the unknown evil that’s facing them.
The story itself is gripping with shocking twists that I didn’t see coming. It’s over 500 pages, yet it’s so tightly written that my full attention was completely engaged from the moment I started reading. Horror, science fiction, and the supernatural are all skillfully blended with social issues like child abuse and toxic masculinity.
In the end, The Book of Accidents is a magnificent tour de force about the power of love and the triumph of good over evil. In a year that’s giving horror fans several magnificent reads, I guarantee this will be on the top of many readers’ favorites lists. If you enjoy these genres I highly recommend you either preorder this now, or put in a request to your library!