Friday, October 10, 2014

Horrorstör by Grady Hendrix

At first glance, this novel looks like an Ikea catalog that someone snuck onto the library shelf.  This is entirely intentional.  Grady Hendrix tells the tale of Amy, Basil, Ruth Anne, Matt and Trinity and their jobs at Orsk, an Ikea superstore knockoff.  Amy is at the end of her rope.  She’s perpetually behind on rent and her roommates are threatening to kick her out.  And she thinks someone will be lowering the boom on her soul-crushing job at Orsk any day now.  Amy’s convinced that because she dropped out of college the only other job she could get would be something that pays minimum wage- which would land her back at home in her Mom’s trailer.  She’s hoping to get transferred back to a different Orsk location and hopes that if she can just avoid her manager, Basil, long enough she can return to the other store before getting fired.  But how to give Basil the slip when he seems to notice her every move?

The day the novel opens seems like any other: Amy is trying to avoid Basil while clocking into work.  But something is seriously wrong.  The escalators at the store are running backwards.  Seeing that Basil is distracted by trying to find a way to fix the employee entrance, Amy enters the store the long way hoping to beat him to her station.  Then strange thing number two happens: Amy notices a man in the store who is not an Orsk employee.  But the store hasn’t opened yet.  Before Amy can do anything about it, the guy disappears and Amy is cut off by Basil who needs her to shepherd a group of new Orsk trainees.  Later that day, Amy and another coworker, Ruth Anne, are called into a meeting with Basil.  Things are sliding downhill fast.  If he’s firing Ruth Anne, there is NO WAY Amy isn’t getting fired too.  An more than that, Ruth Anne is possibly the nicest, most dedicated Orsk employee Amy has ever met. 

After Amy starts the meeting by shouting at Basil that it would be an outrage to fire Ruth Anne, Basil assures the two ladies that he isn’t firing anyone.  In fact, Basil knows that Amy has applied for a store transfer and will make sure it goes through without a hitch- if they both help him with something and keep it a secret.  For weeks, damaged merchandise has been appearing after closing.  Things have gotten so bad that corporate is sending a team early the next morning to investigate.  Basil thinks someone is hiding in the store after closing and wreaking havoc.  All Amy and Ruth Anne have to do is stay for a secret night shift and help Basil sweep the store and find whoever is responsible.  And they’ll  get paid double over time. 

But things quickly spiral out of control.  A few minutes into their first sweep, Amy and Ruth Anne run into Matt and Trinity- two other Orsk employees who have snuck in after hours to try and document ghosts that they think inhabit the store.  This Orsk location was built on the same location where a very creepy prison once stood.  Matt and Trinity are convinced that if they can capture the souls of the restless prisoners on tape, they’ll be sure to get a TV deal with Bravo.  Things turn from creepy to deadly in the blink of an eye and now Amy wonders if she’ll even make it out of the store alive.

Just in time for Halloween, check out this great new horror novel with a unique style, Horrorstör by Grady Hendrix is filled with equal parts humor and fright.

Check out  Horrorstör @ the library!