Thursday, October 23, 2014

Showroom Nightmare: Horrorstor Review

This post is part of my blogtober celebration, my month-long blog party about all things creepy and Halloween-y! Don't forget I've got a ton of giveaways going on!

Horrorstor by Grady Hendrix
Release Date: September 23, 2014 (orig. January 1, 2014)
Publisher: Quirk Books
Pages: 243
Keywords: ghosts, paranormal
Format Read: finished copy via publisher (thank you!)
Something strange is happening at the Orsk furniture superstore in Cleveland, Ohio. Every morning, employees arrive to find broken Kjerring bookshelves, shattered Glans water goblets, and smashed Liripip wardrobes. Sales are down, security cameras reveal nothing, and store managers are panicking.
To unravel the mystery, three employees volunteer to work a nine-hour dusk-till-dawn shift. In the dead of the night, they’ll patrol the empty showroom floor, investigate strange sights and sounds, and encounter horrors that defy the imagination.
A traditional haunted house story in a thoroughly contemporary setting, Horrorstör comes packaged in the form of a glossy mail order catalog, complete with product illustrations, a home delivery order form, and a map of Orsk’s labyrinthine showroom.
Let's talk about the elephant on the blog: There's clearly no way I can ignore how awesomely packages this book is, so I'll begin there. It's designed like an Ikea catalog (which I ordered after receiving the book for review consideration because I'm cool and wanted to compare. Also I love Ikea), with the beginning of chapters featuring different products and their descriptions (which slowly got creepier as the story progressed, but I'll get there). There were coupons for the store, an order form, and a map of the showroom. It was all wonderfully put together, and even though I initially thought it would be difficult to read because of the different column sizes and text, it was not at all, and my ability to read the book was not at all affected by the design, making it a super win.

Next I want to talk about just how imaginative this story was. It wasn't scary per se, but it was one of those that left me turning the pages quicker because I really just wasn't sure how things were going to turn out. It took so many twists and turns that I couldn't possibly have tried to guess the outcome, nor would I have wanted to.

The story follows Amy, a disgruntled employee who gets volun-told to do this night shift, and she and her coworkers begin to see some weird stuff, like writing appearing on bathroom stalls and water stains they were sure weren't there a few hours ago. Tension mounts as they stumble upon more clues (and more people), and the book didn't hold back from leaning toward the realistic rather than idealistic outcomes (even though, you know, this was strange paranormal stuff happening in a furniture store).

It was also far creepier than the original plot I heard, which was zombies. I'm not quite sure what the actual thing would be classified as, but I am definitely pleased as it makes the story worthwhile and more believable, since there's a reason for all the stuff going on, albeit a supernatural one, but it makes much more sense than just brushing it off as an average zombie thing like TV and movies and lots of books are doing currently.

This wasn't a scare-the-pants-off-me read, but it was a lot of fun looking through the book and finding out what was going to happen in this one crazy night at the Orsk, and I really enjoyed the experience of the book.


  1. This sounds seriously awesome. I like that they designed it like an IKEA catalogue, that's pretty cool. I think this is definitely one of those books you would have to read the physical copy because the ebook version probably wouldn't do it justice.

    1. I totally agree! The ebook just wouldn't be right. It was so much fun to flip through the catalog and see the different illustrations and pieces of it!

  2. I also love IKEA and indeed this book cover looks exactly like an IKEA catalog. This sounds like a funny and interesting, with just the right amount of mystery and creepiness. I might have to add this to my to-read list!


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