The Book of Accidents

The Book of Accidents by Chuck Wendig is a terrifying sci-fi horror. Nate, not Nathan, returns to his hometown after his abusive father passes away. Reality starts to unravel in a series of deaths, and horrifying events.

All quotes are from an advanced reader copy, and may or may not reflect the published edition.

From Goodreads:

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.

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.

“Welcome to the end of worlds.”

Wendig has crafted an amazing, horrifying book with this one. While it starts somewhat slow, and convoluted, things come together in a strange way. It was fascinating to see it all start to piece together into something that made sense. The creepy things begin small and increase over and over in nature. You question our characters, their sanity, and the universe around them. This was incredibly well done, and extremely enjoyable. Admittedly, when I saw the length of the book, I was a little daunted. Books of this genre do not tend to fare well when given too much length. However, this book uses every page to draw you in and creep you out.

“Art as a vessel. Art as a doorway. Do I control it? Or does it control me?”

This story is so multilayered, and the plot so complex, that it’s hard to wrap up all the loose ends. While I understood the cause and effect, it’s the aftermath that somewhat lost me in the end. The epilogue does tell you what happens to everyone, and yet, I still felt confused. The characters are incredibly enjoyable to read, all of them complex and well fleshed out. I thought that was well done, especially the various versions of each character. The family itself had me rooting for them, and I think that’s something that gets missed in this genre often.

“The book reminded him as well that he was close, so close. This was the 99th, it told him, and with no small agitation it demanded he not screw this up.”

Overall, this was a fantastic read. It has all of the elements of a good horror story, with sci-fi pieces that just click. Wendig did a great job of writing it, and I’m excited to read some of his other writings after. This book comes out on July 7th, 2021, and I highly recommend it should you enjoy horror.

“He’d once had a mission. Been given life and a quest. A sacred quest, he was told. Blessed, consecrated, holy and unholy in equal measure, and yet, if that were true, why was he here?”

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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