“Something strange is happening at the Orsk furniture superstore in Columbus, Ohio. Every morning, employees arrive to find broken Kjerring wardrobes, shattered Brooka glassware, and vandalized Liripip sofa beds clearly, someone or something is up to no good.”
After weeks of odd occurrences and vandalism in the store, the uptight store manager convinces his most loyal employee and a defiant employee who he was always at odds with to stay after hours to solve the mystery of who is wrecking the store. What they find is much more than they ever bargained for.
I got a copy of Horrorstor in the mail and at first glance I honestly confused it for an Ikea catalog. At first, I was really confused why they made it so faux-Ikea centric. After reading the book, it makes total sense. The story has two different tones that I think blend it really well. The first part of the book really well establishes the characters, both the human characters and the location character: Orsk, the Ikea ripoff store. The extremely regimented and orderly mentality of the store culture becomes a focal point in the behaviors of all the characters and becomes a central character in itself.
The first part speaks about how Orsk is a microcosm of the world we live in. It speaks of how we live in a regimented world and spoke of the trials and tribulations the characters go through to make it work in this world. It’s here where the book spins its magic. The way the Orsk world works spins perfectly into the supernatural world is seamless. Where Orsk stands once stood a penitentiary with a sadistic warden who uses work to purge the sins of his inmates. It begins to seep into reality as the spirit of the warden captures and punishes each of the main characters for their personality traits that Orsk best/worst exemplifies.
I found myself really engrossed in the book. While a good 250 pages, it was a very quick read (2 days commute to work on the subway). The sinister nature of the supernatural reminds me a lot of the 90s Asian horror film phenomenon that spawned the Ring, The Grudge, and One Missed Call. Each of the characters seemed palpable and real. The premise seems quite well-thought out in its description of the inner workings of big box stores and how the original penitentiaries worked to “cure” inmates. All in all, it worked really well for Horrorstor. Sure it is not Pride & Prejudice or War and Peace, but it was a great read, a nice scare and something I could easily see made into a film. You won’t be disappointed in this book, so check it out.