The Atrocities – Jeremy C. Shipp (ARC Review)

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TITLE: The Atrocities

AUTHOR: Jeremy C. Shipp

RELEASES: April 17, 2018; Tor.com Publishing

GENRE: Horror

AGE RANGE: Adult

SYNOPSIS: When Isabella died, her parents were determined to ensure her education wouldn’t suffer.

But Isabella’s parents had not informed her new governess of Isabella’s… condition, and when Ms Valdez arrives at the estate, having forced herself through a surreal nightmare maze of twisted human-like statues, she discovers that there is no girl to tutor.

Or is there…?

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Turn left at the screaming woman with a collapsing face. Turn right at the kneeling man with bleeding sores the size of teacups.

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What an incredibly atmospheric, beautiful, haunting little read this was.

Ms. Valdez is such a kindly narrator; despite being faced with absolutely bizarre circumstances, she never judges, only views the world around her with wary curiosity and, at times, heart-aching pity. She knows the pain of loss too well to be terribly surprised by the nature of her new occupation, and her lack of shock at the entire scenario was a refreshing touch.

What exactly am I doing here? I came to this house to escape empty rooms.

Early in the story, we see that Ms. V has suffered a terrible grief of her own, and it’s all too similar to the reasons why she was called upon to teach poor, lost little Isabella. Despite how obvious her loss is in the story – particularly in her fever-like nightmares – I appreciated that Jeremy’s storytelling never dwells upon it long enough for it to be too heavy, or to take away the eerie nature of Stockton House.

A little voice tells me to turn back, but a little voice always tells me to turn back.

My favorite thing about this story wasn’t how interesting the narrative was, or how devastatingly haunting the portrayals of grief were; it was the writing, and how genuinely eerie and grotesque it became at times. The atrocities that the story is named for are horrifying statues depicting tragic Biblical moments, and Stockton House itself is filled with its owner’s paintings. The writing quality behind these descriptions is impeccable, transporting you directly into the dim, quiet hallways of the estate, where something slightly wicked seems to constantly hide just out of sight.

I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys tragic, gothic stories about ghosts, and doesn’t mind a great deal of nightmarish visuals and scenery.

Thank you to Tor.com Publishing for sending me this ARC in exchange for an honest review!

5flakes


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11 thoughts on “The Atrocities – Jeremy C. Shipp (ARC Review)

  1. Norrie says:

    “Or is there…?” Love this!
    I haven’t read anything particularly ghosty or paranormal in years, but this seems intriguing. I don’t even when I dropped this genre…

    Like

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