Delightfully brutal and mentally horrific.
Jumping into this Stephen Graham Jones novella, I wasn’t sure what to expect.
To be honest, I never even read the synopsis. I see his name and immediately pick books up. It’s a compulsion.
Night of the Mannequins follows Sawyer and his group of childhood friends when a prank goes horribly wrong.
Disguising a discarded mall mannequin as a patron at the local movie theater seemed like the perfect way to get back at the stuffy assistant manager, who happened to recently punish the friend group for sneaking into a movie unpaid.
What starts off as a fairly innocent prank, however, turns more deadly than this group of teens could have ever imagined and it seems Sawyer is the only one with a plan to limit the destruction.
First, let me just swoon for a bit over how much I love SGJ’s writing. I promise not to let it go on for too long.
The style is edgy AF, yet feels like classic horror all the same. I love the humor and witty dialogue that he is able to bring to such dark tales.
Also, his books always go there, all the way to the deepest, darkest crevices of the human mind. It’s weird. It’s powerful. It’s freaking disturbing.
With this being said, I was really into this novella, loving everything about it until about the 70% mark.
Then I started feeling lost. While I understand the ending, some of the choices of events leading up to the ending didn’t seem to fit. It made the ending seem a little abrupt and disjointed for me.
Overall though, this novella is fantastic. You cannot deny the level of creativity it takes to write a story like this.
One that leads you in one direction, flips that on its head and then smacks you in the face with a healthy dose of depressing reality.
Sawyer is a very special protagonist. One whose inner thoughts will stick with me for a while.
I would highly recommend this to any horror fan or any person who just enjoys a bizarre tale.
Thank you so much to the publisher, Tor, for providing me with a copy of this to read and review.
I was really looking forward to more SGJ and this did NOT disappoint!