Review: Clever Creatures of the Night by Samatha Mabry

Clever Creatures of the NightClever Creatures of the Night by Samantha Mabry
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I was going to wait for a while before writing this review, see if I could settle my thoughts a bit, but I’d rather just rip the proverbial band-aid off. Let’s get this over with…

Prior to starting this, I saw the overall low rating and I laughed in its face. I frequently find myself in the minority opinion on YA Horror books, so was completely expecting to enjoy this in some way.

Unfortunately, I fall directly in line with the majority of other Readers on this one. OMG, for me, this was a complete and total mess. I have no idea what I just read.

This story is a fever dream meets a bad acid trip and I wasn’t having it. The only things I really took from this are: we’re following a character named, Case; she’s gone to visit her friend, Drea, per Drea’s invitation; when she gets to Drea’s home at the appointed time, she’s not there and instead Case is forced to interact with Drea’s bizarre housemates.

There’s a slight post-apocalyptic feel to this. Like an event happened that forced all these kids to move into this remote house together and they live cut off from the rest of society, but I have no idea why.

From the start, I knew it probably wasn’t going to be for me, but I kept going. I wanted to see if I could find some sort of enjoyment in the story. The writing style was not to my tastes at all, but sometimes, if the storyline is gripping enough, I can see past that.

Initially, I was intrigued by the fact that Drea seemed to be missing. If we could believe Case’s thoughts, Drea had invited her there, so why would she suddenly be gone?

The property itself was rather eerie and all of Drea’s roommates were odd in a way that did, at the start, seem like it could provide a good creep factor. Sadly, that never took off. It was so confusing, I just could never settle in to enjoy any of the atmosphere, or outlandish circumstances.

The dream-like quality of the writing, paired with the hopping around in focus, made it very hard to decipher any sort of plot. I wanted to get to the bottom of what happened to Drea, but the story was relayed in such a way that it made that close to impossible and not enjoyable.

I’m not sure who I would recommend this to. I would say you’d have to be a big fan of Literary, or Speculative, stories to enjoy this. Also, perhaps if the words of a story are the most important thing for you, it could work.

The writing does have a certain sense of lyricism to it that could be pleasing to some Readers, but if enjoy any coherent plot, or well-developed characters, you may as well skip it.

Thank you to the publisher, Algonquin Young Readers, for providing me with a copy to read and review.

I went in with an open mind, but woefully, this was a complete miss for me. On to the next!

View all my reviews

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *