Friday, March 27, 2015

New Teen Horror Release

5 stars

In Daryl Gregory's We Are All Completely Fine, we met Harrison Harrison, a man touched by The Other. It was dark and left me hungry for more Harrison.   In Harrison Squared,  we meet Harrison Harrison the boy. Definitely Lovecraftian in setting and style, but not an adult novel. I would classify it as preteen. Very high quality preteen, and I enjoyed reading it.

Harrison's horror begins when his mother, a research scientist, takes him to Dunnsmouth for a project.  I keep wanting to write Innsmouth or Dunwich, which is to say this town is as insane as anything Lovecraft dreamed up. Everything about this place is creepy. Harrison's new school, his new classmates, the police, the fishermen, are all seriously weird. There's a secret under life that Harrison can't stop poking.

When his mother's boat doesn't return from her second day out, Aunt Sel swoops in to take care of Harrison until he gives up looking for his mother. In any other tale, Aunt Sel would be the crazy one. Here, she's the closest thing to normal Harrison's got.

Harrison's search for his mom is exciting and scary, but again, entirely appropriate for the young reader. There's never a lull in the adventure. It's classic Lovecraft, with ancient evil creatures from beyond the veil, caves and underwater rescues,  everything happening at night. Harrison has to rely on his own wits, and help eventually comes from strange places. Twelve year old me would have read this book over and over again, and pushed it on my friends.

I'm still hungry for more of the grown up Harrison Harrison, though.  (Hint, hint Gregory).

Thank you NetGalley and Tor Books for a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.