Orsk is an affordable furniture superstore, full of flat-pack bookcases and self-assembly wardrobes. Sound familiar? Well, the Orsk that Amy works for is a little different, with weird happenings and smashed Glans water goblets happening daily she is volunteered to search for the culprit alongside her infuriating manager. What could go wrong?
Before I go into any detail about the writing, plot and characters of this book you will need to know about why so many people pick up this book. I mean... look at the illustrations:
The paperback publication holds several different illustrations similar to that well-known store and it immediately draws your attention and makes it fun and accessible for those who are not big lovers of horror. Not only does it look great as a novel, but it also makes a quirky coffee table book for sparking conversation.
I strongly believe the main focus of this book was the overall image and creation, instead of the actual writing and story. I read this just before 'My Best Friend's Exorcism' by the same author, and that ended up being one of my favourite reads of the year, so I'm not sure what was missing in this one? This is the older of the two publications so I think Hendrix just refined his skills because this isn't terrible, overall the story is engaging and I definitely enjoyed myself but in the end, it was just "fine" and nothing extraordinary. The plot itself was exciting and I definitely feel with some more focus on that it'd have been amazing.
Negatives aside, this was a quick and easy read. It's perfect for getting into horror when you're not quite sure what you like, it has ghosts, a bit of gore, death and thrills, so it's easy to figure out what aspects you prefer if you're new to the genre. Hendrix definitely made this fun as well, the diagrams of Orsk furniture gradually began to depict the torture devices in the plot and I found that just added a nice touch. I did find the format distracted slightly from the theme of the novel, having the illustrations made it fun and a little humourous when the tone of the writing was meant to be conveying terror for the most part.
Having a character angry at the world is usually redeemed by their development into a team-player, but it does frustrate me seeing grown-up characters acting like teenagers. It is addressed by Basil that Amy needs to drop this attitude but she never seems to, she eventually wants to protect those she previously disliked but her characterisation still came across as difficult and aggressive. Due to this I never warmed to her, I was rooting more for Basil and Ruth-Anne than the main character of Amy.
This was an enjoyable read, it was funny and creepy all at once and the format made it something different but the writing was overshadowed by it and suffered due to this.