Tuesday, November 2, 2021

Review - Blister


by Jeff Strand
Date: 2016
Publisher: Sinister Grin Press
Reading level: A
Book type: prose novel
Pages: 275
Format: e-book
Source: Amazon.ca

They call her Blister. She’s a hideously disfigured twenty-three year-old woman, living in a shed next to her father’s house, hidden away from the world.

Jason Tray is a successful cartoonist, banished to his agent’s lakeside cabin for a few days of mandatory rest and relaxation. One night, while hanging out with a couple of the locals at a dive bar, he takes them up on their offer to go “see Blister,” having no idea what they’re talking about.

He peeks through the window at the most nightmarish thing he’s ever seen.

In the morning, he wakes up, hung over and regretful. He’s better than this. He needs to…apologize?

From the Bram Stoker Award-nominated author of PRESSURE, DWELLER, and WOLF HUNT comes a tale of fiendish secrets, ghastly crimes, and human monsters.

(synopsis from Goodreads)

Based on the fact that the top categories for this book on Goodreads are "horror", "thriller", and "romance", I think it's safe to say that Blister sort of defies categorization. I picked it up because I'd seen some good reviews of it, and when I read the preview, I liked what I saw. This actually turned out to be a surprisingly enjoyable read, even though it doesn't fit into the genres I tend to read the most.

The cover totally makes it look like this is going to be a terrifying gore-fest, but it's actually an interesting story about a secret in a small town. There are plenty of twists and turns along the way, some intriguing characters, and a great pace that keeps the story moving along at a nice clip. I really liked the narrator's voice; it never took itself too seriously (well, Jason did draw cartoons for a living, so he wasn't a super-serious sort of guy to begin with), and I found myself grunting with laughter at a few points while I was reading (which I rarely ever do).

I'm super picky about the technical stuff, so it says a lot that the story was good enough that I was able to overlook quite a few typos and other small mistakes and still enjoy the heck out of the book. Overall, though, the writing is fairly solid and there's nothing that made me want to fling the book across the room in a fit of pique.

I have absolutely no idea who I'd recommend this to. It's probably too dark for romance fans, too light for horror fans, and too silly for thriller fans. But if you're looking for something a little different, you might be pleasantly surprised like I was with this entertaining little morsel.

Premise: 4/5
Plot: 4/5
Characters: 3/5
Pace: 4/5
Writing: 4/5
Editing: 2/5
Originality: 4/5
Enjoyment: 4/5

Overall Rating: 3.63 out of 5 ladybugs

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