Slasher Crasher by David Nora #BookReview
RATING: 5 STARS
It was the night HE tried to go home...but got caught in THEIR drama...
It’s Halloween. Nick Roesch, a towering figure of evil and stupidity, escapes from the upstate New York mental hospital he’s been committed to for the past five years. Planning to return to his childhood home, where he brutally murdered his babysitter’s boyfriend, his plans are halted when he crosses paths with an even more terrifying beast—two high school friends with some serious beef. Caught in a battle of loyalty that has been brewing for ten years of their friendship, the two girls, Kathleen Strife and Betsy Coleman, force the feud into a savage showdown, pitting the escaped monster against each other. Who will survive this epic deathmatch, and is it totally wrong to fall in love with the murderous lunatic who just tried to kill your ex-best friend with a machete?
I’ve been craving a comedic horror read and Slasher Crasher didn’t disappoint. An escaped lunatic? Teenage drama? Epic deathmatch? Sign me up! From the first page to the last sentence, this book is a juicy festival of gore, perfect for slasher fans. It playfully embraces classic horror tropes, tips its hat to iconic horror movies and references the soundtrack of my youth. What’s not to love?
Sure, this book revolves around a psychopath murdering everyone in site, but at the heart of Slasher Crasher are three teenagers coming of age, dealing with boy drama, bullying and absente parents. They must face Nick, the monster, as well as their own inner demons in order to become the ‘Final Girl’, a trope horror fans know and love. Each character arc undergoes a transformation fitting and realistic to their characters. In addition to the main cast, there’s an array of supporting characters, including Nick’s doctor (who could have walked straight out of The Exorcist and into this book), Betsy dad who is a recovered alcoholic, and a cast of homophobic bullies who make poor David’s life a living hell.
While the main theme of the book lies around the final girl trope, religion plays an interesting role in the plot. One of the police officers insists on ending every conversation with “praise be to God”, an interesting little quirk for an arguably insignificant character. But it adds to the character developments, especially Betsy and her father, who struggle with their faith. And, of course, Nick’s doctor is certain that Nick is no mere mortal, but the Devil arriving in their town to raise hell.
But don’t worry. There’s nothing preaching about this book. It’s a horror novel to it’s core complete with tales of Nick’s sadism that will make your stomach churn. But what makes it powerful is that it doesn’t stop with external horrors, but explores the things that scare us all. Loneliness, jealousy, abandonment, the fear we aren’t good enough and never will be. So while on the surface, this is a teenage slasher with a final girl theme, underneath it’s a brilliant tale of courage and self discovery, even if those realizations lead us down a dangerous path.
This is easily one of my favorite books of 2019, and an absolute must read. Buy it here!
Paperback: 358 pages
Publisher: Black Rose Writing; First Printing ed. edition (August 22, 2019)