Remains is the first novel from Andrew Cull, and also my first introduction to his work. I was fortunate to win a copy of an early release of this book from the author himself. Last night I picked this book up, intending to read a few chapters, and then proceeded to stay awake until 2:30 a.m. to finish it.
This book gripped me from start to finish. The first half is a slow build, as we’re taken through the turmoil of Lucy’s grief over the loss of her son. There were several parts in which I had to take a break to compose myself. I’ve never lost a child, so I cannot imagine that exact type of grief, but losing my dad two months ago, and experiencing some trauma from the whole scenario has opened up my ability to relate to this general theme of loss in the story. (Let’s be honest, I had tears in my eyes from the beginning, where I read that Andrew dedicated this book to his father).
Not only does the author take us on a heartbreaking journey through grief, but we’re then led into some heart-pounding scares and memorable moments for the remainder of the novel. I’m not easily frightened, and I felt some serious moments of dread during this story. There are also some memorable scenes that played out like a movie in my mind. These bits left me cringing and also felt a bit reminiscent of some favorite horror films. (I’ll leave it at that to avoid spoilers).
I’ve mentioned in previous reviews how much I love books that make me feel. Remains is now added to that stack, and while I had a fleeting thought that perhaps this was too much for me to read at the moment, I’m actually glad that I picked it up at this time. For me, reading about topics that resonate with my own struggles is therapeutic. I hope to read more of Andrew’s work soon, and highly recommend this one to anyone interested in a quality piece of horror fiction.