Book Review: HUSK by Rachel Autumn Deering

“She reminded him of no one, and he loved her for it.”

That’s just one of many quotable lines from this book, and it sums up how I feel about this story. It’s unique and the author has a gift with words. I caught myself re-reading many of the lines and I could easily make a list of my favorites here. I won’t do that, because it would give away too much, and this story needs to be experienced individually by each reader. Instead, I’ll just sum up some general thoughts while doing my best to avoid spoilers.

I recently picked up a copy of HUSK for a buddy read, and I’m sorry that I didn’t get to this novella sooner. Prior to this, I’d only read one of the author’s short stories, which I enjoyed. I absolutely adored the writing in this novella. It starts off rather intense, and I (not surprisingly to most of you) teared up a couple of times within the first two chapters.

I immediately felt empathy for the protagonist, Kevin, and this carried on throughout the entire story. I’ve never been to war and experienced the related trauma, and my family experience was different than that of this character, but I was still able to connect with the story. This was mostly due to the author’s excellent character development and descriptions of Kevin’s relationships and his inner thoughts and feelings. My favorite parts were the descriptions of his love of Halloween—this really struck a chord with me and was so relatable.

There’s a bit of everything I enjoy about a good story within these pages—most of all, it feels authentic and has a lot of heart. There are moments of heart-pounding terror, both human and supernatural in origin. It’s a fast-paced read and was a real page-turner for me. Yes, I had some questions that went unanswered, and in some stories this doesn’t work for me. However, with this one I felt ok that I was left to wonder about some aspects. I thought it worked well as a shorter story with a bit of mystery lingering by the end.

I went to bed shortly after reading this in one sitting, and I could not turn off my brain. The story swirled around in my mind for days, and left its mark on me. At this point I’ve read enough from this author to know that I’m a fan. I’ll be on the lookout for any of her previously published work that I haven’t read, and I hope that there are more stories to come in the near future.

5/5 Stars






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