A Light Most Hateful

Titan. Oct. 2023. 288p. ISBN 9781803364209. pap. $16.95. HORROR
Award-winning novelist Piper (Queen of Teeth) returns with thought-provoking, weird, and utterly original small-town horror that is a must-buy for all libraries. Olivia, 18, lives in Chapel Hill, PA, the small town she settled in three years ago, after running away from home when her father caught her kissing a girl. Even though the town is not fond of outsiders, she has found her place living in best friend Sunflower’s orbit. As the novel opens, a fierce storm brings torrential rain and what sounds like human screams from the hills. Olivia is working at the drive-in when an angry monster emerges from the ground, and most of the townsfolk enter a zombie-like trance. Olivia runs for her life and looks for Sunflower, trying to save them both, but what exactly is she running away from and where is she running to? Olivia is about to have the longest night of her life—one that will change her world forever.
VERDICT A stunning novel that purposefully plays with genre conventions and centers love, even as it actively terrifies readers to their core, much like recent novels from Victor LaValle, Rachel Eve Moulton, and Chuck Tingle.
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