The Book of Accidents

Books on Tape. Jul. 2021. 16:49 hrs. ISBN 9780593213834. $95. HORROR
Wendig’s (“Star Wars: Aftermath” series) latest novel pays homage to classic horror staples, featuring demonic hauntings and an isolated small town, complete with a prison, where one family braces against the forces of evil. Former cop Nate Graves moves to the town with his artist wife Maddie and sensitive teen son Oliver, who is coping with anxiety. Together they face the ghost of a local serial killer, bullying jocks, and an alcohol-addicted writer, as well as Nate’s relationship with his abusive father. There may be too many stories wrapped up in Wendig’s tale, whose vague statements about the hardship of “this world” weigh down the dialogue. Curiously, the demons hunting the Graves family repeatedly praise Nate and Maddie’s parenting, which largely negates the novel’s suspense. In the narration, Xe Sands’s soothing voice combines well with George Newburn’s folksy cadence to bring out the rustic qualities of the dark woods where the action happens.
VERDICT Passionate fans will love this homage to the genre, but more diverse and innovative works may be a better choice for limited collections.
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