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Friday, January 10, 2020

Review: We Are Monsters by Brian Kirk @night_worms #nightwormsaremonsters #nightwormsbookparty

We Are Monsters 
by Brian Kirk 

It's a #nightwormsbookparty!  Go get yours now at Flame Tree Press's website and use code NIGHTMONSTERS to get an early copy! Thank you to Night Worms and Flame Tree Press for a free copy to review.

Publisher: Flame Tree Press
Publish Date: January 16, 2020
327 Pages
Genre: Horror

The Sugar Hill mental asylum is home to the most psychotic criminals in Georgia.  None is more notorious than its most recent patient, Crosby Nelson - a paranoid schizophrenic found mentally unfit to stand trial for a string of gruesome murders.

Luckily he's in good hands.  Dr. Eli Alpert has a talent for healing tortured souls.  And his protege, Alex Drexler, is working on an experimental cure for schizophrenia, a drug that frees patients from paranoid delusions and frightening hallucinations, returning them to their former selves.

But unforeseen side effects are starting to emerge.  Forcing prior traumas to the surface.  Setting inner demons free.  The drug Alex has created might heal the psychotic mind, but it also expands it, and the monsters it releases could be more dangerous than the disease.

My Review:

I'm a huge lover of asylum horror.  The methods that have been put into place can be seen as a torture of their own to help those not quite of sound mind.  We've all heard of shock therapy, lobotomies, water logging and allllll the medications.  What realities do the criminally insane live in and can they truly be helped?  Dr. Eli and Alex are determined to make this happen.  But what happens when the doctors may turn out to be bigger monsters than the ones they are helping? Or are they? It's all perspective at some point.

The book starts off strong - love the character development.  We get an insight to where these characters are going and how the story my lend itself to the horror within.  I did find certain parts a bit too dense for my taste and found my attention waning at times.  Then in the last third, it shifts so completely I almost thought I was reading a different book.  This can be a bit jarring but once I realized I was as lost as the characters, I found myself back into the read.  

Most fascinating to me was the use of Dimethyltryptamine (DMT, also known as the Spirit Molecule - a book I've read and a drug I experienced once) and the whole time I felt the same as Eli: "I question the scientific accuracy of your hypothesis, but I'm following your point."  I'm intrigued as to the author's experience and research within this subject matter.  I think due to my own research and experience I was reading certain parts with a furrowed brow.  At the same time, I was also loving the direction he took.  Who doesn't love the insanity of it all? 

I'm torn between needing more cohesiveness and less density to a read that took me from a build up of what's going to happen straight to what the fuck is going on ... and loving how the author took us on a journey where our realities are also changed and we're now feeling just as insane as the rest of them.  


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