Epeolatry Book Review: A Light Most Hateful by Hailey Piper


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Title: A Light Most Hateful
Author: Hailey Piper
Genre: Horror
Publisher: Titan Books
Publication Date: 10th October, 2023

Synopsis: Mona Awad’s Bunny meets Stranger Things when a summer storm sweeps through a sleepy town, unleashing a monstrous power that threatens to bend reality, from the Bram Stoker award winning author of Queen of Teeth.

Three years after running away from home, Olivia is stuck with a dead-end job in nowhere town Chapel Hill, Pennsylvania. At least she has her best friend, Sunflower. 

Olivia figures she’ll die in Chapel Hill, if not from boredom, then the summer night storm which crashes into town with a mind-bending monster in tow. 

If Olivia’s going to escape Chapel Hill and someday reconcile with her parents, she’ll need to dodge residents enslaved by the storm’s otherworldly powers and find Sunflower. 

But as the night strains friendships and reality itself, Olivia suspects the storm, and its monster, may have its eyes on Sunflower and everything she loves.

Strap in, because Hailey Piper’s “A Light Most Hateful” is an electrifying read that doesn’t let you go. Picture a quiet Pennsylvania town, seemingly ordinary, suddenly catapulted into supernatural chaos. Our protagonist, Olivia, is navigating yet another mundane night at her dead-end job when everything flips. A massive storm rolls in, bringing creatures straight out of nightmares and transforming the familiar into the fantastical. Piper’s storytelling blends the mundane with the monstrous, creating a gripping experience that’s both thrilling and emotionally stirring.

The scenes where Olivia and Sunflower’s friendship is tested were particularly moving, adding a touching counterpoint to the horror elements.

One standout moment is when Olivia rescues a vagrant named Lizzie from local bullies, only to uncover Lizzie’s true, monstrous nature.

What sets this novel apart is how Piper weaves horror with a deep exploration of friendship and personal growth. Olivia’s journey is about more than just battling external threats; it’s also about facing her inner demons and past traumas.

Piper excels at crafting memorable characters and a richly detailed world. Chapel Hill transforms throughout the narrative, shifting from a sleepy town to a nightmarish landscape, mirroring the characters’ internal struggles.

Midway through, the story takes a surprising turn into cosmic horror and existential themes. Piper skillfully delves into grief, the creative process, and abandonment trauma, adding layers of depth. This transition elevates the book from a simple horror story to a profound, thought-provoking tale.

In the crowded horror genre, “A Light Most Hateful” stands out. It’s a thrilling, emotional ride that captivates you from start to finish. Piper has created a story that not only scares but also offers deep insights into the human condition.

So, why dive into this whirlwind of a novel? Because “A Light Most Hateful” isn’t just a book—it’s an immersive experience. Imagine a rollercoaster filled with twists that leave you breathless and turns that challenge everything you thought you knew about horror fiction. Hailey Piper doesn’t just spin a tale; she builds a world that’s as emotionally rich as it is terrifying. For those seeking a horror novel that masterfully blends heart and horror, this is a must-read. Prepare to be captivated, challenged, and deeply moved.


Available from Amazon and Bookshop.

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