Epeolatry Book Review: Night of the Mannequins by Stephen Graham Jones

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Title: Night of the Mannequins
Author: Stephen Graham Jones
Genre: Horror
Publisher: Tordotcom
Release Date: 1st September, 2020

Synopsis: Award-winning author Stephen Graham Jones returns with Night of the Mannequins, a contemporary horror story where a teen prank goes very wrong and all hell breaks loose: is there a supernatural cause, a psychopath on the loose, or both?

We thought we’d play a fun prank on her, and now most of us are dead.

One last laugh for the summer as it winds down. One last prank just to scare a friend. Bringing a mannequin into a theater is just some harmless fun, right? Until it wakes up. Until it starts killing.

Luckily, Sawyer has a plan. He’ll be a hero. He’ll save everyone to the best of his ability. He’ll do whatever he needs to so he can save the day. That’s the thing about heroes—sometimes you have to become a monster first.

Sawyer has a plan for one final summer prank. What’s the worst that could happen? This book answers that question; bringing a mannequin to a movie theater leads to the murder of Sawyer’s friends, and only he can save those still alive.

This fun read had me guessing all the way through. I consider Stephen Graham Jones a master of horror, especially the slasher genre. He skirts along tropes and plays with them like favorite toys. Also, his writing style is conversational and comforting, even when describing gruesome violence. It’s like sitting in a pub with Jones telling you a story over a couple beers.

I’ve read a handful of Jones’s works, and none have been disappointing. I plan to work my way through his full catalogue. This is an author worth studying. He knows his craft and he knows how to unnerve his readers.

I give this one 4 out of 5 stars.

Available from Amazon and Bookshop.

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