Turn left at the screaming woman with a collapsing face. Turn right at the kneeling man with bleeding sores the size of teacups. If you come across a big-breasted bear with a child’s head in her jaws, you’re going the wrong way.” The Atrocities by: Jeremy C. Shipp
Initial Thoughts: Did someone say “gothic fantasy?” I was initially drawn to The Atrocities by the cover art. I wish more books would feature labyrinths and creepy mansions.
Jeremy Shipp brings you The Atrocities, a haunting gothic fantasy of a young ghost’s education
When Isabella died, her parents were determined to ensure her education wouldn’t suffer.
But Isabella’s parents had not informed her new governess of Isabella’s… condition, and when Ms. Valdez arrives at the estate, having forced herself through a surreal nightmare maze of twisted human-like statues, she discovers that there is no girl to tutor.
Or is there…?
The Atrocities is a novella that hooks you in from the moment you begin reading. Ms. Danna Valadez has been given very peculiar instructions to arrive at her new job as a tutor for a wealthy family. She walks alone through a maze of atrocious sculptures and somehow arrives safe and sound at the Evers’ home. But, Mr. and Mrs. Evers are just as bizarre as their front lawn and the rest of their home. When Mrs. Evers introduces Danna to her new pupil, Isabella, there is no one there. Mrs. Evers tells Danna that Isabella died recently, but her spirit remains and wishes to go on as usual. Reluctantly, Danna tries to play along, but then strange inexplicable things begin to happen.
The beginning of The Atrocities reminded me a little of Jane Eyre’s tour of Thornfield Hall. Like Jane, Danna is perceptive and knows that there is something not quite right about Stockton House, but she cannot place her finger on it. Every night, she drifts into strange dreams of the memories of her past combined with the strange gruesome artwork of Stockton. Eventually, there is very little distinction between dream and reality.
It was a strange experience to read The Atrocities. It is very detail oriented with a quick plotline. From the moment I began this story until its end, I felt as if I were gazing at a distorted abstract painting or walking through a funhouse full of mirrors doubling as a haunted house. As soon as you start to think “okay, so maybe Isabella is actually a ghost,” the story will quickly spiral into the strange and unusual. Basically, my thoughts were, “I’m not sure what’s going on anymore, but I like it.”
The gothic elements really shined through in The Atrocities. It has been a while since I read a convincing modern gothic story.
I would recommend The Atrocities to anyone with a fondness for the gothic (ghosts, mansions, labyrinths).
*I received an advanced copy of The Atrocities from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. *
The Atrocities by: Jeremy C. Shipp is available now.
About the Book
Title: The Atrocities Author: Jeremy C. Shipp Type: Novella Publication Date: April 17, 2018 Genres & Subjects: Fiction, novella, horror, gothic, fantasy, paranormal,
Where to Buy…
Amazon (United States)
Until Next Time,