From the dark corners of the internet to the eerie depths of the forest, the boogeyman lurks. An odd collection of elongated limbs in black and white, an oval-shaped head, and a lurking, a following, a stalking. The Slender Man.
Mark is a young man of monied Manhattan, enrolled in an elite private high school that is rife with gossip, and troubled by insomnia-inducing nightmares. He tries his hand at writing grimdark fiction and shares it on a creative writing sub. But when aspects of his stories start to manifest themselves in dreams and realities, Mark gets chills… and it all comes to a head when his friend Lauren goes missing. Who took her? Was it the Slender Man?
This story is an epistolary novel told through journal entries, audio transcriptions (police interviews and voice apps), therapist notes, Reddit subs, texts messages, and DMs. These bite-sized clues, along with some time shifting, offer the reader a terrific puzzle, and create a pacing that is surprisingly quick. Two massive reveals in the end make for a great finish.
The story may have a little more spook and thrill than scare, but it is one that is definitely recommended. A Halloween-perfect book that looks at teenage friendships, the anonymity of the internet, and an urban myth that continues to unnerve and affright.
4 out of 5 stars.
Releases on October 23rd.
Thank you to Edelweiss, Harper Voyager, and our nameless author for the advanced copy of the book.