Urban Gothic Review
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I’ve often found that the kind of novels that can be made into horror B-movies (if they manage to get picked up by a movie production company) are more fun to read than they are to watch. You can get inside the characters’ heads and learn, if not to love them, to root for their survival. Author Brian Keene brings readers such a group of characters in Urban Gothic.

The row house at the end of the block is haunted—or so says the rest of the neighborhood. People go in, but they never come back out—and no one on the street is willing to stick their noses in to find out what happens to those unfortunate victims. After all, this is the inner city, where most everyone is too poor (or hooked on drugs) to care—and the cops certainly aren’t in any hurry to take a call in that direction.

After a hip-hop concert, six white teens find themselves in a broken-down car, stranded in a bad part of New Jersey—a place where no one wants to get caught after dark. Frightened by a group of black teens, they run into an abandoned house, hoping to take shelter until they can figure out what to do. But what they find is more terrifying and foul than anything they could have encountered on the street.

A colony of deformed individuals dwells in the basement of the old house, rarely venturing out—and they loathe intruders. The teens fight for their lives, knowing that their chances of getting out of a house that’s fraught with booby traps and crazed maniacs are marginal. After all, no one knows where they are except for a gang of kids who probably won’t lift a finger to help. Or will they?

Even though it’s a cheesy, clichéd horror novel, I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough. Urban Gothic is an adrenaline rush that’ll blow you back into your seat as you pray that the victims will find some way out of the horror they’ve been thrust into. Even though you’ll get to know just enough about the characters to like them—and because of what they’re up against and how hard they fight to live—you’ll root for their survival and feel incredibly sad (and even a bit angry) when one of them bites the dust.

With its gross and hair-raising scenes, Urban Gothic is one horrifyingly gripping read—and you won’t be able to turn away. I don’t recommend eating while you read it because there are some truly stomach-turning scenes—yet they’re not thrown in for shock value; they’re actually an important part of the plot.

Looking for a graphic yet tasteful psychological horror novel? Urban Gothic is for you.

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