Troubling Stirrings in Sphere Court by Christopher Besonen


This is a bit of a surreal horror novel. At times the narrative walks the fine line between being unpredictable and confusing. When reading this book, it's best to set aside your expectations of a traditional horror story and enjoy the ride.

Each time I thought I'd figured out what was going on, the next chapter would offer a new twist or passage that changed everything. This story has so much: family secrets, mysterious characters, hauntings, close friendships, intrigue, and even a videogame-like adventure chapter where the characters have to race through life threatening obstacles.

The writing style is unique and refreshing. At times, the phrasing read a bit like a translation, but overall I enjoyed the prose. One flaw I want to mention is the character names. The story stars Suzannah (or Suzy), her mother, Susan, and includes her grandmother, Suzette. The similarity of the names took me a little while to adjust to and while Suzette isn't in the story a lot, the POV does switch between Susan and Suzannah and I had to pause and remind myself which was which a few times.

That said, Suzannah especially is a compelling and fun character. The dynamic between her and her friends, nicknamed the "Odd-Evens" based on their trailer lot numbers, is well-written and I found the relationships between the children to be the most compelling part of the book.

Overall, I recommend this book and plan to keep an eye out for future novels from Christopher Besonen.

Note: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.


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