The Sorrow King by Andersen Prunty
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
The town of Gethsemane, Ohio, is rocked by a string of suicides that some are calling The Suicide Virus. Meanwhile, troubled young teenager Steven Wrigley meets the girl of his dreams. But does his new lady love have some sort of connection to the suicide plague?
Some people seem to be afraid of the bizarro genre, thinking it's full of things like talking penises running for president, super heroes wielding magical dildos, people having sex with fruit, and pieces of furniture having sex with one another. While this is certainly true in some cases, it is not always the case. I like to think of the bizarro as writers writing what they feel like without the constraints of a conventional publisher. This book is a perfect example.
The Sorrow King is a chilling tale of a demon-like creature, the Sorrow King, that drives teenagers to commit suicide so that it can feed on their misery and the misery their deaths cause. Andersen Prunty does a great job maintaining a creepy mood throughout as the Sorrow King tempts his victims. Up until a huge twist near the end, I could easily see the Sorrow King coming from a major publishing house. Then came the twist, which I couldn't see any major publishing house putting out.
The characters of Steven and his father are very well done. I liked the interplay between them as it nicely summed up their relationship, more like friends than father and son. The character of Elise could have used a bit more developing but I bought Steven falling for her so fast. After all, I was a hormone-driven teenage boy once.
Andersen Prunty's writing continues to impress me. I enjoyed Zerostrata quite a bit and, while it's a completely different kind of book, I enjoyed The Sorrow King even more. I almost wish I would have saved it until Halloween.
To sum things up, The Sorrow King is one the best bizarro books I've read so far and I recommend it to all the Bizarro-curious (or Bi-curious, as Steve Lowe calls them) readers out there.
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