Sunday, September 21, 2014

Mary: The Summoning, by Hillary Monahan

First-time author Hillary Monahan's Mary: The Summoning explores the famous urban legend of Mary Worth, a.k.a. "Bloody Mary." Paranormal fiction of recent years has turned nightmare creatures like vampires, werewolves, and spirits (oh my!) into glittery, romantic figures meant to make readers swoon rather than scream in terror. Not this book, though. Mary: The Summoning is straight-up horror, reminiscent of the Fear Streetesque stuff I used to scare myself silly reading when I was a teen in the 1990s. 

There is a right way and a wrong way to summon the vengeful ghost of Bloody Mary. And Jess, Shauna, Anna, and Kitty do it all wrong. Jess, as it turns out, secretly wants to do more than just see Mary. She wants to speak with her. There's much more to this story, but no spoilers.

Unfortunately, this lapse of judgement releases Mary (and all of her rage) from her mirrored prison. Once out, Mary attaches herself to the girls, particularly Shauna. Now Mary is popping up in all sorts of shiny surfaces and terrorizing the teens at every turn. No place is safe from Mary's wrath. As the girls search for a way to put Mary back behind the mirror where she belongs, they unravel the horrifyingly tragic story of Mary Worth, a young woman from the 1800's who died under horrible circumstances. There is blood, there is horror, there is death... 

And there is a cliffhanger.

Yep, In true Horror Story fashion, Mary: The Summoning is apparently only the first in a series of books involving Bloody Mary. But don't all worthy horror story villains deserve a sequel or two? (Freddy, Jason, Chucky... even that creepy kid from The Ring got a second shot to scare audiences)

Hopefully the rest will be as horrifyingly good as this one. --AJB

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