Hurting a known person is a miserable thing,
but hurting an unknown person is dangerous.
One does not know how they could react.
- Maya's New Husband
This is by far the scariest horror book among my reads this year. It stands true to its name. Some of the quotes have deep insights and are bang-on, like the one above.
The imagery is strong, catering to both aural, nasal as well as visual senses.The language is top-notch and the vocabulary is comfortably rich.
Cannibalism is not a new theme in horror but the treatment in this one is new, because of the key characters being part of a school. Also, Maya is a realistic woman, with normal shades, not overly good like protagonists generally tend to be. Her utter stupidity in falling for the worst possible man, stands out as a reminder that love or loneliness makes perfectly sane, educated people do stupid things, to endanger their lives.
The parts describing the Aghori way of life are informative.
Horror lovers may enjoy the goriness in the book, but I found it too much. The rats adding on to the cannibalism, that involves cooking, steaming, seasoning and sauteing various human body parts was a little overboard for me. The vivid descriptions unwind imagery that is gory.
The fear factor builds up constantly in the book, moving from one grisly murder to the next. The repeated motif of human remains pouring out of mutilated bodies numbs the mind to its goriness. By the end of the book, readers may get so accustomed to blood, human parts and gore that there may be no horrific feelings left, long before the end.
I rate it 3.7 out of 5. Too grisly for my taste, pun intended. But perhaps, a horror lover's delight.
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