Something strange is happening at the Orsk furniture superstore in Cleveland, Ohio. Every morning, employees arrive to find broken Kjerring bookshelves, shattered Glans water goblets, and smashed Liripip wardrobes. Sales are down, security cameras reveal nothing, and store managers are panicking.
To unravel the mystery, three employees volunteer to work a nine-hour dusk-till-dawn shift. In the dead of the night, they’ll patrol the empty showroom floor, investigate strange sights and sounds, and encounter horrors that defy the imagination. (synopsis from Goodreads)
(I got this as an ARC from Quirk Books in exchange for an honest review.)
This was a pretty creepy read. I don’t know if I will ever be able to walk into an IKEA without worrying about ghosts. Granted, the store in this book is only based off of IKEA, and it makes a point of that. It’s a cheaper version of IKEA that shares a lot of similar ideas, such as the way the stores are laid out with pathways to lead customers through the store. Still, there are quite a few similarities between the two, which will likely make IKEA a little creepy for me now.
The book is laid out like an IKEA-esque catalog with images of the furniture for sale and small descriptions of how that piece of furniture will make your life better. As the book takes a horrifying turn, the furniture that is shown at the beginning of each chapter become torture devices, but they continue to have the upbeat descriptions as the other pieces in the first half. I found this darkly funny and really fitting. It was also helpful, since the devices that are shown are actually being used in the book, so you get a disturbing visual aid that helps you better imagine these horrible things that are happening to these employees.
I would not suggest this book to those with a sensitive stomach since it gets pretty gruesome closer to the end of the book. Lots of torture and blood. The writing was detailed enough that I could picture it in my head. There is one particular scene that still gives my shivers when I think about it. *shivers*
This book also went by really quickly. It’s not a long book, and once you get to the brunt of the creepiness, you can’t really put it down, despite the fact that you kind of want to just because it’s disturbing. I also kept thinking to myself throughout the last half of the book, “Boy, I bet they wish they had some salt.” *nods to Supernatural fans*
Despite it’s short length, it does a good job of giving us an idea of what these characters are like. The book is mainly told in the POV of Amy, and it was interesting to watch her transformation throughout the book from a rather lazy employee who does the bare minimum to keep her job to the determined hero that she becomes by the end.
For the most part, the other characters were written rather well. They did seem a little like caricatures at times, but it would be difficult to fully develop characters in this short of a book. The were written will enough that, if you have worked in retail, you can think of at least one fellow employee that that character reminds you of.
Overall Impression: A rather disturbing read that was difficult to put down.
Recommend For: Fans of the horror genre, ghost stories, and horror movies.