Thursday, January 7, 2016
Harrison Squared by Daryl Gregory - Review
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Harrison Harrison, H2 to his mom, has been terrified of the water since the age three when a sea creature capsized their boat causing him to lose his leg and his father to vanish. Now, he and his mom have moved to the worst possible place for her to continue her scientific research as a marine biologist, Dunnsmouth, Massachusetts. It's a very small, creepy, and old-fashioned town right on the Atlantic where beyond weird teachers run the school, strange things happen at night, and monsters lie in wait underwater. On their first full day in this town, his mother disappears at sea while on the job and Harrison will do anything to get her back, even if that means crossing a knife-wielding psychopath and coming face-to-face with one of the creatures that live below the water's surface.
I'm so lucky to have won this Lovecraftian horror fantasy with a healthy dose of humor on the side - I'm not sure why I waited so long to actually read it. I greatly enjoyed diving into the eerie world Gregory has created and meeting his characters. Harrison is quite a unique character in so many ways - I haven't met too many like him - plus his narration is engaging and jumps off the page at you. Professor Freytag, the Dunnsmouth Secondary School librarian, is also a real stand out. As much as I liked Harrison and Freytag, however, my two favorites had to be Lub and Aunt Sel. They stole the show from Harrison, which must have been quite a task. The main cast and secondary characters are able to pull off quite a balancing act by injecting just the right amount of humor into an otherwise creepy fantasy that's dripping with atmosphere.
If you enjoy H.P. Lovecraft, I'm sure you'll enjoying getting to know Harrison Harrison. I also expect you enjoy this if you like Welcome to Night Valeand the Wayward Pines series by Blake Crouch. I'm hoping Harrison Squared is the beginning of a new series, although that doesn't seem to be the case. However, it does appear to be a prequel of sorts to Daryl Gregory's We Are All Completely Fine, so I will probably be checking into that book in the future.
I read this novel from December 31, 2015 - January 6, 2016 and my review is also available on Goodreads.