Things Have Gotten Worse Since We Last Spoke – Eric LaRocca

I’m super proud of myself, I actually finished all of my spooky TBR books I shared earlier this month! I have a few others left that I want to get to and I think it’s an attainable goal.

Thanks to Titan Books for the ebook copy in exchange for my honest review – I had to get a physical copy for my shelves because that cover is incredible

THINGS HAVE GOTTEN WORSE SINCE WE LAST SPOKE – Eric LaRocca (Re-released September 6th, 2022)

Book Description:

Three dark and disturbing horror stories from an astonishing new voice, including the viral-sensation tale of obsession, Things Have Gotten Worse Since We Last Spoke. For fans of Kathe Koja, Clive Barker and Stephen Graham Jones.

A whirlpool of darkness churns at the heart of a macabre ballet between two lonely young women in an internet chat room in the early 2000s—a darkness that threatens to forever transform them once they finally succumb to their most horrific desires.

A couple isolate themselves on a remote island, in an attempt to recover from their teenage son’s death, when a mysterious young man knocks on their door during a storm…

And a man confronts his neighbour when he discovers a strange object in his back yard, only to be drawn into an ever-more dangerous game.

From Bram Stoker Award® finalist Eric LaRocca, this is devastating, beautifully written horror from one of the genre’s most cutting-edge voices.

What have you done today to deserve your eyes?

My Thoughts: 5/5 stars

With these being short stories, I don’t want to give away too much because that definitely risks me spoiling them. However, I will say that when Chandra (of WhereTheReaderGrows and my #allthebookreviews buddy reader) tells me I have to read a horror book, I need to listen to her ASAP. When I say that THINGS HAVE GOTTEN WORSE SINCE WE LAST SPOKE packs a punch, it really does. I’ve always loved the stories that are told through the use of emails, messages, newspaper articles, etc. I think it gives a completely different perspective and it’s when the characters feel more human or relatable in a way.

When I tell you I was not expecting this story to go the way it did, wow. I was expecting something crazy and risky at the end, but not that ending. The thought of someone asking you, what have you done to deserve your eyes today, makes my skin crawl. There are very few things that make me cringe or look away when it comes to horror and eyes, nails, and teeth are them. I’ll experience someone breaking limbs all day long or other bloody gore, but the second eyes are involved, teeth are pulled, or nails are breaking (shocker to no one, right?) then I have to look away. That last line made me cringe and I love that LaRocca didn’t give us all the details – how will it resolve? What actually happened? Loved it.

The other two stories are equally unsettling and leave you with questions that keep your mind racing. Personally, I love those kinds of books when its done well. There are some books where the endings are ambiguous or leave you guessing that aren’t done the best and frustrate you, that is not the case here. I have more LaRocca on my shelves and you’ll be seeing those reviews soon! Highly recommend to horror fans and those that want some short stories on their TBR!

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