Title: Slights
Author: Kaaron Warren
Pub Date: 2009
Pages: 502
Genre: Horror
Challenges: Chunkster

"Nightmares are only horror movies in my brain and I love horror movies." (178)

Stevie (short for Stephanie) is a mess. Her fearless and loved father died on duty while taking down a criminal (he was a police officer) when she was a child and things had not really been right ever since.

And of course they become worse when Stevie kills her mom in a car accident and Peter, her older brother, distances himself from her through his work and his own family.

Stevie is definitely an anti-hero. From the moment we meet her, it's difficult to tell if we should hate her or sympathize with her. The back of the book sets the reader up for judgement already referring to her as a serial killer, and yes, she is. I mean, she does kill people, but what's the horror in this horror novel is Stevie's mind, her consciousness, her lack of, her personality that creates her own personal hell and we are left to sit back and watch.

Stevie knows there is something not quite right with her and her perceptions. She is a complete sociopath is many ways, not really feeling bad for the deaths she cause. But she is not completely void of feeling. She adored her father and truly wants her brother close. Still, she is obsessed with this room after death, which she stumbles upon at a young age - her first death of many. This room is where the horror is found.

Webster's dictionary defines slights as (1) to treat as slight or unimportant, (2)to treat with disdain or indifference, (3) to perform or attend to carelessly and inadequately.

When Stevie dies she goes to this nightmarish place where all of the individuals who she has ever slighted are there attacking her. It's horrific. It's nerve wrecking. It's traumatic. It gives me the shivers. This is what leads Stevie to commit murders. She wants to find out what others see after they die. I adore (is it wrong to use an endearing term when speaking of horror?) the use of psychological horror.

And believe it or not, there's a good lesson to be learned here:

"The people waiting in the room suffer. They are alive, but part of them is snapped away at each slight. The snapped bit attaches itself to the offender, and this is what he sees after death. So the more you believe you are slighted, the lesser person you become. the horror of it is that if someone hurts you, you are in their power, because you remember them forever, whereas they will soon forget. The one who does the hurting usually doesn't care what happens to the other, or will certainly forget that particular hurt. It is foolish to be wounded by such small things; the paper cuts of life,the slights, when the world is so terrible around us." (394)
If you're a fan of the horror genre and can handle a couple of nightmares, I highly recommend it. If you live in the States like I do, however, good luck finding it. I had to get it from Europe via Bookmooch. Maybe it'll get published in the States soon?

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