Morbidly Beautiful

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Immediately engaging, terrifying, and even thought-provoking, “Summoner of Sleep” should be added to the top of your 2022 must-read list.

by Liz Stillwaggon Swan

I read this book in just a few sittings.

The characters are relatable and, at first, preoccupied with the very human problems of troubled sleep, impending divorce, nosey neighbors, dissatisfaction with life and the like. I was quickly drawn in and found myself sympathizing with the characters’ suffering.

But as soon as the characters become familiar to us, we are transported, along with them, to the completely unfamiliar, supernatural, terrifying and mind-bending netherworld of Marble Woods.

I would love to see this book made into a movie. It is the product of a brilliant and vivid imagination that entraps you in its horrible and disturbing world that you somehow don’t want to leave until you figure out what’s really going on.

Readers beware: you may become addicted to this story and need more just like the wayward characters in this story become addicted to *summoner of sleep* and other potions despite their obvious horrendous side-effects.

The story sucks you in like a tornado and whips you around with increasing speed and intensity, becoming more terrifying, more vivid, and more complex with each chapter. Some characters survive the horror tornado and others do not; no predictable happy endings for this book.

Whether intended or not, the book presents some interesting parallels with today’s societal problems, such as our obsession with pharmaceuticals, our intensifying “us vs. them” mentality, and our deeply rooted inability to truly know or trust one another.

Author A.I. Winters

The book questions some deeply held human notions like family over friends, the necessity of forgiving family for wrongdoings, our trust in science and Big Pharma to know what’s best for us, and even our obsession with always wanting more — never satisfied with what we have and what is.

The story does not address any of these topics head-on; rather, through relatable storytelling and a fascinating and eerie tale, readers are invited to reflect on how we feel about all these elements of 21st century American society.

The book is a fun and thought provoking read. It is different than lots of horror out there in its complexity, intensity, and vividness of description.

Just to see the wretched creatures described in the book played out on the big screen would be fascinating.

I think anyone who enjoys reading horror, fantasy, science fiction and the like would enjoy this book, whether an uninitiated teenager trying out horror for the first time, or a long-time Stephen King veteran. I anxiously await the book’s sequel and hopefully the screenplay!

Page Count: 274
Rating: 5/5
Overall Rating (Out of 5 Butterflies): 0


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Written by: Liz Stillwaggon Swan, PhD Program for Writing & Rhetoric, University of Colorado Boulder, Contributing Writer for Psychology Today magazine

1 Comment

1 Record

  1. on January 20, 2022 at 9:23 pm
    Sarah wrote:
    Loved it! I read this book and absolutely loved it. There's a little bit of everything. Horror. Thriller. Mystery. Psychological intrigue. Highly recommend.

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