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  • Writer's pictureChristina Pfeiffer

4/21/2024 Christina Critiques


It’s been a week, friends. And as such, I’m pretty behind.

But guess what! I still have a few for you to add to the old TBR.


Let’s get you started.


 

THIS IS GOING TO HURT

By C. Nichols


Wes wakes up and must confront not only his past but the Shadow Monster that has stalked him since he was young. Forced to relive torment after torment, each revelation exposes the stories behind the physical and mental scars Wes bares.  Will Wes find the answers he so desperately seeks, or will the Shadow Monster deliver the final blow?


The title of this book is a trigger warning in itself. It HUUUUUUUURTS to read. The reader is as unreliable as Wes is and it causes a claustrophobic fear that you want to end for both of you.The evil that exudes off page of the Shadow Monster is as bad as any villain I have read before.


And… Nichols writes about extremely emotionally triggering subjects: self-harm, body dysmorphia, domestic violence, severe mental illness, parental abuse, and sexual abuse (though this is the lesser common spoken about.)


I had to sit and think on this short 56-page story for days. It left me gutted, feeling alone, yet hoping the child in the story finds his way back. But as someone with mental illness, I know sometimes there is no happy ending.


Hauntingly heartbreaking. A HIGHLY, HIGHLY RECOMMEND 5/5.


 

GRIM Issues 1-12

By Stephanie Phillips, Flaviano, et al.


Jess is a reaper. Sounds simple enough, right? When she finds out that the balance of Hell is out of whack because two family members are feuding, things get messy… and deadly. With two faithful sidekicks: Marcel, a long dead Victorian and Eddie, a rocker with an attitude, what shenanigans can happen? A banishment to Las Vegas? Or how about a secret room type area under the river of Styx? Maybe someone losing a scythe? Or…. All the above?


I could NOT stop reading this damned series. The hell setting, dialogue, illustrations, characters, all of it is perfection. I kept turning those pages like Satan takes souls… well, until he doesn’t but you will understand more if you read it. I’ve already preordered the issue coming in May so I can keep up. GRIM is definitely one of my favorites of the year.


A HIGHLY, HIGHLY RECOMMEND (so far) 5/5.


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