Letters of Mass Construction

Harrison Squared by Daryl Gregory

There is not enough time in the day to work and read all the books I have waiting for me. I have been wanting to read Daryl Gregory for some time but just have never quite gotten to him (despite the fact that I own two of his books which have been well reviewed). When the opportunity to review Harrison Squared came up I decided the time had finally arrived. The best thing I can say about this book is that when I was done I knew I would be quickly reading the other Gregory books I owned. I absolutely adored this book.

While the book clearly falls in the teen age range it is very accessible for adults. It is a great book that never gives into many of the common cliches in teen fiction. The plot unfolds nicely revealing bits and pieces of the mystery. It’s a hard book to review plot points without giving up too much of the surprising story. I’ll give you the bare bones. Harrison Harrison and his mother move to the small Lovecraftian town of Dunnsmouth, Massachusetts. Harrison is a little damaged both mentally and physically. Both a direct result of an attack by a giant sea creature (at least that’s how he remembers it) that cost him his leg and his dad his life.

It turns out Harrison is a sensitive. His mind finely attuned to the paranormal world around him. This was probably not the right town to move to because Lovecraftian horrors abound and Harrison soon finds himself right in the middle of it all. Between his way strange high school, the deep ones, fish human hybrids, and knife wielding maniacs trying to skin him alive Harrison has his hands full.

The story is often quite hilarious and creepy scary in equal amounts. What really jumped out at me was Gregory’s total command of the story. His writing is fast and crisp. He is able to set the mood, keep you guessing, and introduce mountains of great characters (including Lub who may be my favorite new character of the year. I would read a whole book with him as the star). One of my favorite books this year and I hope the beginning of a wonderful relationship between me and Daryl Gregory.

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This book was an advance reader’s copy provided by Tor Books

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