[REVIEW] The Nightmare Room (The Messy Man No.1) – by Chris Serenson

Haunted house stories will forever hold a place in my horror heart of hearts. There is such a primal fear that comes from not knowing what is in the dark, watching your every move. Waiting for the right time to show it’s true form. This has always been the sub genre of horror that gets under my skin the most. 

Such is the case with Chris Sorensons Haunted House creep fest; The Nightmare Room. We start our story with married couple Peter and Hannah Larson, who have recently experienced a heart breaking disaster and are looking to try and start over. When Peters fathers health decline becomes evermore apparent, they decide to move back home to Peters hometown to help take care of him. 

The house they move into is Peters fathers house and has some old history that’s just ready to boil at the surface. The rest of the story sucks you into quite literally, a nightmare. Strange occurrences begin to happen quickly and rapidly. Slowly taking its toll on the family’s mental health until all hell breaks loose. 

I don’t want to give more away from the story so let’s dive into other aspects. I loved the main characters. Peter and Hannah are extremely thought out and strong personalities. Their marriage feels real, as does their interactions with others and their reactions to events around them. Never did I disagree with a choice they made or think it was silly, they did exactly what I would have done in most of these situations. 

However, as much as I liked Peter, I want to put extra emphasis on his wife, Hannah. Her personality jumps off of the page and she is a treat to read throughout. Major props goes to Sorenson for creating such a thoughtful and strong woman as Peters wife, I believe she was my favorite character of them all. 

I know I’ve been talking a lot of the story and characters but make no mistake, this is a horror novel. You will be face to face with evil, you’ll feel the depths of grief and despair. Paranoia will be an ocean you’ll find your brain swimming in by the time you finish this one. There are great horror moments as well as character moments. 

The ending of this book also stood out, just when I thought I knew what was going to happen, the rug was ripped from under me. I really enjoyed the duality of time concept.

I honestly loved everything about this book, Chris is an author that can write with such an easy reading flow, and make you feel all the emotions. The characters feel alive and jump off the page, the horror is there in spades. There’s originality as well as playing on horror tropes. 

The Nightmare Room has been a Top 10 read for me this year, if not too 5. I can’t wait to read the sequel, The Hungry Ones. In layman’s terms it’s pretty simple, you need to read this book. You can thank me later. Happy Haunting! ~ Garrett

5/5 💀

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