Thoughts on books, family, and life in one impressive package.

Sister, Maiden, Monster by Lucy A. Snyder

Sister, Maiden, Monster by Lucy A. Snyder is one of those stories that continues to haunt me. It was so dark and insane that I frequently had to stop reading to process what I had just read. Yet, as uncomfortable as it made me at times, I liked this creepy story about a virus, a pandemic, and the fate of humankind.

Sister, Maiden, Monster is one grotesque story. Within the first chapter, upon Erin getting sick, Ms. Snyder does not let a scene pass without bringing forth some of the most gruesome body horrors I think I have ever read. Throughout the story, you experience cannibalism, blood lust, vicious killings for pleasure, growths that erupt, and the most eldritch of human evolution. Not for the squeamish or faint of heart, there should be all manner of trigger warnings on the cover of this book. However, since it firmly falls into the horror category, that is its warning.

To describe the plot of Sister, Maiden, Monster is almost an effort in futility. Not only would doing so spoil the suspense, but the story is also batshit crazy. I mean that most endearingly because I enjoyed the crazy. Crazy does make for a good story, albeit weird, but there is something fun in the weirdness.

As for the three main characters, they are easy to like. Ms. Snyder introduces us to each one in record time in a way that makes it easy to understand who they are and their motivations. As Erin is the first one we meet and watch her maneuver the beginnings of the pandemic through to the end, we know her the most. Even Savannah, with her lust for killing, has redeeming qualities. The three women’s fates are the story’s driving force, and they make quite an unusual trio.

Based on the synopsis, I thought I would be reading another horror story involving a pandemic. Sure, certain phrases made me understand that Sister, Maiden, Monster would not follow in the same vein as Stephen King’s version or Chuck Wayward’s. I don’t think I was prepared for just how different it was. This is one horror story that did horrify me. As a bonus, I will never look at people eating sushi in quite the same way again. Kudos to Ms. Snyder for creating a bizarre and gory story that terrified me, grossed me out, and kept me entertained.

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