Name: Harrison Squared
Author: Daryl Gregory
Number of Pages: 320 pages in Hardcover
Published: March 24th 2015 by Tor Books
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, Horror
From award winning author Daryl Gregory comes a thrilling and colorful Lovecraftian adventure of a teenage boy searching for his mother, and the macabre creatures he encounters. Harrison Harrison—H2 to his mom—is a lonely teenager who’s been terrified of the water ever since he was a toddler in California, when a huge sea creature capsized their boat, and his father vanished. One of the “sensitives” who are attuned to the supernatural world, Harrison and his mother have just moved to the worst possible place for a boy like him: Dunnsmouth, a Lovecraftian town perched on rocks above the Atlantic, where strange things go on by night, monsters lurk under the waves, and creepy teachers run the local high school. On Harrison’s first day at school, his mother, a marine biologist, disappears at sea. Harrison must attempt to solve the mystery of her accident, which puts him in conflict with a strange church, a knifewielding killer, and the Deep Ones, fish-human hybrids that live in the bay. It will take all his resources—and an unusual host of allies—to defeat the danger and find his mother.
Lovecraftian adventure. This is something new for me and that’s basically why I wanted to read this. Leah from Macmillan-Tor/Forge sent me an email last week asking if I could have a review and if I’ll consider sharing this to my friends. Since I’ve never heard of the book, its a plus that she started the email with it’s blurb so yeah, I’m hooked after that. As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve never read any of Daryl Gregory’s books, but after this, I can really say that the guy’s brilliant! I think I need to take a mental note to check the rest of his books ’cause I bet they’re awesome too. 😉
I’m not really into horror books, but this was different. Compared to your usual horror books, this would not give you a fright and I don’t mean that as a bad thing. I don’t really read those hardcore horror ones that would eventually give me nightmares.
Yeah, the book was quite creepy, but it was well written and quite humorous. I can’t totally wrap my mind around thinking how a horror book can be both spooky and amusing at the same time. The writing was so engaging, it carried me through the entire book smoothly. It gave me everything that I needed for me to stick with a book. The world building is indeed eerie. Imagine an almost deserted country town with few houses situated apart from each other, a dock with lobster boats and a school that’s most likely a church for a cult. Indeed a place that would make the hair at the back of your neck stand on end. The plot got me thinking about so many things. I’ve speculated stuff, but was left surprised each time the book gave me a totally different thing. The mystery literally had me on the edge of my sit. Everything was truly exceptional from there.
It started when Harrison’s mother tagged him along for her search of the “colossal squid” to a small town called Dunnsmouth. Little did he know that there is so much more behind that fact. He was enrolled to a school where everyone seems a lot weirder than they’re supposed to be. Lol! Harrison despite himself eventually met friends. How they communicate under their teachers’ noses is called fingercant. Yeah. I know. It sounds obscene, but really it’s not. Haha! He slowly unraveled the town and the school’s mysterious history with their help. Along with the real reason why his Father died and what the “colossal squid” has everything to do with it. He also discovered that the boogeyman, also known as schrimander was not a myth upon his mother’s mysterious disappearance. The adventure to rescue Rosa is what I liked most. They’re some kind of Spy Kids. It was awesome. Harrison also met a friend from the people of the deep called the Dwellers who also helped him for the quest to find his mother. I somehow anticipated the twist, but it was just okay and if you are expecting a romance or a love story, there’s none which was I also liked. The book ended with a possible sequel so I’m excited. I also liked that it ended in a way that a reader would crave for more. Everything was not given away so there’s something left to wonder. Something left to be thrilled about.
I loved the characters here. Especially Aunt Sel, Lub and of course Harrison. Oh and Professor Freytag. Gregory created such solid characters. Those characters that you’ll love and would love to learn and to read more. I won’t talk about each so you would have something to look forward too. Lol!
I am recommending this for readers who would want to have a creepy and funny book to read.
It has enough mysteries to keep you turning pages after pages. 😉
“Superior, with plenty of crossover teen appeal.”
— Kirkus Reviews
“Gregory’s versatility as a writer is almost as impressive as his plotting and character work… Harrison Squared is a fantastic, fun and gripping book,
as suited to adult readers as it is to younger ones.”
— RT Book Reviews
“Gregory (Afterparty) delivers a thoroughly entertaining novel built on H.P. Lovecraft’s Cthulhu mythos…The occasional in-jokes (buoys named after Lovecraft, Poe, King, and Straub, and of course Dunnsmouth itself) are subtle enough to not distract from the rich tale,
and the YA vibe ensures a broad audience.”
— Publishers Weekly
You can test the waters (though beware of tentacles!) with this Choose Your Own Adventure game: step into H2’s shoes and through the doors of Dunnsmouth Secondary into a wriggling riddle
—just mind the puddles…and the shark.
I would say this is a four, I want to read more though. 😉