In the Shadow of Spindrift House by Mira Grant
My rating: 3/5 cats
WARNING: this is more of a reader-response than incisive lit crit, in case the lady who huffed at my review of the last mira grant novella for not being informative enough hasn’t gotten around to unfollowing me yet, despite announcing she was going to.
to rip off the band-aid – i didn’t love this one.
i first discovered this on the subterranean press site. i saw “mira grant” and i saw a cover with a spoooky house. i somehow missed the NUMEROUS tentacles writhing up from below.
if you know me, you know i do not like lovecraft. and not just because his horribly racist and misogynist views are a shameful blight on the reputation of my birth-state, little rhody. i’m perfectly comfortable separating an author’s life from their work, since everyone’s pretty much terrible, and if his specific brand of horror had ever been appealing to me in any way, i’d simply shrug off his toxic opinions and focus on the oh-so spooky shivers within, and – more importantly, it wouldn’t prevent me from appreciating contemporary horror writers who continued in the lovecraftian tradition, many of whom lovecraft would have hated because of those toxic opinions.
but i just don’t.
and i have tried.
when i turned 30, i decided to reevaluate all the foods i had previously denounced as “from the devil,” reasoning that my officially adulted palate would have become refined enough to appreciate what made my baby taste buds recoil. happily, i ended up coming around on a number of foods. but not olives. olives are never going to taste good to me. likewise, i have actively tried reading lovecraftian authors, and i’ve occasionally stumbled unaware into lovecraft-infused books by authors i already like, but there’s just something about his steez that clangs right off of me and my readerheart says “no.”
lovecraft is my olives.
so even though i love mira grant, i just couldn’t get over the briny taste of lovecraft in this one, which might have been in part because i had not seen the (admittedly very prominent) tentacles and was caught off guard when it started going thataway.
and maybe, MAYBE i could have gotten past it if it weren’t for (those) Meddling Kids, which is a scooby-doo meets lovecraft story in which the scooby gang (or here, the Answer Squad) is all grown up and investigating one last haunted house together that turns out to be pretty-darn-lovecrafty and there are drugs and death and one of the girls has a crush on the other girl. which is also exactly what this is, although the cantero is mostly a goofy romp while this one is pure horror, with mira grant’s trademark “don’t get attached” attitude to her characters and sans a scooby.
readers who are not me will probably enjoy it very much, but between the “been here, done this” of the cantero book and the “hate being here, hate doing this” of the lovecraft elements, this is a pretty clear case of a “not for me” book by an otherwise beloved author.
for you people with $$$$
i will wait for it to come to netgalley, as usual. oh, this pauper’s life…