Brookville is weird. It’s very dreamy in that you see and understand everything that’s going on, then realize you don’t, and wake up in a cold sweat just before the ending. Very effective Lynchian weirdness. I think, though, that there was just not *quite* enough information to connect the reader to the stories. It felt more like someone describing their dream more than being in it. I needed more.
These narrow stories are all vaguely thematically related but were otherwise unique pieces, each exploring a different aspect of horror. The buffet of creepiness was very successful and made me hungry for more information about Brookville. Unfortunately, I never got it. I didn’t enjoy every story, but that’s to be expected in a collection. I loved everything with Redmond. He was so interesting, visceral, and layered and I hope he returns in this author’s future works. I did not care for the ending at all. That type of twist not my taste, but it may work for others. I’d average my rating of each individual story at a solid 4 stars, but the frustration of too little information overall takes my rating down to 3.
Whatever’s going on here is fascinating and I do want to know more. I’d read a second installment for sure. Welcome to Brookville was world-building without actually building the world, if that makes sense. Somehow, it was too much show and not enough tell. Go figure.
Bottom line: If you like New Weird, have a strong stomach, a vivid visual imagination, and don’t mind being left in the dark, you’ll enjoy Welcome to Brookville. If you can’t tick off all of those boxes, take a pass.
CW: scenes of child abuse and themes of psychological distress throughout. This book is not for sensitive readers.
Thanks to NetGalley for a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
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