10 to Try Check-in: September

I have nothing against the supernatural. I read plenty of unsettling mysteries, and I love a book that keeps me up past a reasonable bedtime. Despite all that, I've never been a horror fan. So when I decided to Read a Book from a New-to-you Genre for 10 to Try this month, horror was a pretty obvious choice. 

I picked Mapping the Interior by Stephen Graham Jones. It's about a teenage boy who sees the silhouette of his father in a doorway in the middle of the night one night - but his father has been dead for a decade, and he's buried on the reservation that the Junior, his younger brother Dino, and his mother have left behind. When Junoir sees the silhouette, he realizes there must be a way to bring his father back fully. What Junior doesn't know is what reviving his father will cost.

Mapping the Interior is a slim little novella so I figured even if I hated it, it wouldn't be hard to get through. But I didn't hate it. In fact, I liked it so much that I missed at least one bedtime. Junior, fierce and angry and terrified, is a fully-realized character, and the run-down modular home is an unusual but vividly described haunted house. I don't want to say any more about the story, except that it features an absolute gut punch of a final chapter, one that simultaneously terrified me and broke my heart a little bit. 

I've written before about how much I loved Tor.com's novellas, and Jenna recently highlighted a few newer Tor.com titles (killer hippos!). Mapping the Interior is from the same line; if you're looking to try a new genre, these short and wonderful novellas are a great place to start!

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