Wednesday, August 19, 2015

The Mall by S.L. Grey

So remember how I said that Sarah Lotz's Day Four gave me a massive book hangover? Well I decided not to fight it. I had to have more! Fortunately, before The Three and Day Four, Sarah Lotz teamed up with Louis Greenberg to pen three books (as S.L. Grey) set in a parallel world called Downside: The Mall, The Ward, and The New Girl. They were only released here last year and I just got the third one for my bday!

Rhoda only went to Highgate to score. It's not like she intentionally lost the kid - she left him in the bookstore and told him not to leave. But leave he apparently did and now Rhoda has to find him. Not that mall security is any great help. In fact, they're treating Rhoda more like a criminal than seriously searching for the kid. And the guy at the bookstore doesn't help the situation any by lying about the whole thing - Rhoda knows for a fact that he saw her come in with the kid in tow. 

Dan didn't lie on purpose, but when he sees a kid running through the mall tunnels he does finally put it together. Not that he wants to get involved. But he doesn't have much of a choice when Rhoda attacks him as he's leaving for the night. Now she's dragged him back into the tunnels, intent on having him show her where he last saw the kid. As they make their way deeper into the warren of back halls, though, Dan realizes that they've somehow become lost. When they finally emerge, the mall looks quite different from the one they're used to. 

Downside is a place where pretty much everything is literal and your fate is decided by Management, who've had their eye on Dan and Rhoda for some time. In fact, they're watching as Dan and Rhoda try to escape the tunnels, make their way into the Downside Mall, and stumble their way through this parallel world, taunting them the whole time.

At first I thought the book started a little too quickly for my taste and had a hint of cheesiness that I was sure couldn't possibly be a good sign. I was so wrong, The Mall is brilliant fun! Not only do Lotz and Greenberg bring the horror, they bring it with a definite dark humor. And they do it while poking fun at consumerism and mall culture as a whole. It might sound like a silly premise - two people lost in a parallel mall where people literally shop till they drop - but Lotz and Greenberg pull it off. Not only that, but in their hands the story is fantastically creepy!

The Mall definitely hit the spot! I think book hangovers are probably going to be a given with each new Lotz/Grey title I tackle though. (Psst, there's a fourth S.L. Grey title out now - Under Ground - that isn't part of the Downside series.)

Rating: 5/5

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Sounds scary and a bit creepy. :)
@dino0726 from 
FictionZeal - Impartial, Straightforward Fiction Book Reviews