Bluejay by Megan Stockton
Noah, Jack, and Phil are three average guys who collect horror memorabilia and have a running competition to see who can come up with the most extreme or repulsive horror movie for their weekly guys’ night. When one of the friends gets the opportunity to steal tickets to an exclusive club that touts offering a realistic, immersive torture simulation, he jumps on the opportunity. Once they arrive at the theater they quickly realize that it isn't a simulation at all, and they have delved into an underground world that they don’t belong in. They have to uphold their stolen identities while trying to escape and not die (or kill anyone else) in the process.
Keyboard warriors beware
Well, some people know how to drop themselves in shit, don't they? In this story, we meet an overconfident Noah who drags his two best friends into a dangerous situation. You have a great selection of characters in this story, one character I related to the most was Jack. Who seemed to be the only one with a hint of caution about the situation, although he did have a family to be concerned with. Visually Megan did an amazing job with the description of the theatre, right down to the fine details of those working there. When the trio makes a horrible realization that this is not the snuff show but actual torture on the menu. Things take a very dark turn as they try to get out of the mess they have found themselves in. Split into three rooms, they each pick an experience that suits their needs or so they think. Like I said Jack is the one I liked the most and even in Phil’s view one of the more vulnerable. This is the case when he tells his hosts to ‘surprise’ him. He soon regrets the choice of leaving the decision in their hands, he won't be sitting down for a while that's for sure. I loved the way Megan wrote the very surreal drug-induced haze. Showing a real talent for storytelling over shock value, she didn't go overboard with the scenes and added the right amount of unsettling atmosphere. To the point where even I wondered if there was any chance at all, they would get out alive. I will say this: do not screw with a red-headed dominatrix because that woman will pack a punch. I enjoyed the imagery and presentation of the main event that had an Eyes Wide Shut vibe to it. It was a nice touch adding in the anxiety exercise to add extra uncertainty and unease. You know the character is using it to calm their nerves, but it almost helps the reader to hyper-fixate on the set details of the scene. This action-packed horror thrill ride will have you on the edge of your seat, brutal extreme, and dark. With an equally diabolical ending that you will not see coming. But is definitely a cautionary tale for extreme keyboard warriors.
Three horror junkies, Noah, Phil, and Jack, get the opportunity to get tickets to a secret club that specializes in your darkest desires. The trio heads out to the location, thinking it's all good fun, and they quickly realize it's not all fun and games. It's real. Very,very real. What a wild ride. This was a great read. Thoroughly entertaining from start to finish. With gore,dark humor, and great characters, this is a must-read story. This is the first title I have read by Megan, and it will not be the last. Definitely check this out. 5 severed fingers out of 5
Brutal and exhilarating read
Megan Stockton proves she is a force to be reckoned with, in any genre she chooses to write. Having only read Quiet, Pretty Things by her previously, I had no idea what to expect from Bluejay. But it is every bit as beautifully written as her less gruesome work. As they say "the Devil's in the details," and there's no lack of details in this novella. You may not always want all the details - and in fact some of them had me mentally giving her the side-eye - but the details really do make the story. It's the little things, like how characters react to the unspeakable violence with which they find themselves surrounded, that make these characters seem real in a way very few authors can manage. If you are a fan of Megan Stockton, or a fan of extreme horror/splatterpunk, definitely give this a read - you won't regret it.
This will grab you by the short and curlies...even if you are shaved! Highly recommended to the extreme and splatterpunk readers!
Don't Forget The Safe Word, Idiot!
Finally, I've read something by Megan Stockton, and I can see what all the fuss is about! She's brilliant! She's crafted such an intense cinematic horror experience with her words with her new novel Bluejay. I felt like I was reading the book version of a movie, and we all know the books are usually better than the movies. This would be such a work, though I'll be honest, I hope it does get made into a movie because it would be an epic horror movie. It was immersive, thrilling, and violent. If it were a movie, I would categorize it alongside movies like Hostel and Saw, but I would personally prefer this book to both of those, and I like both of those franchises. An internet troll is granted the opportunity of a lifetime, so he thinks, to snag a few tickets to this exclusive club that is promised to be a torture simulation experience of sorts. He and his friends are into all things horror, and the more extreme, the better. So naturally, he feels he scored big time. That is not the case which you find out pretty quickly. They wind up wondering what the hell friend 1 got them all into, and it just gets worse from there. I didn't think the characters were very likable, but they were realistic. I could imagine all of these guys in real life, and there were some redeeming moments for a couple of them. Regardless, it was a roller coaster for me rooting for them while also rooting for their demise. It was thrilling and a lot of fun to read, and I will be reading her other stuff soon! I'll recommend you do the same!