For the month of August, the Night Owls read the comedy horror Horrorstör by Grady Hendrix. The novel follows the protagonist Amy as she meanders through her unfulfilling work at ORSK, a not-so-thinly-veiled knock off of IKEA. However, the monotony of Amy’s job is interrupted as she and her fellow coworkers begin to notice, and ultimately investigate, the strange incidents that are taking place throughout the store during the closed hours of ORSK. What they once perceived as acts of vandalism from a disgruntled employee or customer soon begin to take on a more paranormal and sinister tone.
If the math checks out, this is the first comedy horror that the Night Owls have read and the general consensus was that it was an enjoyable read with some technical flaws. Ratings and criticisms were consistent among the majority of members, primarily that while the story was “just okay,” high marks were given to the ingenuity of the book's premise along with its design and format. Formatted to resemble an IKEA catalog, each chapter is named after an IKEA-esque piece of furniture that was featured in the chapter accompanied with an illustration. However, as the book progresses, the chapters' furniture becomes more and more menacing. Audio listeners of the group also mentioned that the audiobook’s treatment of each chapter heading as a mini-commercial was inspired and added another layer of humor to the book.
Less liked aspects of the book were the majority of the characters (not Ruth Anne, though-never Ruth Anne), particularly Amy, although the final act does show strong character development for her, but it arrived much too late in the book to connect with readers. Other characters, particularly those of Matt and Trinity, were viewed as superfluous and very much came across as existing solely to move the plot forward. Certain characters’ fates that were never explained and red herrings that were never fully developed were also disappointing aspects for members.
Overall, the book was received favorably by readers of the group with a 3.4 out of 5 average rating.