Husk de Deering, Rachel Autumn

de Deering, Rachel Autumn - Género: English
libro gratis Husk


Deering, Rachel Autumn Publisher: Tiny Behemoth Press, Year: 2016 ISBN: 9780692661598,069266159X

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I just turned in my review of HUSK to SCREAM Magazine.
Look for my review, soon!
Recommended for fans of dark, psychological, emotional horror packed into 100+ pages.scream-mag25 s Bill1,685 124

There is a darkness that has loomed over Kevin Brooks life ever since he came back from the desert of Afghanistan. It lives in the shadows that surround him.

It is smiling.

It wants to destroy everything that he is. Everything that he loves. It won’t stop until there is nothing left…

…but a husk.

A superbly written, tightly executed work with spot on characterizations and a heartbreaking and terrifying plot line.

4.5 Stars rounded up to 5 because there was a whole lot accomplished here in short format. Excellent job. Looking forward to more form Rachel Autumn Deering.

From somewhere inside the room, he heard it laughing
15 s JamesAuthor 103 books440

Tragic. Heartbreaking. Surreal. And damned scary. Highly recommended.14 s Stephen KozeniewskiAuthor 38 books429

Outside of a month I spent at Ft. Knox in 2004 and watching the entire run of "Justified" I don't know much about Kentucky. From my position of (admitted) ignorance, Deering's portrait of a rural Kentucky barely-town seemed vivid in its verisimilitude.

For those of you ( me) who despise trying to decode attempts at transcribing dialects (think Jar Jar Binks: "Meesa no habba da boomba") you'll be pleased to know that all the Kentucky twang is reflected in syntax and word choice. For instance, one character said something "kindly go down to the gettin' store" which is perfectly charming and evocative, especially when it could've been "kinely git down to da gittin' stoh" or some other such nonsense Faulkner would've made me wade through.

Beyond the dialogue, Deering has an elegant way with prose, painting vivid portraits with a severe economy of word choice. I'm kind of shocked that someone with a background in a visual medium comic books is capable of this, but perhaps I've misunderstood the tools required for writing comics. As a contemporary crafter of prose I can only compare Deering to Kimberly G. Giarratano, who up until now I had considered without peer.

Now to the meat of the story, so to speak. Kevin Brooks is a veteran returning from Afghanistan to the aforementioned barely-there Kentucky town. He quickly learns how terrible dealing with the VA is (which rang true) and when he is told he is addicted to the drugs the Army ordered him to take - an all too real, all too common catch-22 situation - he tells off his doctor and stops taking his pills. For the rest of the book, Kevin is haunted by dark dreams and a creature which may be a real monster or may simply be the product of his untreated PTSD.

I was diagnosed with PTSD, which is not something that I to talk about, but it's not exactly secret either. Deering's portrait of someone being haunted by something, just out of the corner of the eye, seemed sharp to me. And I particularly appreciated the explanation of the titular term "husk" - well, one interpretation of it, anyway - as one of my personal symptoms is a "flat affect."

I was not so impressed with the (admittedly brief) depiction of Kevin's time in Afghanistan. I always feel a broken record complaining about this sort of thing, and maybe I should just stop reading books about the military with such a critical eye, but there were things Kevin calling an NCO "sir" and Afghanistan "the sandbox" (and implying that it was a desert country) or that, as a wrecker driver he had killed twenty guys, I dunno, it just took me out of the story. And then the platoon sergeant was ordering around Bravo 16, which would've been his boss, and then they were calling one vehicle "Bravo 16" and the other one just "Wrench" instead of "Brave Wrench"...I should probably stop now. It's a shame, though, because considering the care that went into the exploration of psychology, the charming love story, and the rural Kentucky background, a little more work on the first chapter could've made this novella flawless from start to finish.

In any case, if you're not an impossible-to-please vet myself, you can probably just ignore that entire last paragraph. HUSK is, regardless of small flaws, a chilling, haunting novella, and as a prose debut I think it signals quite a career to come for Rachel Autumn Deering.12 s Latasha1,325 417


Wow, the emotions! I didn't intend to read this in one sitting but it happened. Rachel write so beautifully! The story is so sad, raw,emotional. Kevin is a great character. You connect with him instantly and really want things to work out for him. I won't spoil anything because you should read this. You! Reading this review. Now I'm going to see what is out there by this author! books-i-own horror kindle-lending12 s PaulAuthor 115 books10.1k

Really enjoyed this mix of psychological horror and Appalachian noir. 8 s Jakob J.61 17

Something is missing.

I may be burnt out on the ‘monster-as-metaphor-for-trauma/grief’ thing for a few reasons. Firstly, and most plainly, I want real monsters posing real physical threats in my horror. I guess it’s the old-school creature feature devotee in me. Secondly, it’s played out. That wasn’t necessarily the case when this novella was released—I enjoyed The Babadook when it came out as well—but unfortunately, I didn’t read this then. Lastly, it’s unnecessary. Monsters, fiends, and villains are excellent fodder for analysis. They always have been. I prefer discourse on what they represent outside of the story itself.

But here’s the thing about Husk. Deering is a talented writer. It had a solid setup, well-developed characters, an authentic milieu…and then the ‘horror’ elements were introduced (too little and too late, I would submit).

The creature was described as pale and bulbous-headed (which, alas, brought to my mind the alien from Mac and Me. Not particularly scary), and it was rather unclear whether it was actually there. It skitters around a couple times until it finally mounts Kevin, our veteran virgin protagonist’s head as he’s supplying some of his own to his hometown hottie, Samantha, which in turn had me wondering if this Darby-demon was more a manifestation of sexual performance anxiety than PTSD. It suckles at his brain-stem, but Samantha doesn’t notice. So, not real, right? Whatever.

In any case, Kevin’s descent into isolated madness was rushed, the creature was scarce, and its implications were vague, leading to a predictable conclusion that was bereft of much weight.2024 fiction horror ...more24 s Steve StredAuthor 81 books625

** Edited as review is now live on Kendall Reviews! **

“Kevin Brooks had tasted blood before, but not quite this.”

Husk is a novella that packs a massive wallop. It’s as close to un-put-downable as you can get.

The story follows Kevin as he returns from Afghanistan, another soldier surrendering to the reality of PTSD. What he’s experienced over there is only compounded by finding out his coverage is being declined due to a dependency issue and now he’s returning to his childhood home. A home that feels foreign to him after his grandma and grandpa have both passed on.

Deering writes some of the most beautiful, lush passages filled with realistic sensations and nightmare allusions. I was constantly transported directly into the location as she described Kevin opening the door to the house and even when he sat in his grandpas old lazy-boy chair and the scents and memories flooded back.

“He knew the house would be empty, and he dreaded facing all that nothing.”

As Kevin begins to get the house in living order, Deering interjects our main characters return to normalcy with an odd creature making its presence known and the arrival of Samantha, the preacher’s daughter who lives just over the hill.

I found an unexpected erotic/sex fantasy incredibly jarring. The scene itself was well written but I just didn’t feel it fit the rest of the story and it just felt it went on a bit long. I’m no prude but I could see that being a skim over scene for those of you out there that haven’t watched as much crazy stuff online as I have.

The ending of the story is fantastic and it followed the narrative of the wounded soldier in a horrific fashion. I expected things to go the way they did, but Deering made you root for the characters really quickly, which is a kudos to her and her writing chops – accomplishing that in such a short period of time.

As for the character Samantha – the way her dialogue was written, I couldn’t picture anyone else other than Anna Paquin’s portrayal of Sookie Stackhouse from True Blood. As much as this mental picture annoyed me, she was a sweet character and I chuckled at how I saw her in my head.

Deering wrote a really dark story and one that I wished I hadn’t had so far down in my TBR. I thoroughly enjoyed the ‘southern-charm’ aspects she based the story around and by doing that, she’s created a timeless horror novella.

Definitely give this one a spin if you want a dark fiction read that is superbly written.7 s Maria Hill AKA MH Books322 134

So not for me. I was never going to an American Soldier as a protagonist but I knew that when I was going in and I was assured it was only the first chapter and the story and prose made up for it.

However the writing (I won't say prose, there is none) is amateurish and dull, the dialogue unconvincing, and the characters two dimensional and not credible. I rarely give a very harsh review but I honestly think that this author has all the elements of a good novella but absolutely no writing ability to put it together.

In fairness now, my review is contrary to nearly everyone else's and I guess this novella may be lost in translation somewhat and only American audiences get it? That may explain my hate of the dialogue from the get-go? So a book that is very much for others just not for me?

However I still have to say, I will not be reading any more of her work and I am still looking out for good female horror writers. In the vein of Samanta Schweblin, Shirley Jackson and Michelle Paver.

Apols for the grumpy guss review - I am so in the minority on this one!7 s Coral757 132

Deering really nailed the characters in this. Excellent development in such a short time. This is what I love about novellas!

The plot, though, I guess I just didn’t understand it? Is it a me problem? I honestly got near the end and thought it must have a sequel or something because I couldn’t imagine how it would be wrapped up properly in the last few pages.

So this was really a mixed bag for me but I’m going to look for more of Deering’s work because she seriously wowed me with the characters in this.horror novellas read-in-2024 ...more7 s Michael HicksAuthor 38 books470

Rachel Autumn Deering has worn various hats in the comic book side of literature, and makes her prose debut with HUSK. Based on the strength of this novella, I'd say that's a pretty smart move and I'm hoping to see more works in this vein from her soon.

HUSK is a psychological horror story with some well-sketched characters. Kevin is a war veteran, recently home from Afghanistan and undergoing treatment for PTSD until the VA cuts off his disability checks. They claim he is addicted to the pills they have prescribed him to treat his clinical depression. Kevin doesn't truck well with being told he's a drug addict and goes cold turkey on the meds. Maybe not the best idea ever.

Deering gives us a terrific look at how Kevin copes with PTSD, or doesn't in some cases. He's still plenty shell-shocked, and the tension is only heightened further when something strange begins lurking around his farmhouse, stalking him in the night and threatening his new-found love interest.

This is a work of horror where the people come first and foremost, and Deering takes her time making Kevin and Samantha real, devoting plenty of time to developing their burgeoning relationship.

If I have to pick nits, it's going to be with some of the dialogue and a few technical issues on the writing side. Some it feels a bit too much on the nose, particularly Kevin's rant early in the book when he rails against the VA and his doctor. There's also some wicked POV shifts that took me off guard, where we're with Kevin and then suddenly being told about what's happening inside the neighbor's home, which he could have no knowledge of. These are certainly issues that can be ironed out over time, and aren't exactly surprising to see in a first-time prose author. None of these issues break the story though, nor did they detract from my enjoyment of the work.

And besides, that ending...oomph. Nicely done, that.bought horror6 s Tracy Robinson511 153

Now available on Sci Fi and Scary

The beginning pages of this novella will make readers sit back in shock. It starts innocently enough, with a group of soldiers on a routine mission. The reader will ly expect that routine to be disrupted, but not quite in this way. This sets up the pace and other jumps the story makes as well as cements Deering’s writing skill early on.

The stand out skills in this book lay in the author’s beautifully descriptive prose. There are several extreme scenes the reader is propelled through, they have lasting power well after the book is finished. The scenes move at a break-neck pace (with a few exceptions) and this book is easily read in one or two sittings.

This might miss the mark for some readers as different parts of the novella are sped through. One moment a soldier is struggling with PTSD and VA bureaucracy, and the next a love interest enters, along with an erotic daydream. The scenes themselves are great, it is in the transition that readers may become lost. More explanation or even time to process what is happening would be beneficial. The love interest comes in the form of a young preacher’s daughter and the whole family is just, well, off. I found myself thinking she was more 13-14 years old and this made the romantic pieces seem awkward. I dug the sex scenes and they are well-written, they just seemed abrupt and out of place.

Conversely, I did enjoy the feeling of “what is HAPPENING” in most parts. I dig an undefined monster and Deering develops this well. This one may have missed the mark for me, but I will definitely seek out more from this author. I am in a minority on some of this, so be sure to check out some of the many 4 and 5 star for this book.tbr-wishlist6 s Alex | | findingmontauk11,480 92

I finished 15 minutes ago and I am still jaw-dropped whaaa?! 5 stars! I need more of Rachel Autumm Deering in my life! I loved the way she built her characters up down to the dialect and how the characters acted. I grew up Southern Baptist with a preacher in my family so a lot of this rings close to home! Deering did a fantastic job in exploring PTSD post-war, drug addiction, and one man's re-entry into the real world. I loved the flirty romance between Kevin and Samantha and just loved this novella. That. Ending. Ugh!owned6 s Audra (ouija.reads)743 317

I was drawn into this little novella by the intriguing cover, and I am always attracted by psychological horror, so it sounded right up my alley.

The true-to-life elements were perfectly sculpted; I was completely with the story from the beginning with the description of Kevin's life as a soldier abroad to the fade to his life after and the trauma that is left behind.

Even though no one can see Kevin's wounds from the outside, he is scarred by his experiences, experiencing loneliness, crippling self-doubt, and issues with medications that leave him in need of help that no one seems willing to offer, which is probably the true horror of this tale.

When he begins seeing something lurking outside his house, is it really any surprise? What's real and what isn't? Is it in his head? Is it PTSD?

Where the narrative lost me was with the relationship between Kevin and Samantha. It felt so unrealistic to me, so rushed, underdeveloped, and leaving me feeling it was Samantha who was the husk instead of Kevin since she felt more a cardboard cutout rather than a real person adding import to the story.

I think their story could have been fleshed out more, and I could actually imagine this as a much longer work, delving into the psychology of his mind and how it affects those around him as the horror in his mind mounts. horror novella trope-creature-feature7 s John Collins245 6

Husk is not only really, really good, it's also very important. Rachel Autumn Deeringhas given us a lean, mean novella. Not a word is wasted in this story of Kevin, an Afghanistan war veteran who has returned home after a horrific war time event. Suffering from PSTD, he faces one hurdle after another. Loneliness, despair and grief, when a chance for happiness opens up for him, unknown forces do their best to ruin it.
Deeming makes every word count, nothing is wasted or used as padding. She describes the hopelessness of PSTD and the uselessness of the government's treatment of returning soldiers.
A lot of this story could be based on real life events, I'm not sure if it was based on true events, it definitely feels real and that should bother all of us.3 s Brian KeeneAuthor 365 books2,832

This novella is a phenomenal debut -- one of the strongest horror debuts in quite some time. Deering channels the spirit of Jack Ketchum, but her voice is strong and her own. Highly recommended. read-in-201615 s Amanda840 336

I loved the characterization and autumnal feeling so much! The horror elements seemed too vague for me and the climax and ending were super rushed in comparison to the lovely, slow beginning. Speaking of climax, those two sex scenes were surprising and kind of threw off the horror tension. I wish we had used those pages to create more horror tension or lore.horror4 s Jeremy MadduxAuthor 5 books147

That was it? All that Brian Keene hype behind this? It's barely a horror novel. I'll give it credit for a nice finish, though I won't call it an ending. I think many will rate this five stars because Keene d it and because it has a female main character in love with a combat veteran, all the essential ingredients for positive critic reception. I wasn't impressed.4 s Sade324 45

I geniunely believe horror is one of the hardest genre for writers' to pull off. I also geniunely believe that if a book is scary, you will know.
This book is described as "horror fiction" and i don't know if whoever wrote that blurb was having a laugh or the person for real believed that this book...this book i just read is horror.

For what purpose this book was written i don't know. If the writer was trying to get across the message of soldiers suffering from PTSD after war this was, i can't even lie, a very weird really weird way to go about it.

If you're looking for a short scary book to read. This isn't the book.
If you're looking for a book with some sort of crazy psychological exploit into the mind of someone suffering from PTSD, again, THIS IS NOT THE BOOK.

Basically me at the end of this book:

The only "horror" in this book is the "horror" of being labelled as one.

3 s Jamie145 23

“She reminded him of no one, and he loved her for it.”

That’s just one of many quotable lines from this book, and it sums up how I feel about this story. It’s unique and the author has a gift with words. I caught myself re-reading many of the lines and I could easily make a list of my favorites here. I won’t do that, because it would give away too much, and this story needs to be experienced individually by each reader. Instead, I’ll just sum up some general thoughts while doing my best to avoid spoilers.

I recently picked up a copy of HUSK for a buddy read, and I’m sorry that I didn’t get to this novella sooner. Prior to this, I’d only read one of the author’s short stories, which I enjoyed. I absolutely adored the writing in this novella. It starts off rather intense, and I (not surprisingly to most of you) teared up a couple of times within the first two chapters.

I immediately felt empathy for the protagonist, Kevin, and this carried on throughout the entire story. I’ve never been to war and experienced the related trauma, and my family experience was different than that of this character, but I was still able to connect with the story. This was mostly due to the author’s excellent character development and descriptions of Kevin’s relationships and his inner thoughts and feelings. My favorite parts were the descriptions of his love of Halloween—this really struck a chord with me and was so relatable.

There’s a bit of everything I enjoy about a good story within these pages—most of all, it feels authentic and has a lot of heart. There are moments of heart-pounding terror, both human and supernatural in origin. It’s a fast-paced read and was a real page-turner for me. Yes, I had some questions that went unanswered, and in some stories this doesn’t work for me. However, with this one I felt ok that I was left to wonder about some aspects. I thought it worked well as a shorter story with a bit of mystery lingering by the end.

I went to bed shortly after reading this in one sitting, and I could not turn off my brain. The story swirled around in my mind for days, and left its mark on me. At this point I’ve read enough from this author to know that I’m a fan. I’ll be on the lookout for any of her previously published work that I haven’t read, and I hope that there are more stories to come in the near future.

3 s Cassie DaleyAuthor 8 books248

Group buddy read with some of my favorite people!!horror ladies-of-horror-fiction lohf-novellas ...more3 s SamAuthor 1 book24

I think this is a case of me not being the right reader for this book. I went in with expectations that were way off base of what I actually got, and the reality of this novella missed the mark for me.

Deering crafts a well-written story, there's no doubt there. But I found the scene changes jarring and difficult to keep track of given their abruptness, and I personally couldn't connect to the characters. I tend to not be a big fan of anything involving military/post-military life, and human horror isn't my favorite subgenre, so again, this just wasn't the right fit for me. I'd definitely want to read other works by this author though, and I did enjoy the writing overall even if the plot didn't work for me.books-of-2020 ebooks2 s Frank Errington738 58

About two years ago, I met Rachel Autumn Deering at a Horrible Saturday event at the York Emporium used book store. I picked this up at the time and it kinda got buried on my ever-growing TBR pile and just never got read. Today, I finally corrected that error.

This novella is one of the most compelling and heartbreaking things I've read in recent memory.

Husk is some damn fine writing. The kind that gets under your skin, makes you think, makes you downright angry. Just because our servicemen and women come home doesn't mean the battles have ended. For many, they have just begun...

"They got me seeing a doctor down to the VA hospital every few weeks. Poking and prodding and asking me all kinds of questions a man hopes nobody would ever ask him. Keeping me doped up and all, trying to put me back together, I guess. I got a pill to help me sleep, one to perk me up, one to calm my nerves, and one to make sure I don't just fly plumb off the handle."

A tragic tale that left me reeling.

Strongly recommended.

Husk is available in both paperback and Kindle formats. If you subscribe to Kindle Unlimited you can read it at no additional charge. Also, if you are an Amazon Prime member you can read it for FREE using the Kindle Owners Lending Library.

From the author's bio - Rachel Autumn Deering is an Eisner and Harvey Award-nominated writer, editor, and book designer from the hills of Appalachia. Her debut prose novella, Husk, was published in 2016 and drew praise from critics and fellow writers a. Her upcoming novel, Wytchwood Hollow, is set for publication in 2018.

2 s Kati157

I loved this story. It was super creepy, with the perfect amount of facts laid out and just enough left to my imagination.

What I enjoyed most is how the author makes the reader genuinely feel scared, and sometimes sad, through really well-done writing. I felt the emotions of the characters, especially Kevin, without feeling I was being figuratively slapped in the face with them. I didn't need any of the characters to say "I feel sad/scared/etc" I just knew they were sad/scared/etc, mainly because I felt whatever emotion they felt at any given point in the story.

The one thing I wish had been done differently is the relationship between Kevin and Samantha. I wish more of the story had focused on the progression of their relationship and, subsequently, the progression of the monster; it all felt a little too rushed. The story up to both Samantha and the monster's introduction was good but it felt too much build up for the role it played in the rest of the story (if that makes sense).

Still, this is a quick, creepy read that I definitely recommend to anyone who is a fan of horror. 20162 s FrankAuthor 35 books124

Wow. Rachel Autumn Deering's HUSK is some dark O'Henry- storytelling. It's the type of story that has you turning the page with interest and anxiety. Though HUSK is a fairly short novella, it need not be longer than it is. It's short and its bitter sweet and that's what it needs to be.

I found myself drawn through this story quickly. At the outset, I turned the pages out of interest in the characters and their relationship. By the middle of the story I was turning the pages, anxious for the monster to reveal itself. In the end, I was turning the pages in horror not wanting to read what I knew was inevitable.

A glorious read. I haven't been whisked though a story out of necessity to find out how it plays out in quite some time. It's a nice feeling and yet the story is dark. This one will definitely dance on my psyche for awhile. I'm sure I'll get the chills when I can feel again.2 s KirkAuthor 28 books107 Read

The prose here is beautiful. The author is obviously well read because this is horror written in the fashion of classic horror novels. It builds slow, and you’re drawn in by the prose and characters a before you get to any of the horror elements.

I felt it was a bit rushed at the end. this should have been significantly longer once the horror elements arrived. The relationship between the protagonist and his female companion blossomed really quickly and the last 20% or so flew by.

Still, this was a very well-written book. I was impressed and would revisit this book for the stylistic merit alone.

I look forward to reading more from this author.1 Carissa Lynn Reads46 15

First off this cover caught my eye right away! I saw it and knew I needed this book. I sat down with it last night and pretty much read the whole thing in one setting! I'm not sure if I would consider it horror, there are definitely some dark parts and let me say I absolutely loved this story!! I don't want to give away spoilers but there were some nice surprises in here and I really enjoyed the writing style.2 s TommyAuthor 19 books5

A haunting story for those that love horror!

A haunting story for any that love horror. Deering does not disappoint. Need to pull an all-nighter? Here is your non pharmacological alternative. This book is literary crystal meth. Slipping my copy (digitally) between Stephen King and H.P. Lovecraft. Yes, it's THAT good! 2 s KristiAuthor 76 books418

A fun, spooky romp through psychological horror. 2 s Briar PageAuthor 28 books129

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