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  • Writer's pictureMandy McHugh

Black River Orchard, Chuck Wendig: A Review

Chuck Wendig is an auto-buy author for me. Wanderers is spectacular and The Book of Accidents was one of my favorite reads last year. I couldn't wait to dive into this one as soon as the cover was revealed.

Black River Orchard expertly weaves together the stories of a cast of characters that at first glance have nothing in common. From a high school would-be influencer to a retired vet-turned-Quaker who searches for rare or lost apple varieties (to name only a few), Wendig takes us on a harrowing cinematic rollercoaster ride that you aren't sure is entirely on the tracks. When Dan unveils his "Ruby Slipper" apple, everything and everyone in the small town changes.

Simply put: I loved this book and you will too if you love: nuanced characters, quick-moving plot, body horror with a healthy dose of disturbing imagery, cult narratives, a dash of paranormal, and creepy, mystical horror that spans generations. I couldn't put it down.

Children of the Corn meets The Faculty in this visceral masterpiece guaranteed to bring the terror. 10/10 never have I ever been so glad to be allergic to apples.

Huge thanks to Ballantine and NetGalley for providing an eARC in exchange for honest review consideration.


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