The Book of Accidents by Chuck Wendig is a refreshingly original horror novel that mixes genres with a lot of gore. Chuck Wendig wrote my favorite novels of 2019 with The Wanders which again was totally original horror that mixes genres, so I was very excited when netgalley picked me to give me an advanced readers copy. The Book of Accidents is original but there are two books that I will use to compare to put you in the ballpark Blake Crouch’s Recursion meets Stephen King’s The Dark Tower series. If those books had a baby you would have The Book of Accidents. The Plot is crazy the best thing is to not know too much going in, I will be really vague in my plot summary because of this. The marketing for this book makes it feel like a typical haunted house with this book is totally not. For an over 500 page book, this book reads fast, and saw no obvious places to shorten it. For a horror novel I would call this book epic, in scope and scale and what it adds to the genre. I will say this book is out there and I do see some readers get confused at where the novel goes but I loved every second of it. Thanks to Netgalley and Random House Publishing Group – Ballantine, Del Rey for giving me an Advanced Reader’s Copy. The Book of Accidents by Chuck Wendig was published on July 20 2021.
The Plot: Two prologues start off the story, A serial killer who is obsessed with numbers goes to the electric chair, he wonders about the one that got away as he rides the lightning, and something mysterious happens. A boy is found covered in blood by a hunter looking like a ghost by a hunter, but it is no ordinary boy. Then we meet the Graves family Nate a police officer in Philadelphia, Maddie an artist that loses herself in her art, then becomes afraid of it, and Oliver a 15 year-old that is so sensitive to peoples empathy he can’t breathe upon feeling so much pain. Nate gets a offer from his father and man he hates and is dying of cancer, through his lawyer Nate gets the family home for a dollar. Nate is unsure about this but thinks it will be better for Oliver to get out of the City and into the country. Nate takes a job with Game and Wildlife since that is the only job available. Nate is still haunted by nightmares of his father in the house then, starts seeing his ghost. Maddie starts being more and more horrified of her art, Oliver makes friends and dangerous enemies. The Graves family doesn’t know that a storm is coming, and what it can bring.
What I Liked: This novel is crazy and so unpredictable that I love every second of it. The writing is really good and descriptive, this novel goes to some crazy places but I always felt I can visualize what is going on. This novel had really good side characters that were small but made an impact, and made me care for them talking about Jed, Caleb and Fig. I liked the clever name changes in products. Oliver was my favorite character, I liked his heart and how brave he was. The plot goes to crazy places but in the end everything did make sense, with the rules Wendig did set up. The horror and gore elements really worked and gave me some pretty horrific visuals in my head. The father and son relationships are pretty heartbreaking and well written, for horror novel you might tear up a little as one character works out his demons with his father and reaches closure. The cover is cool that was my big callout with The Wanders, how plain the cover was for so excellent of a book.
What I Disliked: I disliked really minor stuff, I would want to see how Oliver gets off the mountain during the blizzard, he’s far from where he has to be and the person that rescued him we don’t know where he was, and some how Oliver makes it in time. The finale was the only part that was truly hard to visualize, one thing needed more description.
Recommendations: Read this book if you want to expand your horror reading beyond just a haunted house. This book dips into science fiction by way of the supernatural and it is a wonderful thing. I knew when I read The Wanders in 2019 I knew that book would be in my top ten of books for the year, and I see The Book of Accidents the same way. I rated The Book Of Accidents by Chuck Wendig 5 out of 5 stars. I have already go asked which one did I like better The Wanders or The Book of Accidents? My answer is The Wanders not by a mile but I can say with no doubt the Wanders and the quest element really spoke to me.