A Light Most Hateful by Hailey Piper
Publisher : Titan Books (10 Oct. 2023)
Language : English
Paperback : 288 pages
ISBN-10 : 1803364203
A Horror Book Review by Jim Mcleod
A Light Most Hateful sees Hailey Piper make her debut UK publication with Titan Books, and based on the strength of this novel, I am praying that this partnership is a long and fruitful one. Known for writing powerful and unswervingly in-your-face horror that never shies away from tackling difficult subject matters, Piper has risen through the ranks to become a vital and vibrant voice. A Light Most Hateful continues to see Piper’s rise through the ranks with an astonishingly twisted and macabre tale of longing, love, identity and finding your place in the world.
Stuck in a dead-end job selling concessions at a drive-in cinema, Olivia is wondering whether running away from home three years ago was a good idea. An outcast at school, seen as a freak by her classmates, life would be totally unbearable if it were not for her friendship with her only friend, Sunflower. But when a mysterious and terrifying storm hits Chapel Hill, bringing a monster from beyond comprehension, Olivia must find her friend if she has any hope of getting out through the hellish night alive.
Starting off like a hundred other teenage-based horror stories, A Light Most Hateful spends a short time introducing us to the main characters of the story; this lulls us into a false sense of security, what begins as a standard fare, suddenly from out of nowhere takes a complete left turn into a world of pure nightmare and terror. Normally, readers are given a chance to become introduced to the horror elements of a novel, but Piper sticks two fingers up at our expectations and slams the horror right in our faces. And those two fingers are prevalent throughout this amazing story. There will be times when you are wondering what just happened, and like me, you might have to go back and read the previous page again, just in case you missed something, but this isn’t a fault of Piper’s masterful writing; it is more an indication of Piper’s ability to twist what we as readers expect from a story like this. This is a story that demands your full attention, not just for the twisted narrative but also for the wonderfully rendered descriptive passages of the horrors that are laid out on the page. Trust me, you will never look at a rainbow in the same way again. You will feel a dual sense of awe, wonder and absolute terror as Piper takes you through the harrowing events during this night of terror.
It is Piper’s ability to expertly weave the complex themes of love, longing, identity and your place in the world into this twisted, nightmarish hellscape of a world that is the true star of the novel. Piper will simultaneously have you feeling a sense of dread and compassion at the same time. Grief plays a central role in this story, and there will be times when Piper tears your heart into shreds with her powerful and evocative descriptions of the emotions felt by the main characters of the book, but throughout the narrative, there is always a tiny light of hope. I’m not saying that there is a happy ending to the story, as I was way too emotionally battered and bruised by the time I finished this story, and I am still processing the effect of the truth of why everything is happening in the narrative. Suffice it to say this is a brave move by Piper, but it is one that is pulled off perfectly, and your reaction to it will hopefully be as positive as mine was. We are all looking for our place in the world, but what if our place isn’t ours to live?
With A Light Most Hateful, we should all be hailing the new Queen of Cosmic Horror; Piper firmly cements her reputation of being one of the most electrifying and commanding voices in horror.
A Light Most Hateful by Hailey Piper
When a summer storm sweeps through a sleepy town unleashing a monstrous and otherworldy power that threatens to break reality, Olivia will stop at nothing to find her best friend and get them to safety.
Mona Awad’s Bunny meets Stranger Things in this mind-bending and terrifying examination of female friendship and the lengths we’ll go to protect the ones we love, from the Bram Stoker award winning author of Queen of Teeth
Three years after running away from home, Olivia is stuck with a dead-end job in nowhere town Chapel Hill, Pennsylvania. At least she has her best friend, Sunflower.
Olivia figures she’ll die in Chapel Hill, if not from boredom, then the summer night storm which crashes into town with a mind-bending monster in tow.
If Olivia’s going to escape Chapel Hill and someday reconcile with her parents, she’ll need to dodge residents enslaved by the storm’s otherworldly powers and find Sunflower.
But as the night strains friendships and reality itself, Olivia suspects the storm, and its monster, may have its eyes on Sunflower and everything she loves.