Fabulous Beasts by Priya Sharma is a horror novelette about a strange woman living in luxury with her lover, but irrevocably tied to her childhood of deprivation and dark secrets in northwest England. The woman recalls the unravelling of the family upon her uncle’s release from prison.
Fabulous Beasts by Priya Sharma
My rating: 4 stars out of 5
TRIGGER WARNING: Incest, child abuse, rape, snakes
Be it with movies or books, I’m picky when it comes to horror. I’ve mentioned multiple times before that I don’t scare easily, or in the conventional sense. Anything that relies on gore and jump scares to deliver it’s spookiness will not hold too much interest for me. I’ve sat through years of this kind of horror, and at this point, I’m just really careful with any horror-thing I pick up.
Except for when I want to watch a shitty horror movie on purpose. Those times don’t count. But I digress.
Fabulous Beasts is one of those special horrors that don’t rely on gore and jump scares to make your skin crawl. It’s a creepy and slimy tale about two cousins who aren’t quite normal, and whose lives change when their uncle is let out of prison. Right from the get-go, Sharma’s writing captivates you. She takes her time building the story, and once you hit the zenith of this little tale, you’re invested in these characters, Lola and Tallulah, and your skin is crawling.
Is this scary? Not in the traditional sense, no. You (probably) won’t lie in bed at night, wondering if there are snakes slithering in slow circles under your bed, waiting for you to fall asleep – for your hand to hang off the edge of your bed for them to use to join you on your comfy mattress. What you will do, if you can handle the subject matter, is devour this story in one sitting, and wish to God it had been longer.
This story isn’t too graphic, so if you think you can stomach it, I urge you to put it on your Halloween TBR. It’s worth your time. If you suffer from Ophidiophobia/Ophiophobia, then you might want to stay away from this one. There are a lot of snakes.
Read this short here