Below by Laurel Hightower is a deeply unsettling and terrifying tale of a woman who was dealt blow after blow while on the road, trying to get to a girls weekend.
Full disclosure: I was given a free copy of this book from the publisher per request of an honest review. This did not affect my rating in any way. I also have a physical copy preordered!
Let’s dive in!
My Thoughts on Below by Laurel Hightower
I’m obsessed with Laurel’s work. When I heard she was doing a story about a cryptid, I couldn’t wait. Then to find out it was my favorite?! I was sold.
The book blurb asks readers: “HOW FAR WOULD YOU GO TO HELP A STRANGER?”
My answer before reading this book:
Probably way too far. I’m too nice, too trusting, and helping people is my go-to in any situation.
My answer after reading this book:
Not far at all. If I saw a winged creature and then something tragic happened, zero attempts would be made to help. I would be out of there so quickly. No thank you!
PHEW, this book!
How awesome is that cover art by Trevor Henderson? The creature itself is incredibly eerie, then add in that shadowy background?! I also love the text used for the title and author. The crack through the letters adds to the creepy feeling. This cover definitely captures the tone of the story!
And speaking of the story; I am going to be very brief here as you just need to experience it yourself!
Laurel does a killer job getting readers to think things may actually go well, right up until they don’t… I so wanted our main character, Addy, to make it to where she was going.
Of course, that doesn’t happen. A terrible accident changes the course of her evening and her life. Unable to just drive away, she tries to go help the driver. But from the second the accident occurs, she is forced to deal with one horrific thing after another.
You may want to have all the lights on while reading this one!
My Favorite Passages from Below
I made her promise to keep an eye out for anything that might touch me, so she saw this stick and tried to tell me. ‘Watch out for’ was as far as she got—as soon as she said anything I screamed and levitated out of there. I swear I ran on the surface, which leads me to believe maybe Jesus was also terrified of water.
Addy never let herself rest, always worried about the next deadline or obligation, but that feeling of urgency melted away like whipped cream on hot chocolate.
She kept opening and closing her mouth, trying to find purchase on anything that made sense, that could help her put this night in perspective, but there was nothing. Reality was a far distance in her past, and she had no idea how to get back to it.
She shouldn’t have been able to see, not in that complete absence of light, but when she looked down into the water that lapped at her chest, white eyes looked back at her from beneath.
She should be afraid, but the fear couldn’t make itself heard above the anger.
My Final Thoughts on Below
Below is just too darn good. After reading this, I could not stop thinking about this story. I wanted to keep living in that post-read unsettled feeling!
Don’t miss out on the horror within these pages. Go preorder Below from Perpetual Motion Machine today! Bonus: Pre-orders will receive signed signature plates from the author!
Thanks for reading!