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Let’s take a quick break from the life-sucking vortex that is our cell phones and talk about this book. I couldn’t get enough of it. Ghoster is a refreshing change from my usual reads in the horror genre. Jason Arnopp injects an admirable sense of humour into the story while still managing to keep things spooky. Aside from being quirky and funny, the book really shines a light on society’s addiction to their devices (It certainly made me examine my own dependencies ). It’s unquestionably a well-rounded read, but admittedly, it felt a little lengthy. However, regardless of the page count, there’s plenty to recommend. 

Kate is addicted to her phone. So much so that she’s put her career as a paramedic and innocent lives at risk with her consistent negligence. After seeking help from others afflicted with the social media mania that has cursed her life for so long, she finds Scott. Overtaken with affection for Scott, the two decide to move in together. Kate swiftly quits her job, packs up her belongings, leaves her apartment, and heads enthusiastically to her new home. Only, Scott isn’t there, and he’s not answering texts or calls – he’s ghosting her. When she finally weasels her way into the apartment, all Kate finds is his phone. Reluctantly, she’s forced to brave her addiction, hack his phone, and figure out what exactly happened to her beloved boyfriend. What she discovers about the love of her life is startlingly disturbing, and as she delves deeper into Scott’s disappearance, she becomes the victim of strange and terrifying occurrences. 

It’s not often you get something this funny in horror fiction. At least not without sacrificing the narrative in some way. I’ve seen some attempts to add comedy but it always negatively affects the tone, but that wasn’t the case here. Arnopp is a natural and his humour seems to blend well with the story giving it that special something to stand out. Many things in this book are both disturbing and shockingly hilarious, including something Arnopp calls the Death Grip Cult. And admittedly, I’m going to have trouble shaking some of the unsettling imagery the author conjured up.

Let’s face the facts: society has a serious addiction. There are studies that suggest the average person is on their phone six to twelve hours a day. That is a devastating statistic when you think about it. Now, here’s something else to consider. If you sleep six to eight hours out of every twenty-four hour day then that means the average person is staring at a screen for six to twelve hours of their sixteen hours of awake time. So the question is, what are you supposed to be doing when you’re staring at your phone? Driving, studying, working, or even parenting? Are you putting others at risk because you’re distracted by your device? This is the problem the author presents his characters in Ghoster: Can they resist addiction in their quest to find answers to the mysterious disappearance of their beloved Scott? 

At 496 pages, the book is a little lengthy, but I think that readers won’t mind terribly, especially considering Arnopp is constantly spouting hilarious narrative page-after-page. The length of the book might have been longer than desirable, but I’m not sure if the same comic relief could have been achieved with a tighter page count. Honestly, I think the author wrote one hell of a haunting tale, and regardless of my quarrelling thoughts on length, I can’t imagine missing a moment of the experience. 

Ghoster by Jason Arnopp is a hilarious blend of supernatural horror and thriller. This might be the most fun I’ve had reading in a long time. The author’s unique sense of humour mixed with a suspenseful ghost story makes for an extremely entertaining read. I would absolutely recommend this book for fans of horror fiction that need a good laugh.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Ghoster by Jason Arnopp is available now from Orbit Books.

REVIEWER

Andrew ‘The Book Dad‘ and I am a reviewer of horror fiction. It is my intent to support those in the #HorrorCommunity any way I can while on my literary journey to reading all things terrifying and suspenseful! Follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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