Benny Rose, the Cannibal King is nearly a perfect slasher. It is founded on some fo the best of the tropes but bears their weight well, spinning and reshaping them into something new. Blackwood Vermont doesn’t have a lot going for it, at least for teenage girls, but it has Halloween. The town is home to the legend(s) of Benny Rose, the Cannibal King. Hundreds of stories have been told about him, but no one seems to know the truth.

When the new girl becomes the target of a Halloween prank by Desiree and her friends, they start the party off with Benny Rose stories. All different. All chilling. Then the new girl, Gabby, tells a story of her own. As the night darkens, and storms rage outside, the stories, and the night take on deeper, more chilling tones. Separated from the main town by a flood, trapped in a retirment community in Gabriel’s grandmother’s house, those tales, as stories often do, shift to real darkness.

Hailey Piper captures the voices of the different girls, their lives, homes, losses and dreams, perfectly and uses those voices to weave a terrifying addition to the world of Halloween slashers. Very well done, and highly recommended.

I listened to the audiobook voiced by Laura Lockwood, who effortlessly slips from girl to girl, changing the voices and giving them character. Well performed and perfect for the story.

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