Reviews of Dark Fiction

Pearl by Josh Malerman

What’s this, then? A novel about a psychic male pig named Pearl? Hell yeah, sign me up!

Pearl was raised on a farm in the town of Chowder, just a short way from Goblin. Sherry was raised on that farm too and now she’s back to visit her father, with her two boys in tow. On the farm are the usual animals, and a malformed pig named Pearl. Something is wrong with one of his eyes, but that’s not all that’s wrong with him. Sherry has been wary of Pearl her entire life, and in fact asked when she was still a girl, that her father plant some trees so she couldn’t see Pearl’s pen from her window. Have things changed regarding Sherry’s fear of Pearl? Is her fear justified? You’ll have to read this to find out!

Back in the horror boom of the 70s and 80s, creature features became some of my favorite books. The Rats. Night of the Crabs. The Howling. This book is not that. In fact, this novel might carry with it a message. When the dedication reads “This book is dedicated to every living thing on Earth, past, present and future.” That makes me think that maybe Pearl is out to get justice for all of his farm animal friends that have gone on to someone’s dinner table.

The action is fast paced, horrific and fun. There’s no preaching about being a vegetarian or anything like that, but I do think that might be the message of the story? For me, I read it for the pure creature feature fun and it surely did provide that. What’s not intriguing or fascinating about a psychic pig? One that can get into your mind and make you do things you’d never otherwise do? “Sing to Me” Pearl says. And the people do. They really do.

Overall, I had a blast with Pearl and if creature features were ever your thing, you will most likely have just as much fun as I did. Highly recommended!

*Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the e-copy in exchange for my honest feedback. This is it!*

**When I requested Pearl from NetGalley, I didn’t realize that I already own it under its original title, ON THIS, THE DAY OF THE PIG. No big deal for me though; this way I was able to keep my hardcover pristine.**

Pearl Book Cover Pearl
Josh Malerman
Horror, Dark Fiction
Del Rey
10/12/2021
E-Arc
287

From the New York Times bestselling author of Bird Box and Malorie, Josh Malerman, comes the legend of Pearl, a strange new monster unlike any other in horror (previously published as On This, the Day of the Pig).

There's something strange about Walter Kopple's farm. At first it seems to be his grandson, who cruelly murders one of Walter's pigs in an act of seemingly senseless violence. But then the rumors begin—people in town whisper that Walter's grandson heard a voice that commanded him to kill.

And that the voice belongs to a most peculiar creature: Walter's pig, Pearl. Walter is not sure what to believe. He knows that he's always been afraid of the strangely malevolent Pearl. But as madness and paranoia grip the town and the townspeople descend on Walter's farm with violent wrath, they begin to discover that true evil wears a human face.

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