book review, horror

Food Fright by Nico Bell

A nasty case of high school bullying ends up with one of the students dead. However, revenge is a dish best served cold, and sweet.

Cassie lures supposed friend and soccer teammate, Jennifer, to some after school bullying by the rest of the soccer team, but when Jennifer seeks refuge in the Home Economics classroom, she falls foul of the Home Ec teacher’s failed spell, and dies.

Seeking revenge, Jennifer pursues the downfall of her teammates in a variety of inventive food based monsters, while Cassie tries to find a way to kill Jennifer for a second time.

Number seven in the Rewind or Die series of fun horror novellas published by Unnerving, Food Fright captures the entertaining blend of horror and humor that movies such as Lost Boys exemplify so well.

Bell has a great imagination, and the food monster scenes are hilarious and gross. I’ll never look at a croissant in the same way again. I also liked the mix of the nasty school girls and the teachers’ coven. It was a fun combination that fleshed out the story. The attempts at a back story for the characters of Cassie and the Home Ec teacher, Ms Bower, were interesting, but I would have liked for them to be developed further.

I would have awarded Food Fright a higher rating if it wasn’t for the the fact it included the victim revenge trope. I’m not a fan of this trope anyway, but unfortunately for Food Fright, I’ve encountered this trope in a couple of things over the last two days, and I’m ready to rant.

Full disclosure – I don’t like revenge stories that glorify or justify revenge. You doing something bad to me doesn’t excuse me doing something bad to you. Also, where does it stop? It leads to an endless cycle of horrible acts. I support justice, not revenge.

However, while I can acknowledge the visceral thrill of watching or reading about a character getting revenge on those who have wronged them, I don’t understand the appeal of the victim revenge monster trope. Whether it’s Carrie or Candyman, or any of the endless iterations of this trope, I don’t get it. So, a person is abused, ridiculed and often killed, but always somehow gains extreme power, which they use to torture and kill their abusers, so their abusers must now perpetrate even greater horrors against this victim turned monster in order to survive. What’s the take away from this type of story? It’s a good idea to abuse and murder weird, isolated, vulnerable different people because if they weren’t such losers they’d be the biggest monsters of all? Maybe it’s that it’s ok to be a horrible abusive, racist person, but don’t kill your victims because they’ll gain preternatural powers that will mean you have to kill them all over again?

Not only does Bell utilize this trope, but the person responsible for Jennifer’s death – wannabe witch, Ms Bower – gets away scot free.

Ok, rant over. Despite my personal gripe, Food Fright is a lot of fun and has very imaginative food related kills (although unfortunately no pizza or cheese related deaths), and I award this book…

Food Fright is available for $3.81 ebook and $11.49 print book on Amazon.

I received a free copy from the author in exchange for an honest review.

8 thoughts on “Food Fright by Nico Bell”

  1. I don’t think I have read too many victim-revenge books but I have seen it in a lot of movies, and I really don’t like them either – pity it’s the story in this book because it otherwise sounds imaginative and fun. I also love croissants so I’m not sure if I am ready to see them as an enemy!! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha! Death by croissant is a good way to go. This is a fun book, and it’s written well, it was just unfortunate that it used the same trope I’d encountered a few times in quick succession.

      Like

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