book review, horror

Hag by John Shupeck

17 year old Ray is still grieving the loss of his mother three years previously, drowning his emotions in beer, and plagued by sleep paralysis and nightmares.

When the woman of his dreams offers him release, will Ray follow the Hag into darkness or fight to retain his sanity?

This novella gives a great psychological look at the succubus myth, and ties it nicely into sleep disorders and mental illness.

You often see tragic stories in the news where promising young men go off the rails in spectacular ways, and you wonder what went wrong? This kind of scenario seems to be the inspiration behind Hag.

There’s no pat answer to this tragedy, instead years of dysfunction combine together to produce a perfect storm. Ray, once a promising young student, isn’t well, and his caregivers – older brother Matt and his wife, Jenna – don’t seem to have the skills to cope with their own problems let alone recognize that Ray needs their help.

Matt seems to have zoned out completely, losing himself each night in alcohol fueled oblivion, and is apparently happy that his younger brother is following his example. Jenna is doing her best, but she lacks the skills to keep the family together.

A well written, realistic depiction of how mental illness can develop and devolve into tragedy.

I award Hag

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