A novel of addiction and grief by Clay McLeod Chapman
5/5 Star Review
“Do you want to get haunted?”
Erin Hill can’t let go of her charismatic ex-boyfriend, Silas. When he reaches out to her to bail him out of rehab again, she and their friends decide to hold an intervention for him. It goes about as well as you would expect and shortly thereafter he dies of an overdose. This is where the story really begins.
“Death is not the end, trust me!”
Their mutual friend, Tobias, approaches Erin after Silas’ death and promises her that she can see Silas again. All she has to do is try this new drug, Ghost. Tobias claims that everyone is haunted and the drug allows you to see the spirits of the dead. In her grief, Erin agrees and nothing is ever the same again.
“A name is a vessel. It holds certain syllables, certain cadences. If you say them in a certain order, in a certain rhythm, you’re able to invoke the very breath of God. And I want to say Silas’s name with life again. I want to say his name and have it sound the way I used to say it when he was alive. I want to say his name with all my heart. To endow every letter with love, everlasting love.“
Ghost Eaters is a haunting novel of grief, pain, and addiction interspersed with Chapman’s keen sense of humor. He asks the question, “What would you do if you could see your loved one again?” and answers it the way most of us probably would in the way that Erin behaves. The best horror, in my opinion, is grounded in reality and Erin’s spiral is utterly believable.
I love supernatural horror and really appreciated the fresh way that Chapman approached his hauntings. It’s one thing when you can walk away from a haunted house or haunted object, but it’s a wild new horror when you’re the one who is haunted and can’t escape your ghosts.
I don’t want to mislead anyone by saying this is a super serious dive into grief and addiction. While those elements are there – it isn’t all this book is about. In fact, the last quarter of this book is downright bonkers! I will never look at mushrooms the same way again.
Overall, I though Ghost Eaters was a pretty stellar read that ticked off a lot of boxes for me. I highly recommend checking it out!