A Novel of Pageantry Hell by Kristopher Triana
5/5 Star Review
“Some girls are fearful, others are brave. One girl’s a princess, the next one, a slave. But all girls are equal, when they’re down in this cave, until just one is left standing – The Prettiest Girl in the Grave.”
Kristopher Triana continues to prove himself as a voice to be reckoned with in the horror genre. His latest, The Prettiest Girl in the Grave, is a must-read for fans of Gone to See the River Man and The Long Shadows of October.
“What do you fear?”
In the small town of Greenwalk there is a forgotten cemetery in the woods. Every generation, a group of girls manages to find their way to it and become embroiled in a century old game – Who will become The Prettiest Girl in the Grave?
“Who do you love?”
Bella, Rose, Celeste, Aubrey, Savannah, and Marnie all sneak out at midnight to meet at the old cemetery. Aubrey has learned about a secret game that’s only played by local girls in this graveyard, at one specific crypt. As the girls begin to play, they open themselves up to a night which they may not survive.
“What happens when you die?”
When Bella’s mother, Holly, wakes up to find her daughter missing she has a horrible suspicion that she knows where her daughter and her friends are and what may be happening to them. Holly played the game when she was a teen and barely escaped with her life. Holly returns to the crypt and tries to save her daughter from the very fate she faced as a young girl.
Fans of Triana’s trangressive horror, rejoice! The Prettiest Girl in the Grave delivers a supernatural punch filled with all sorts of nasty little surprises. He has deftly crafted his own folklore and surrounding urban legend for the town of Greenwalk – think Bloody Mary, but amp it up to eleven. As the reader, more and more of the history is revealed to us as it is told through Bella’s point-of-view and in flashbacks from her mother, Holly. I couldn’t put this one down and blew through it in one day and I think you will too!
It’s worth a mention that if you’re a fan of Triana’s more extreme horror, you won’t find it here. While there is a good amount of violence and blood in this novel, it’s far more subtle compared to some of his other novels, like Body Art or Full Brutal. If you’re looking for a good place to start reading Triana, or to turn a new reader onto his work, The Prettiest Girl in the Grave is an excellent place to start.
The Prettiest Girl in the Grave releases on May 12, 2023 from Grindhouse Press. Pre-order the paperback or ebook now! OR Be one of the really cool kids and pre-order the limited edition hardcover bundle straight from Triana’s site here. It’s an absolute steal at only $45!