Today on the blog, I’m bringing you another blog tour hosted by TBR & Beyond Tours! The book I’ll be talking about today is a young adult horror that sent a shiver down my spine: It Looks Like Us by Alison Ames. If you’ve ever watched and enjoyed the horror flick The Thing, this book will be right up your alley!
Before I talk more about this novel, I want to thank TBR & Beyond Tours for giving me a spot on this tour. I also want to encourage you to follow along with the tour, as there are a ton of incredible bookish content creators involved! You can find the tour schedule here. And, of course, I’d like to thank the publisher and Netgalley for providing me with a free e-ARC so that I could participate. It is, as always, much appreciated!
Alright, now let’s get to the post!
- Title: It Looks Like Us
- Author: Alison Ames
- Publisher: Page Street Kids
- Publication date: September 27th, 2022
- Genre: Horror
- Age group: Young Adult
- Content/Trigger Warnings: Violence, body horror, suicidal ideation, gore, depiction of panic attacks
The remote terror of THE THING meets the body horror of WILDER GIRLS in this fast-paced Antarctic thriller.
Shy high school junior Riley Kowalski is spending her winter break on a research trip to Antarctica, sponsored by one of the world’s biggest tech companies. She joins five student volunteers, a company-approved chaperone, and an impartial scientist to prove that environmental plastic pollution has reached all the way to Antarctica, but what they find is something much worse… something that looks human.
Riley has anxiety–ostracized by the kids at school because of panic attacks–so when she starts to feel like something’s wrong with their expedition leader, Greta, she writes it off. But when Greta snaps and tries to kill Riley, she can’t chalk it up to an overactive imagination anymore. Worse, after watching Greta disintegrate, only to find another student with the same affliction, she realizes they haven’t been infected, they’ve been infiltrated–by something that can change its shape. And if the group isn’t careful, that something could quickly replace any of them.
Alison Ames is a writer based in Colorado. Her debut novel To Break A Covenant will be published in fall 2021.
Thank you to TBR & Beyond Tours, the publisher, and Netgalley for providing me with a free e-ARC in exchange for an honest review. All opinions contained within are my own.
Sometimes, I read horror books because I like how they tend to have commentary on real world issues. Sometimes, I read horror books just to be spooked. It Looks Like Us is one of those horror books that provided a little bit of both!
This story follows a young girl named Riley. She has just signed up for a summer expedition out to Antarctica, where she will be joining a group of teens tasked with collecting ice samples for scientific research. She’s eager to go to get away from her life and try and reinvent herself, if only for the summer. Once they arrive, though, things start to go south. Greta, the expedition leader, starts to act funny and, when she tries to kill her, Riley quickly realizes this trip is not what she signed up for.
When I tell y’all this book gave me the shivers, I’m not lying! I’m not one to usually put much stock into comp titles, but they hit the nail on the head with this book. This is indeed a pretty solid mashup of The Thing and Wilder Girls when it comes to the monster lurking within and the body horror sprinkled throughout. If you’re easily spooked or easily grossed out, this might not be the read for you. But if you like a good jump-scare, you might want to check this one out!
One aspect that added to the creep factor of this book is how well the author built up the atmosphere. You can truly get a sense of the characters’ feelings of isolation as they are stuck on the most inhospitable continent with something that is trying to kill them. Alison Ames crafts the loneliness and the terror so well and that’s what really made this a great horror novel! Dread oozes off the pages and I freakin’ ate it up. The plot also pulls you into the action immediately and it doesn’t let up until you turn the last page. It made for a fast reading experience, that’s for sure!
The characters in this story were wonderfully written, as well. Riley, our main character, is definitely the most fully realized character of the bunch. Though the others in her group are interesting, I felt like they weren’t as nuanced as Riley. I thought the author did a good job depicting Riley’s anxiety, as well. I don’t suffer from anxiety myself, so please take what I say with a grain of salt, but it felt real and intense. Again, the other characters fell a little flat for me, but they were still interesting enough that I was invested in what happened to them. Well… most of them.
Overall, this was a fast-paced, intense read that had me flying through the pages. The atmosphere and tone is pitch perfect for this brand of horror and it had my spine tingling many times! I enjoyed Riley’s character and thought the author did an incredible job depicting how she struggles with anxiety. The secondary characters were less intriguing, but I still had a great time with this book. If you’re a fan of horror that features isolation and leans on the grotesque side, I think you should give this one a try!