The Worst Is Yet To Come
For most of her fourteen years, Tasha Davis has languished in the rural-suburban town of Skillute, Washington. Her parents offer plenty of comfortable – if stifling – emotional support, but what she needs is a best friend. In her final year at Clark Middle School, Tasha meets a strange, new classmate. Briar Kenny is the self-styled rebel Tasha wants to be, and the Davises are the kind of close-knit family Briar covets. A moment of unexpected violence spawns a secret between the two girls and awakens a mystery from the past.
Unknown to Tasha and Briar, their secret also attracts something monstrous from a forgotten corner of Skillute. The town is haunted by its history, scarred with the lingering spirit of broken and scattered families, abandoned real estate ventures, and old scores never settled between neighbors. But there’s more to the place than memory and legend. Beneath the landscape something malignant rages, and it will stop at nothing to find a route into the physical world.
I didn’t realize before I began reading “The Worst Is Yet To Come” that it was set in a town called Skillute, Washington, which is a place that Miskowski has used for several other stories as well (this is my first book by the author). I think this is most likely why I was able to pick up on a few other instances that seemed like they weren’t really relevant to this story at all, especially since they were never elaborated on in any sort of way. I don’t believe it is unnecessary to read the other books to be able to fully experience this story as it should be, and I definitely did not feel as if I was left in the dark at all. However, due to the fact that I did enjoy this book and her writing tremendously, it made me want to read more about some of these other places, characters and times.
Getting on with the review – The story centers around a couple and their young daughter after they move to Skillute, Washington to get away from crime and violence, but Skillute is a dying town, and the people are really not friendly at all. Through all this, there is a slow-developing friendship beginning between two teenage girls, their usual and not-so-usual problems, and of violence, which brings the girls even closer together, all against the backdrop of a mysterious and menacing evil. Tasha Davis a goody two shoe type, from a stable family with two doting and attentive parents, always well behaved, follows all of her parent’s rules, but has a stifling home environment. Tasha is everything Briar wishes to be. Briar Kenny is Tasha’s rebellious classmate, wild and fearless, comes from a broken home and a dysfunctional and poverty-stricken upbringing, has a crazy mother that she lives in a trailer with, and even has a tattoo on her neck, all at the tender age of fourteen.
When Tasha finally makes friends with her new classmate, Briar, her parents are overly excited, yet stay to caution because so far Briar isn’t all they had hoped. The two seem to be destined to become close friends, as each possesses something the other one wants. A horrible display of violence makes their friendship become more solid, bringing them closer. The book shifts intermittently from Tasha to Briar as it builds towards a specific moment before coming to reveal sinister and long-suppressed secrets. On the surface, this is a story of Tasha whose new best friend Briar is an incredibly bad influence, but a mystery from the past turns this story upside down and on its head. There is much more to this story than meets the eye. Miskowski wasted no time getting me into this story. From the start of this book I wasn’t really sure where the story was going to be taking me, as there were several unexpected and quite surprising twists and turns that I didn’t see coming, so I have to admit, the book really kept me on my toes and on the edge of my seat!
Without a doubt, this is one thought-provoking and dreadful horror story. A brilliant and extremely unsettling, fast-moving novel that captured the anxieties of young people and parenthood alike, both precisely and terrifyingly, with some unsettling supernatural elements and complex characters who might be even more unsettling than the evil within this place. The characters are all spot on, especially the teenage girls, Tasha and Briar, who are portrayed true to life, even the most despicable ones were lifelike and convincing, and their actions suited the persons they were. I also felt that it was easy to differentiate between the time periods when we occasionally were taken back to witness a past event. I never once was bored, and I feel Miskowski writes a very well-paced book. The many twists and turns emerging between the pages, and the dark forces that exist in Skillute, all beg to be heard and felt. The ending may seem abrupt to some of you at first, but take the time to think about it, bad things just seem to happen in Skillute. What more can be said? I highly, HIGHLY recommend this book.
About the book Author
S.P. Miskowski is a recipient of two National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships. Her stories have been published in Supernatural Tales, Black Static, Identity Theory, Strange Aeons, and Eyedolon Magazine, and in numerous anthologies including The Best Horror of the Year Volume Ten, Haunted Nights, The Madness of Dr. Caligari, October Dreams 2, Autumn Cthulhu, The Hyde Hotel, Darker Companions: Celebrating 50 Years of Ramsey Campbell, Tales from a Talking Board and Looming Low. Her novel I Wish I Was Like You won This Is Horror 2017 Novel of the Year and a Charles Dexter Award for Favorite Novel of 2017 from Strange Aeons Magazine. Her books have received three Shirley Jackson Award nominations and a Bram Stoker Award nomination, and are available from Omnium Gatherum Media and JournalStone/Trepidatio. Visit her website: https://spmiskowski.wordpress.com/about/
Title: The Worst Is Yet To Come
Author: S.P. Miskowski
Published Date: February 22, 2019
Genre: Horror, Fiction, Thriller
Publisher: JournalStone – Trepidatio Publishing
Format: Paperback, Kindle
Pages: 205 pages
Reviewed by: Sarah Hopkins
Our Rating: 4.0 /5
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