#BookReview: Daphne by Josh Malerman @orionbooks #Daphne #BookTwitter #damppebbles

Horror has a new name: Daphne. A brutal, enigmatic woman stalks a girls high school basketball team in a reimagining of the slasher genre by the New York Times bestselling author of Bird Box.

It’s the last summer for Kit Lamb: the last summer before college. The last summer with her high school basketball team, and with Dana, her best friend. The last summer before her life begins.

But the night before the big game, one of Kit’s players tells a ghost story about Daphne, a girl who went to their school many years ago and died under mysterious circumstances. Some say she was murdered, others that she died by her own hand. And some say that Daphne is a murderer herself. They also say that Daphne is still out there, obsessed with revenge, and will appear anytime someone thinks about her to kill again.

After Kit hears the story, her teammates vanish, one by one, and Kit begins to suspect that the stories about Daphne are real…and to fear that her own mind is conjuring the killer. Now it’s a race against time as Kit searches for the truth behind the legend and learns to face her own fears. Or else the summer of her lifetime will become the last summer of her life.

Mixing a nostalgic coming-of-age story and an instantly iconic female villain with an innovative new vision of classic horror, this is an unforgettable thriller as only Josh Malerman could imagine it.”

Hello and welcome to damppebbles. Today I am delighted to share my review of Daphne by Josh Malerman. Daphne was published by Orion Books in hardcover, audio and digital formats on 20th September 2022 with the paperback hitting shelves on 11th May 2023.

Josh Malerman is the author behind the literary and Netflix sensation, Bird Box which I LOVED beyond words and as a result, featured in my top ten books of 2019. So a new book from the author was an instant ‘must read’ for me. Particularly as Daphne is billed as a reimagining of the slasher genre. If you’re a regular visitor to the blog then you may be aware that when we’re talking horror, the slasher genre is my favourite sub-genre. There was no way on earth I was going to let this book pass me by!

Whatever you do, don’t think about Daphne. Seventeen-year-old Kit Lamb is an up and coming basketball star and on the night before a big game, she and her teammates are having a sleepover. One of the girls, as you do, tells a creepy story about a local legend. A socially outcast 7ft woman who died in mysterious circumstances many years ago named Daphne. It’s said Daphne still stalks the streets of Samhatten looking for revenge. Think of her and you’ll be her next victim. When Kit’s fellow players start disappearing one after the other, Kit’s ever present anxiety is heightened. She’s nervous, she feels in her gut that she will die at the hands of Daphne, because she just can’t stop thinking about her…

Daphne is a gripping, tension filled read which I thoroughly enjoyed. The author takes their time to build the scene, get the reader fully invested in Kit as a person, her friendship with best friend, Dana, and how she copes (or not) with her anxiety. When fellow ballers start to disappear things take a creepy and atmospheric turn. The author has conveyed such a wonderful sense of threat and menace throughout the story. The impending sense of doom was impossible to tear myself away from, meaning I was reading this book late into the night. And I loved it! Daphne is a beast. A frightening, thoroughly intimidating antagonist who will put you on edge and strangle you with her bare hands. But providing you don’t think about her, you’ll be fine….

Would I recommend this book? I would, yes. Daphne is a thoroughly entertaining psychological horror with a much appreciated nod to the slasher genre which I relished. I also enjoyed how much this book reminded me, in a way, of the Bloody Mary game we all played as kids. You know the one! I did feel the basketball references were a little overused at points but these kids live for basketball so I could understand why there were so many. I thought the focus on Kit’s intrusive thoughts and her anxiety were considered and handled well. Really giving the reader an opportunity to get to know the main protagonist. She felt like a teenage girl in her thoughts, actions and dialogue and that was important to me. All in all, I really enjoyed reading Daphne and I look forward to seeing what Malerman delivers next! Recommended.

Daphne by Josh Malerman was published in the UK by Orion Books on 20th September 2022 and is available in hardcover, audio and digital formats with the paperback to follow (please note, the following links are affiliate links which means I receive a small percentage of the purchase price at no extra cost to you): | amazon.co.ukWaterstonesFoylesBook Depositorybookshop.orgGoodreadsdamppebbles bookshop.org shopdamppebbles amazon.co.uk shopdamppebbles amazon.com shop |

Josh Malerman is the New York Times best selling author of BIRD BOX, MALORIE, GOBLIN, PEARL, GHOUL n THE CAPE, and more.
He’s also one of two singer/songwriter for the rock band The High Strung.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s