cover image Nestlings


Nat Cassidy. Nightfire, $18.99 trade paper (304p) ISBN 978-1-250-26525-8

Cassidy’s tepid sophomore horror outing (after Mary) is more cagey than creepy. It kicks off when new parents Reid and Ana win an affordable housing lottery and move into a luxurious two-bedroom apartment overlooking Central Park in New York City’s historic Deptford building. The hapless duo jumps at the opportunity, hoping it means their luck has turned after almost a year of hardship following their daughter’s complicated birth, which left Ana paralyzed from the waist down and led to a tumultuous night the couple never talks about, the events of which are slowly teased out to readers. Moving in to the Deptford brings some familiar-feeling scares: a spooky concierge with an artificial smile, elevator operators that resemble gremlins, gargoyles that disappear, and wailing that drifts through the walls. Soon-to-be one-year-old Charlie is especially unsettled by the apartment, frequently waking her parents with screams of terror. The strangeness only intensifies the more Reid and Ana get to know their neighbors and gradually piece together what exactly is going on in their new building. Cassidy successfully sets up an ominous mystery around the Deptford’s history, but the pace is slow and the horror elements never truly terrify. This won’t have anyone sleeping with the lights on. (Oct.)