cover image Final Girls

Final Girls

Mira Grant. Subterranean, $40 (112p) ISBN 978-1-59606-823-0

Grant (Rise) delivers her trademark combo of unflinching horror and heartily genuine characters in this contemporary science fiction novella. Esther Hoffman is a reporter with a traumatic past. She’s determined to expose Dr. Jennifer Webb as a charlatan and her new virtual reality–assisted therapy as fraud. In pursuit of the story, Esther agrees to undergo the procedure, which can rewrite an individual’s emotional landscape, building false memories of intimate lifelong relationships over the course of a few treatments. The two antagonistic women become fast friends in the virtual middle school environment. When an act of corporate espionage interferes with their session, Esther and Jennifer must navigate an unanticipated gauntlet of horrors, including high school mean girls turned violent and the risen dead. Zombie fans will find the tale satisfyingly inside their niche; it’s fast-paced and deftly wrapped up. Others might be disappointed to see an intriguing premise diverted into such well-trod territory. Agent: Diana Fox, Fox Literary. (Apr.)