I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.
TW: Themes and scenes involving mental illness, excessive violence, death/dying, suicide/self-harm, and transphobia. Reader discretion is advised.
When Ashton finds themselves in the hospital after several panic attacks, they are soon stuck in an isolated hospital after another patient is brought in with an unknown ailment in author luna rey hall’s “the patient routine”.
Ashton is convinced they are dying. whether it be from cancer, heart disease, or a fungal infection, they know something bad is always about to happen. after a night of health-related panic attacks, & urged by a voice in their head, Ashton decides to check in to the ER again but when another patient is brought in with an unknown ailment that puts the entire hospital on lockdown, Ashton may be trapped in their worst nightmare.
This was such a thoughtful and compelling body horror and psychological thriller novel. The first thing that really stands out in this novel is the unique writing style that the author uses in this book, as it comes across as a mixture of poetry and string of consciousness, giving a unique insight into the protagonist’s mindset. The chilling imagery and the haunting atmosphere of the hospital setting made the protagonist’s journey feel more engaging as time went on.
The heart of this narrative was in the psychological horrors and struggles of the protagonist and how they bled out into the narrative overall. The character’s personal struggles with their body, their trauma, and the intrusive thoughts that plague them are not only relatable to so many people but are illustrated hauntingly in the author’s writing style to help illustrate the struggles in a unique way. The strong representation of LGBTQ characters and struggles was great to see play out in a natural way and kept the reader invested in the story as it developed.
Haunting, captivating, and engaging, author luna rey hall’s “the patient routine” is a must-read horror and psychological thriller novel. The twists and turns in the narrative and the intimate character development the author is able to achieve made this a compelling novel you won’t be able to put down. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!
About the Author
luna rey hall is a queer trans non-binary writer. they are the author of “space neon neon space” (Variant Lit, 2022), “no matter the diagnosis” (Game Over Books, 2023), “the patient routine” (Brigids Gate Press, 2023), and “loudest when startled” (YesYes Books, 2020), longlisted for the 2020 Julie Suk Award. they are the winner of the 2013 Patsy Lea Core in Memorial Award for Poetry. their poems have appeared in The Florida Review, The Rumpus & Raleigh Review, among others. they live in St. Paul, MN. find more information at lunareyhall.com.