Book Review: Unboxed
“What’s up, all my ghosts and ghouls? Greg Zipper here with Zipper Paranormal”
This one has been getting a lot of love in the community over the past couple months, and now I see why!
SUMMARY: Greg Zipper is a paranormal vlogger whose livelihood relies on his online popularity. When a fight between him and his girlfriend goes viral for all the wrong reasons, Greg purchases a dark web mystery box in hopes of restoring his audience’s faith in him and hitting one million subscribers. But when Greg opens the box, he gets much more than he bargained for, including a Boxer who’s determined to stop him from taking his loved ones for granted. Now Greg must do all he can to stop the Boxer, or else he’ll lose his livelihood–along with the woman he loves
I honestly can’t remember the last time I read a play outside of work (as an english teacher). But after reading this I’m convinced that it’s a genre, like dark poetry, that needs more mainstream attention in the horror world! Here the author does a great job of blending mystery, suspense, and character drama in a way that I really enjoyed. I found the characters and their marital conflict pretty relatable. I’m not a vlogger (yet?), but the issues of followers vs family and misplaced priorities has certainly come up in my own life.
I also love the paired down nature of the story: very few set changes and essentially only two characters on stage. It forces the drama to turn inward in much the same way as a Carver or Chekhov short story, relying on strong characterization and dialogue to drive the story. Luckily all of these things deliver, along with one genuinely disturbing moment and a lot of tension. I’ve gotten greedy for bigger twists in horror, and that’s one area I felt shortchanged (that and I really want to know more about The Boxer). But overall if you’re looking for a dark little morality play then this is for you!
Overall rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Special thanks to the author for sending a copy in exchange for an honest review. If you want to learn more about Briana Morgan and her work then check out her patreon (https://www.patreon.com/brianamorganbooks) or follow her and Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/brianamorganbooks/) and on Twitter (https://twitter.com/brimorganbooks).