What Doesn’t Kill You by Ken Brosky

Publisher: Timber Ghost Press

Date of publication: September 5th, 2023

Genre: Horror, Fiction

Purchase Links: Kindle

Goodreads Synopsis:

Valerie Miller and her younger brother have spent their entire lives in the dreary town of Seven Sisters, where most people are resigned to a bleak future of debt and despair. But when a mysterious woman with a dark past arrives, she brings with her a gift that could transform the town’s fortunes – and the lives of Val and Danny.

This extraordinary woman’s power is both awe-inspiring and terrifying, capable of unleashing a force that will shake Seven Sisters to its core. The stakes are high, and danger is omnipresent. Can Val and Danny rise to the challenge and seize the opportunity to finally break free from the suffocating grip of their hometown? Or will they fall victim to the terrors unleashed by this enigmatic figure? One thing is certain–when the sun rises on Seven Sisters, nothing will ever be the same again.

Part creature-feature, part survival story, What Doesn’t Kill You will keep you on the edge of your seat as Val and Danny fight for their lives and all of Seven Sisters.

First Line:

“Easy now,” Leo says into his walkie.

What Doesn’t Kill You by Ken Brosky

Important things you need to know about the book:

Pace: The pacing of What Doesn’t Kill You is fast. It has to be; the entire story takes place within one night. There is no slow build-up; the author goes from zero to one hundred and keeps that pace going until the end of the book.

Trigger/Content Warning: There are trigger and content warnings in What Doesn’t Kill You. If any of these trigger you, I suggest not reading the book. They are:

  • Addiction  (moderate to graphic)
  • Alcoholism (graphic)
  • Body Horror (graphic)
  • Drug Use (moderate)
  • Infidelity (minor to moderate)
  • Death (graphic)
  • Violence (graphic)
  • Verbal Child Abuse (moderate)
  • Gun Violence (moderate to graphic)
  • Gore (graphic)

Sexual Content: There is sexual content in What Doesn’t Kill You. It isn’t graphic, but it is insinuated (like when the Deputy keeps thinking of his mistress and their time together). There are some scenes where a twelve-year-old boy reacts to his love interest/friend (gets an erection). But again, nothing graphic.

Language: There is a lot of explicit swearing in What Doesn’t Kill You.

Setting: What Doesn’t Kill You is set in the remote town of Seven Sisters, Wisconsin.

Tropes: Mysterious Things Are Happening, Monsters, Bad Things Happen at Night, Backing into Darkness, Severed Limbs, Creepy Settings

Age Range: I recommend What Doesn’t Kill You to anyone over 21.

Plot Synopsis (as spoiler-free as I can get):

Seven Sisters, Wisconsin, is a dying town. When a former resident of Seven Sisters returns for a visit, she brings something monstrous, but she knows she can breathe life back into the town with it. After turning it loose on the town, she sits back and watches the carnage and mayhem ensue. But she wasn’t expecting what to happen after the monster slaughtered almost everyone in town. Why did that former resident bring such unimaginable evil back to Seven Sisters? Will anyone survive? Or will this monster’s terror expand to other towns in the area?

Main Characters

What Doesn’t Kill You is different than most books because there are a lot of characters introduced at the beginning of the book. But, by the middle, most of those characters are killed off. In the end, I was surprised at who was left.

My review:

What Doesn’t Kill You is a well-written book that should be read during the daytime and not during the winter. I am being serious here. This book should not be read at night and in any season but in winter. I don’t get scared easily, and this book had me jumping at every little thing after I was done.

The main storyline in What Doesn’t Kill You focuses on Seven Sisters and the carnage that the beehive-headed woman wrecks on the town. The storyline is gory and bloody. There were some scenes that I gagged at and others where I wanted to cry (because of who was killed). I also want to note that the author wasn’t particularly attached to his characters, and he didn’t hesitate to kill them.

There was an aspect of the storyline that I found fascinating, and I wished that the author had gone into it. It was the origins of the beehive-headed woman. I wanted to know where this thing came from and why it was in the wilderness of California. I did like that if the person the monster was attacking killed it and ate the honey, that person was granted their heart’s desire. But there was a caveat that even the person was unaware of, highlighted in the last half of the book.

The end of What Doesn’t Kill You wasn’t a happy ending. Without giving away spoilers, that’s all I can say about it.

If you enjoy reading books similar to Perfect in Death, then you will enjoy these books:

Other books by Ken Brosky:

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