Ana and Reid have hit the jackpot. They’ve won a lottery to have first crack at a rent-controlled apartment in Manhattan’s famous Deptford, home to movie stars and captains of industry. Reid is excited about it, but Ana isn’t so sure. As they do a walk-thru with the rental agent, Vera, something keeps telling her that they don’t belong there. Also of concern is the fact that following the birth of their first child, Charlie, Ana became paralyzed and now is confined to a wheelchair. The apartment they would be renting is far from ground level and should something happen that causes the elevators to fail, she would be hard pressed to escape the building. However, seeing Reid’s enthusiasm, Ana puts her fears aside and the couple agree to take the apartment. Vera is pleased and, as Ana and Reid leave the floor, she pops a cockroach she caught in the kitchen into her mouth. Now, if that isn’t a harbinger of things to come, I don’t know what is!
Gargoyles, movie stars, and windows that appear to open by themselves are all present in this chilling novel. The pace moves rapidly as Ana becomes more and more fearful of what is happening to her infant daughter whose personality she sees changing. Reid, a wannabe musician who is stuck in a boring job at a law firm, becomes obsessed with the Deptford and spends his time researching its history. He makes the acquaintance of another of the building’s residents – an old-time movie star whose looks belie her age. What is her secret and why is she bothering to ingratiate herself to Reid? Things really get freaky when Ana hears sounds of a baby crying and a woman sobbing in the apartment next door and goes to investigate. What she finds is bone-chilling.
Nestlings is a terrifying story with creatures out of your worst nightmares. They reminded me a little bit of the vampires in Del Toro’s The Strain. A real page-turner, the only thing I wasn’t thrilled with was the ending. It was a little too Rosemary’s Baby for me.
Nestlings is highly recommended for lovers of horror and dark fiction peopled by fantastic and terrifying creatures.
I want to thank the author and publisher, Tor Nightfire, for providing me with a free ARC copy of Nestlings in consideration for a Bram Stoker Award.