Author: Aron Beauregard
Release date: November 25, 2022
Over the last number of years, Aron Beauregard has emerged as one of Extreme/Splatterpunk Horror’s true Heavy Weights. His books are hotly anticipated by his ever-growing throng of fans and he has been raking up the accolades as well – becoming Splatterpunk Award nominated and Splatterpunk Award winning during that time.
A prolific author, Beauregard continues to release new and exciting slabs of decimation. But, I, being of the previously described ‘extreme-light’ crowd have yet to dive into any of his books. They sound great, but I’ve never been a hugely massive extreme-extreme horror reader. Saying that – I do my best to try and support as many as I can, and with this novel having been nominated for Best Novel for this years Splatterpunk Awards, I figured this was a perfect one to check out!
What I liked: I mean, the cover should give you some solid indication what you’re in for. If you require ANY sort of Trigger Warnings, you way want to stay away from this one. If you, however, enjoy the brand of brutality Beauregard delivers, this one will make you smile from ear to ear.
The story follows a crazy old lady, Geraldine, who gets sexual gratification from others misery. The worse that happens to them, the more turned on she gets. So, as one does, she creates this insanely intricate indoor playground and invites three low-income families with kids to test it out. They just don’t realize this is more ‘Saw’ meets ‘Hostel’ meets ’31’ than Sesame Street.
Beauregard has set this up as an escape room story for kids – with the only difference being each room is literally live or die – and the dying part is always a carnage filled paragraph of viscera. It also shows how some of the kids will band together and work to survive, while others are singularly focused on themselves and that typically doesn’t work out so well.
There is a really well-inserted redemption arc within the story, one involving the man-giant, Rock and his battle of wills versus loyalty and that worked to humanize the events to a degree.
I think the ending worked really well and followed how the reader sees the events played out. Beauregard does a great job of showcasing the hurt that was created with Geraldine’s actions as well as how this directly impacted the various characters in the novel.
What I didn’t like: You’ll need to go into this fully allowing yourself to just believe. Sure the scope/scale of these indoor rooms is insane. And so are the elaborate punishment devices that have been booby-trapped within each one to decimate the participants, but that’s part of the joy of reading something to just read and have fun. If you struggle to suspend belief for any amount of time, you’ll most likely want to stay clear of this one.
Why you should buy this: If you’re a fan of Aron’s you probably have already snagged this and most likely have read it. If you’re new to extreme horror and want to see what it’s all about, this is an excellent place to dive in and discover how these novels will contain really well done plots with fantastic writing and some of the most horrific gore-filled scenes you’ll ever read.
This was a blast.
2 thoughts on “Book Review: Playground by Aron Beauregard”
I recently had my library buy this one so I can give it a try. I’m not an extreme horror reader, but every now and again I like to shake it up. Thanks for sharing your opinion! Hope I enjoy this as much as you did.