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Reviewed by Dinah Roseberry for Readers' Favorite
Corrosive by J. Kariuki is … horrifying. If you are looking for a horror story for entertainment, expect to get much more than that here. In fact, what you get—if you’re lucky—will far surpass any entertainment value and will touch the stained part of your soul. (Don’t worry; everyone has a stain of some kind or other. Get over it.) Stan is a weird guy; we take Kariuki’s description to heart. But ya know what? He’s not so much a weirdo. There’s a glimmer of the self as you move further into Stan’s nightmare of corroding flesh. Why was this happening to this mild-mannered man? How is his mind, his body, his spirit standing such turmoil and pain? It will take your breath away as you consider the reality of such a ghastly thing. And yes, there are those who would take advantage of such agony experienced by another, and that, of course, happens here in spades. (Looking around in today’s world, I’d say that though this horrific malady is gruesome and fictional—we hope—even superhero like, there’s a piece of it in each of us.) Stan’s skin is peeling off—not like a sunburn peel, but all of his skin is coming off in grisly, bloody pieces. You’re right; that can’t be good. There seems to be a light at the end of his painful tunnel, though, involving his chosen love of photography. What could go wrong? Don’t ask. You won’t like the answer.
J. Kariuki has a way of identifying the negative, streamlining it into a character, and then asking the question: How will you get out of this, Stan? Can you get out? Why should you get out? The reader’s probable answer will be yes, yes, get the hell out of there, Stan. But can he? Can we? Will we? For it could be you or me channeling the negativity of life through a vanishing body. I read Corrosive in one sitting. I had to. I couldn’t stop. And I knew that I shouldn’t stop. And at the end? Well, you’ll just have to see how you feel at the end of Corrosive. I learned a lesson; lucky me. Make sure you read his bio once you’re finished. I “hope” you do.