The Hobgoblin of Little Minds by Mark Matthews
I recently was able to have the opportunity to read the psychological horror novel, The Hobgoblin of Little Minds by Mark Matthews, published by Wicked Run Press. This book is a difficult, and at times horrifying and frenzied read. But I found myself unable to put it down, and I’m so glad I added this one to my review list! I will include a blurb here of what the novel was about, and then I will review.
Kori Persephone Driscoe suffered through her dad’s mental illness. All she wanted was for him to get better, but instead he disappeared. Kori trespasses into the abandoned Northville Psychiatric Hospital, the last place her dad was treated, seeking solace and traces of his memory. What she finds instead is something no longer human living deep in the underground tunnels.
During the last days of the hospital, a rogue psychiatrist had been manipulating the mood swings of the mentally ill, transforming patients into savage, manic creatures who seek justice by the light of the full moon. When the creatures hunt for prey, only an escaped patient and her beloved child can help Kori survive–but they better act fast, because the creatures want blood, Kori wants to save her dad, and the whole hospital is about to be blown to pieces and bury Kori alive.
This is not your average werewolf tale. The light of the moon indeed triggers the frenzy of devastation in these books, but this is a work about mental health, and especially bipolar disorder. The author, Mark Matthews, has had a career in behavioral health for over 20 years, and is a licensed professional counselor. This book was written with a lot of care and knowledge into what it means to live with a mental illness. Although there were plenty of horrific events, I really found myself thinking about mental health, medications, and what it means to take medications that alter your core self. I haven’t read a book centered around mental health for a long time. This was extremely thought provoking, chaotic, as well as enlightening, painful, and beautiful; which is what I imagine it may feel like to live with bipolar disorder, or love someone who has it.
The character of Dr. Zita in this was really interesting to me. Although she is the villain in this, performing unspeakable acts on patients, and of course her unethical abuse and tactics of her research makes her a monster, she too is motivated by her past experience with those she loved being consumed by their mental states. Matthews included a really insightful afterward in which the reader can learn more about the correlation between werewolves and mental health and Northville Psychiatric Hospital, which is a real place.
I am giving this book 4 stars because it was challenging to read, and it was a very good novel, with a lot of care and work that went into its creation. I was glad to read something that was more out of my comfort zone, and a book encouraged me to think differently. The Hobgoblin of Little Minds also has fantastic cover art by Vincent Chong!
Available for purchase on Kindle and Paperback starting January 28th, 2021 here!
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