It Looks Like Us Review + Book Tour

Hi everyone! I hope you’re doing well! It’s been a long time since I’ve been here, and that’s mainly because I haven’t been reading all that much. I am a bit disappointed when you look at how much I’ve been reading over the past couple of years, even though I shouldn’t really be disappointed at all! I’ve still read some amazing books, and that includes the one I’m going to be talking about today! I was once again so lucky to be a part of the TBR & Beyond Book Tours’ tour for Alison Ames’ sophomore release, It Looks Like Us, another exciting, queer horror standalone! As always, I recommend you click on the banner below to check out the other posts in this tour and keep reading if you want to see my review!

Title: It Looks Like Us

Author: Alison Ames

Pages: 288

Genre: Horror, LGBT+, Young Adult

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Synopsis: The remote terror of THE THING meets the body horror of WILDER GIRLS in this fast-paced Antarctic thriller.

Shy high school junior Riley Kowalski is spending her winter break on a research trip to Antarctica, sponsored by one of the world’s biggest tech companies. She joins five student volunteers, a company-approved chaperone, and an impartial scientist to prove that environmental plastic pollution has reached all the way to Antarctica, but what they find is something much worse… something that looks human.

Riley has anxiety–ostracized by the kids at school because of panic attacks–so when she starts to feel like something’s wrong with their expedition leader, Greta, she writes it off. But when Greta snaps and tries to kill Riley, she can’t chalk it up to an overactive imagination anymore. Worse, after watching Greta disintegrate, only to find another student with the same affliction, she realizes they haven’t been infected, they’ve been infiltrated–by something that can change its shape. And if the group isn’t careful, that something could quickly replace any of them.

It Looks Like Us is Alison Ames’ sophomore novel and after absolutely loving her debut, To Break a Covenant, I was so excited to get my hands on this, and it did not disappoint! The book follows Riley who decides to apply to a research project in Antarctica funded by one of the world’s most prominent tech billionaires when she sees an ad for the trip on Instagram, thinking this will be a good fresh start for her after her life is turned upside-down by her frequent panic attacks. With only a handful of other teen volunteers, a chaperone who looks like she wishes she could be anywhere but there, and an older scientist, Riley begins her plastic pollution survey, but things don’t feel quite right, and the other volunteers keep seeing something out of the corner of their eye, watching them. When Greta starts acting strangely and tries to attack Riley, things go from bad to worse, and they can’t even count on each other in the middle of the snowy tundra.

I feel like I’m not going to say anything new about Alison Ames’ writing that I haven’t already said in my review of her debut novel – she is just such a brilliantly consistent writer who knows her craft and can create some of the most horrifying storylines I’ve ever read. What I can say is that once I started this book, I stayed up until 2am reading it – I couldn’t put it down without finishing it because, that late at night, if I hadn’t I’d have questions and I’d be thinking about it for hours and not get to sleep!

Ames is truly excellent at world building. She did it excellently in the polar opposite To Break a Covenant where I could feel the oppressive summer heat and see the hazy horizons, and she did it again in her portrayal of Antarctica. There really is something so terrifying about being in the middle of a vast, snowy expanse that looks identical everywhere you look and is subject to sudden harsh weather. Plus, when there’s no-one around to literally hear you scream, it’s made all the worse! The isolation of the characters in this book was almost scarier than the actual monster, and that’s saying something!

Having a supernatural monster terrorising the characters was strangely refreshing in this book, when so many of the horror novels I’ve read recently, it’s been humans that were the bad guy all along (although there really is nothing good about a billionaire). I am always a little sceptical when it comes to these kinds of monsters, though, as I never picture them as scary as the author intends them to be, but I can assure you, there is no mis-reading how horrifying this monster is. Aside from the goriness and limbs going all the wrong way, it’s truly unnerving that it takes the shape of people you know and trust – nothing is safe for Riley.

My only reason to drop a star in my rating is really a personal thing, and may not be something that other readers are put off by. Much like her debut novel, It Looks Like Us has a bit of an open ending, and that’s not my thing! I have zero imagination and I need to be spoon-fed the plot! Especially when there is such an explosive ending that could lead to much worse things – I need to know!!!! But that being said, this was such a thrilling and horrifying read that is perfect for this time of year, and I’m eagerly awaiting Alison Ames’ next novel!

About the Author:

Alison Ames is a writer based in Colorado. Her debut novel To Break A Covenant will be published in fall 2021.

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