Imagine your father is a monster. Would that mean there are monsters inside you, too? Nineteen-year-old Ry Burke, his mother, and little sister scrape by for a living on their dying family farm. Ry wishes for anything to distract him from the grim memories of his father's physical and emotional abuse. Then a meteorite falls from the sky, bringing with it not only a fragment from another world but also the arrival of a ruthless man intent on destroying the entire family. Soon Ry is forced to defend himself by resurrecting a trio of imaginary childhood protectors: kindly Mr. Furrington, wise Jesus, and the bloodthirsty Scowler.
"Daniel Kraus writes raw and deft and dangerous. Consider yourself warned."
—Adele Griffin, two-time National Book Award Finalist and author of All You Never Wanted
“Marvin Burke is one of the great monsters of literature, a figure of immense, credible terror and savagery.” —Cory Doctorow
BoingBoing.net, March 12, 2013:
"This isn't gross-out horror: the terror comes as much from piano-wire taut tension and spectacular characters as from viscera...Kraus's masterful raising-of-stakes makes this into the sort of disaster you can't possibly look away from."
School Library Journal, May 2013:
"This book has the pacing of a Stephen King movie...The metaphor of the meteorite countdown enhances the tense, dark, and creepy chill factor of this gritty, well-written thriller. It’s a perfect choice for mature horror readers who are looking to bridge the gap between YA and adult selections."
Publishers Weekly, January 21, 2013:
"Ry’s desperate journey into manhood is gripping, with Kraus skillfully amplifying a sense of tension and claustrophobia."
Kirkus Reviews, February 15, 2013:
"A Midwestern gothic family saga that will hook readers."
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, April 2013:
"Fans of Kraus’s Rotters have come to expect that beneath his darkest literary impulses flow thought-provoking undercurrents, and this is no exception. At the edge of the horror is a gripping story of a family paralyzed by its own fear, and an examination of the strange places of emotional refuge a tortured mind will find."
Bloody-Disgusting.com, March 6, 2013:
"Kraus’s story also functions as a look at how intense trauma can fracture and eventually break the human psyche, as seen through the eyes of the fragile, tormented Ry and his three imaginary friends. But above all, Scowler is a hard-edged tale of teenage survival, told with a grim-faced respect for the real life horrors that lurk behind closed doors."
From the Hardcover edition.