"This is what horror ought to be: primal, personal, and powerful." — Seanan McGuire
Paul Cornell plumbs the depths of magic and despair in Chalk, a brutal exploration of bullying in Margaret Thatcher's England.
Andrew Waggoner has always hung around with his fellow losers at school, desperately hoping each day that the school bullies — led by Drake — will pass him by in search of other prey. But one day they force him into the woods, and the bullying escalates into something more; something unforgivable; something unthinkable.
Broken, both physically and emotionally, something dies in Waggoner, and something else is born in its place.
In the hills of the West Country a chalk horse stands vigil over a site of ancient power, and there Waggoner finds in himself a reflection of rage and vengeance, a power and persona to topple those who would bring him low.
At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.
In Cornell's brutal revenge tale set in 1982 England, ancient magic fuels a boy's plans to punish those who relentlessly harass him. The Cherhill White Horse is carved out of chalk on a hillside in the West Country of Great Britain, and some believe magic lies there. Fourteen-year-old Andrew Waggoner learns that firsthand after he is maimed by the local bully and his posse. Soon Andrew has a new friend whom only he can see, a friend who promises revenge and a chance to be healed. When horrifying things begin to happen to his tormenters, Andrew's classmate Angie Boden, who has discovered her own magic through a broken mirror and hit songs, begins to suspect something awful is coming for them. Adult Andrew's retrospective first-person narration reveals an adolescent boy in terrible physical and psychological pain. Cornell (The Lost Child of Lychford) weaves human and supernatural horror together in powerful and disturbing ways. Children of the '80s will get a thrill from the music references, and the climax at the Fasley Grange School Halloween disco couldn't be more perfect.