The Grimmer

Ruthnum, Naben

  • The small-town mysteries of John Bellairs are made modern with a dash of Stranger Things in this spine-tingling supernatural horror-thriller

    After his father returns from treatment for addiction, highschooler Vish — lover of metal music and literature — is uncertain what the future holds. It doesn’t help that everyone seems to know about the family’s troubles, and they stand out doubly as one of the only brown families in town. When Vish is mistaken for a relative of the weird local bookseller and attacked by an unsettling pale man who seems to be decaying, he is pulled into the world of the occult, where witches live in television sets, undead creatures can burn with a touch, and magic is mathematical. Vish must work with the bookstore owner and his mysterious teenage employee, Gisela, to stop an interdimensional invasion that would destroy their peaceful town.

    Bringing together scares, suspense, and body horror, The Grimmer is award-winning author Naben Ruthnum’s first foray into the young adult genre. This gripping ride through the supernatural is loaded with vivid characters, frightening imagery, and astonishing twists, while tackling complex issues such as grief, racism, and addiction.


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  • Naben Ruthnum’s most recent works are the novel A Hero of Our Time and the horror novella Helpmeet. He’s written thrillers as Nathan Ripley and also writes for the screen. He lives in Toronto, Ontario.

  • Published: September 2023

    ISBN: 9781770417045

    Dimensions: 5.5 x 8.5 in.

    Pages: 256


“This briskly paced horror novel offers cinematic imagery and suspenseful intrigue. The narrative grounds the rules of magic in the laws of science, and details about identity and marginalization are thoughtfully incorporated while providing deeper insight into Vish’s worldview. A satisfying supernatural tale centering a reluctant hero who discovers the universe’s time-bending secrets.” — Kirkus Reviews

The Grimmer explores complex family and community dynamics in a spooky story with well-rounded characters, a unique magic system, and a villain most mysterious and terrifying.” — Ryan Douglass, New York Times bestselling author of The Taking of Jake Livingston

“A harrowing — yet often hilarious — journey into chaos, The Grimmer is a gleefully bizarre nightmare unlike anything else in YA. In Vish, I found a fellow metalhead, a unique voice in horror, and a deeply felt story about realizing when you aren’t in control of your life anymore — and what one kid does to regain his agency. An unforgettable experience.” — Mark Oshiro, #1 NYT bestselling author of Into the Light and Each of Us a Desert

“Naben Ruthnum pivots effortlessly to YA with The Grimmer, a compelling and suspenseful horror novel set in the ’90s. The nostalgic backdrop works beautifully for the story, which manages to stay fresh and unique. Tense, creepy, and full of humour and heart, The Grimmer is a must-read for YA horror fans.” — Tom Ryan, International Thriller Award– and Lambda Award–winning author of Keep This to Yourself