Daryl Gregory does Lovecraftian horror, referencing certain events and characters previously mentioned in the novella We are all completely fine? Yes! I knew Harrison squared was going to be a read-in-one-sitting kind of happy meal before I started. I knew because that's the kind of story this author always delivers - never boring, no speed bumps, and - best part - never doing any trite "Action tricks to keep you entertained!"-dances. I mean, well, you know what I mean.
Harrison Harrison - that is, Harrison squared - lost his father and a leg in a boating accident when he was a toddler. He doesn't remember a lot - Or, well, what he remembers is probably wrong. It certainly doesn't match up with the story on record.
About thirteen years after that incident, Harrison accompanies his mother, the absent-minded scientist, on a research trip to New England. While he realised it'd be different from California, he thought it'd be mainly about the weather. Of course, he's wrong. So wrong.
Life in Dunnsmouth - Dunnsmouth...! - is, um, strange. Perhaps especially at the school, which Harrison struggles to navigate - socially and literally.
When his mother goes missing, Harrison learns she kept certain facts hidden from him, though he can't understand why. And what exactly was his mother searching for out there in the ocean, anyway?
I had a great time reading this. It was that special kind of "choosing exactly the right book for exactly the right day"-kind of joy. (The day was one of those imminent-thunder-causes-overwhelming-lethargy affairs, for which a ceiling fan and a book that keeps you awake without struggle is the only appropriate course of action.)
Who would I recommend this to? Almost anyone - because I think almost every genre reader I know will have some suitable time for a comfortable read with nice people and tentacles in it. Bring it on a plane or to the dentist waiting room or keep it for one of these bad weather days or whatever. Or just go read it right now, because it's fun.