Fans of 2009’s Perks of Being a Wallflower (the book and popular movie based on it) by Stephen Chbosky might be surprised by his recent foray into a completely different genre—adult horror. Chbosky has been busy in recent years as a screenwriter, but it has been 10 years since the release of that debut YA novel. It was worth the wait: Chbosky has given readers a marvelous tome of a book with Imaginary Friend. Reminiscent of the best early works of Stephen King, Imaginary Friend brings back that experience of feverishly whipping through thick and well-worn copies with a combined sense of terror and delight. The homage to King is obvious, but Chbosky skillfully alludes to his predecessor while bringing a unique perspective and style of his own—one that may even surpass his model. As the novel opens, Christopher Reese and his mother are moving to Mill Grove as they try to find some reprieve from the string of bad circumstances that followed his father’s death. The small town appears ideal as a place to hide and begin anew, but of course, it also happens to have a dark history of suspicious and supernatural child disappearances. Imaginary Friend features the prototypical young boy with special powers that emerge and harness his strong moral core and innate goodness. He is tasked with leading a misfit group of friends in a seemingly hopeless quest to save the world from imminent takeover by an evil force. Christopher humbly bears responsibility for saving the world and protecting his loved ones, even if it means that he must sacrifice himself. Chilling and exciting from beginning to end, Chbosky uses this familiar setup to build a story that excels at not only bringing thrills, but also manages to be inspirational and uplifting as well. The 700+ pages fly by, leaving a breathless reader satisfied but wishing for more. Great for fans of sprawling stories with a large cast of excellently developed characters and anyone who yearns for a book truly worthy of their time.