It is always satisfying to discover a book by a yet unknown author, take the risk of reading it and find out that it was worth it. 'Little One' is a cIt is always satisfying to discover a book by a yet unknown author, take the risk of reading it and find out that it was worth it. 'Little One' is a cleverly plotted ghost story with a twist, and though the storyline was predictable at times, it was mainly the writing that made reading this book a pleasure. At the beginning, I was afraid it would turn into some kind of cozy romance ghost story, but fortunately it soon became much darker and things turned out to be very different from what they seemed...
As I mentioned before, the story was predictable at times, and I often wondered how the female main character could not notice what I already knew to come. But then again, it's always easier to see the whole picture from the outside rather than being right in the middle of it. Still, on several occasions I wanted to smack her on the head for acting so naive. How could she just go to sleep and rely on her - only barely known - friend to 'take care of things' with a dead body lying in her backyard? It just seemed plain stupid. Then going into town next morning without immediately rushing over to the police station, but instead doing nothing about it - again? That was a complete no-go. However, it explained her repeatedly unsuspecting behavior - but then again, the story would have been much shorter if she acted more clever, I guess.
Still, despite these flaws I was totally immersed this book, due to the author's very fine writing skills which created a perfect reading flow. Also, I did like the mostly sad but also scary ghost part of the story, and how the reader was mislead in the beginning, only to be rewarded with a very fascinating turn of events. If you like ghost stories, you may want to add this one to the list.
(Thanks to Netgalley, the author, and the publisher for an advanced copy of the book, all opinions are my own)...more
This book is based on the short story Surviving the Fittest the author wrote a couple of years ago, which I only recognized while reading the author'sThis book is based on the short story Surviving the Fittest the author wrote a couple of years ago, which I only recognized while reading the author's introduction. But I immediately remembered having read that short story back then and, most importantly, that I loved it. Based on this background, I was even more eager to dive into the Haunted Country (again) and reacquaint myself with Charlie and his sister Cindy.
The world is roamed by zombies for a while now, and fifteen-year old Charlie and his mentally handicapped sister Cindy are always on the run, each day fighting to survive the undead, but also the remaining living. Turns out that the living are even more dangerous, because their twisted minds are not predictable at all. Each encounter with other survivors is a new guessing game - Charlie can never be sure whether they meet fellow humans or sick bastards out for 'fun' or an easy way to get their stomachs filled. While Charlie and Cindy do meet several decent people who help them, this seems to be the exception. More often than not they are captured and abused by men who took the zombie outbreak as an opportunity to unleash their depraved inner demons. However, Charlie always manages to find a spark of hope in the darkest moments, preventing him from despairing and giving up. Especially the ending, while tragic and heartbreaking, shows that there is still hope to be found. But with humanity as the most precious treasure to protect, this story also shows how it can all to easily be turned into its ugly opposite.
This novel lives from its exceptional characterizations, and sometimes I had a hard time to bear what cruel fate awaited Charlie and Cindy. It only occurs very rarely that a book still manages to shake me, but this one definitely did! While this of course is a zombie story, the undead provide only the background setting for a much greater threat and once more, the real monsters turn out to be those still living...Highly recommended!
(Thanks to the author and Booklover Catlady Publicity for providing a copy of this book - all opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased) ...more
Reminiscent of the Gremlins, but more gruesome, 'Keep in a Cold, Dark Place' is a perfect story about the opening of Pandora's Box and the cutest littReminiscent of the Gremlins, but more gruesome, 'Keep in a Cold, Dark Place' is a perfect story about the opening of Pandora's Box and the cutest little furry creatures that make your heart weep...that is, until they grow into something more 'fangy' than furry. Once I saw the cover, I just knew I had to read this book - reading the summary was only a formality born from habit here, but it did confirm that my impulsive reaction was not a mistake.
The story begins harmless enough, introducing our female main character, Limpy, and her really not so nice family, easily having us sympathize with her dream about leaving her father's potato farm in order to visit art school. When Limpy discovers a strange box with even stranger eggs in it beneath the potato sacks in the storage cellar, this triggers an avalanche of weird events. At first, Limpy is delighted about the fuzzy furry big-eyed creature hatching from one of the eggs. She adopts the little buddy, names him 'Chup' (loved that hint) and vows to care for him like a mother.
However, not long after Chup's siblings hatch from their eggs, and the little guys start playing tricks. Limpy tries to cover for them as best she can, but soon things get out of hand and it's not just harmless little tricks anymore. With the help of an unexpected friend, Limpy learns that Chup and his pals are growing into some very deadly ancient creatures which are bound to kill her and her family if she doesn't stop them...
The second main theme of this book, apart from the obvious creature feature, is family - its ups and downs, its cruelty towards each other, but also its bond of loyalty and sense of belonging, whether we like it or not. In this regard, the ending does have a slightly corny taste, but it works so well that it didn't bother me at all.
Featuring my favorite kind of creature, combined with a likable coming-of-age story and a well-balanced mixture of humor and horror, this book was a perfect read for me. I would love to see this made into a movie...or, skip the movie and go straight for the merchandise so that I can get my own little Chuppie!
(Thanks to Netgalley, the author, and the publisher for a copy of the book, all opinions are my own)...more