John Weathers's Reviews > The Children's Hour

The Children's Hour by Douglas Clegg
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Nov 20, 10

Read from November 01 to 20, 2010

I have mixed feelings about this book. It started off well with a nice, tense, and foreboding introduction. It then set about introducing its main characters while switching back and forth between different periods to reveal pieces of the puzzle in a nice non-linear fashion. The author develops his characters well, but for a horror book, he took too much time to kick things into gear. While there had been hints of the sinister or strange from the beginning, the book didn't shift too far away from a simple portrait of a writer and his small town roots until nearly two-thirds of the way into the story. Once the action starts, there is some genuinely creepy and disturbing imagery, and the author delivers some palpable tension. However, the promise of the finale that has been building up then completely unravels as the author fizzles the rushed climax with an underwhelming confrontation surrounded with bad exposition and steeped in cliche (that was bad even in the hands of someone like Stephen King).

I don't wish to spoil the book for those interested in reading it, so I won't name the specific works that I have in mind (and they should be obvious once you finish reading the book), but I found it disappointing that in the end this book borrows far too heavily from a few Stephen King novels.
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