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The Prisoners of Stewartville

4.33  ·  Rating details ·  48 ratings  ·  28 reviews
Everyone knew about Stewartville's dark history. The mining war that led to the prisons. The prisons that brought the corruption. The drugs and the crime. It was no secret that something was wrong with the place.What we didn't know was why. Then Denny and I found that tunnel in his basement. And what we learned—what everyone learned—is that there's no escaping the ghosts o ...more
ebook, 157 pages
Published February 25th 2020 by Silver Shamrock Publishing
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Feb 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
Bravo to Shannon Felton on this, her debut novella! After reading her short story in MIDNIGHT AT THE GRAVEYARD, I was super excited to read more from this author and she did not disappoint!

Beneath a dying town, whose only means of support is the prison, a young man and his friend discover hidden tunnels one night when a brick fell out of the basement wall. From that point on, something seems to spread throughout this already bleak place. Were these tunnels used by escaped prisoners? What's causi
THE PRISONERS OF STEWARTVILLE is the first novella I have read by author Shanon Felton. Previously I had read--and loved--a short story of hers. This introduction into a longer work shows that she has what it takes to formulate a great tale in multiple formats.

"People moved to Stewartville for three reasons and three reasons only: they worked for the prisons, they had family in the prisons, or they were in prison."

The atmosphere in this story could not have been more perfect, in my humble op
Bark  |  Ladies Of Horror Fiction
The Prisoners of Stewartville is a beautifully written novella about a town buried beneath a cloud of despair and desperation. Getting out alive and healthy doesn’t really happen in Stewartville. You either work in the prison, have an incarcerated relative or become an inmate yourself. But our young narrator Casey hopes to get out of the stifling grasp of its looming presence someday.

The book begins when our young narrator and his friend Denny, who is very new to this awful town, discover a big
S.D. Vassallo
Feb 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book! It's hard to believe that this is Shannon Felton's debut novel. Her style and the way she wields words suggests a well-honed skill.

Consider this passage from her novel:

"We dragged our feet down sidewalks cracked and choked with weeds, past abandoned storefronts and a market that smelled like old stale blood, and into neighborhoods with nothing but dirt front yards and rusted chain-link fences. But the misery itself? That was like helium, lighter than air, and it quivered above
Steve Stred
Feb 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
** Edited as review is now live on Kendall Reviews! **

“There’s only three reasons people move to Stewartville.”

With the opening paragraph, Felton cuts through the gristle and lays out a bleak and sorrow filled existence and good lord did this book resonate with me.

Where I grew up, there wasn’t a physical prison. No, the village I lived in and the town thirty minutes away (the big city to me when I was young!) was our prison.

You’d see it every day. The former jock now working for the village. The
Feb 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is Shannon Felton's debut novel but I was lucky enough to have a previous taste of her work in an anthology called Midnight In The Graveyard. If you haven't read that one you should. She had a great story in there called Devil's Dip.

Anyway, about this book.
It is told from the point of view of Casey, a teen who lives in a run down trailer park with his brother Shane and his elderly grandmother. It's just the three of them ever since mom got sent to prison for her drug habit. Shane works in t
Well Read Beard
Feb 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: my-books
Bleak no way out shit town horror. That's what got me about this one . The stark bleakness. The desolation. The town of Stewartville was not deserted but if hope ever lived there it had left long ago.

Stewartville is a prison town. You either worked for the prisons or you were a prisoner of the prisons. Our story follows the teenagers in the town.

The villain here is the place, the situation. In horror you can generally escape, if you just leave the haunted house, get out of the woods or maybe eve
May 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Silver Shamrock has done it again. The Prisoners of Stewartville is another harrowing but fantastic release from this indie press. The story, written by Author Shannon Felton, focuses on the small town of Stewartville and the people confided there. I say confided because no one leaves Stewerville. You just end up in the Towns biggest income source, the prisons. Or you end up returning back to the Earth, six feet deep.

This book had me hooked from start to finish. Shannon does an exceptional job
Horror DNA
Jun 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: jennifer-turner
What differentiates The Prisoners of Stewartville from the normal fare is how dark it is. Stewartville is not the home of June and Ward Cleaver; it’s already a haunted place long before the horror enters the scene. This is a place that is dominated by a prison where all of the residents expect to end up one day as either an employee or a resident.

You can read Jennifer's full review at Horror DNA by clicking here.
Kim Napolitano
Feb 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is the authors debut novella. It’s one of those stories that stays with you long after you read and wonder why am I not reading more books from Shannon Felton! ..One of the best of 2020!

Nothing is good in Stewartsville, a dysfunctional town built up around a sprawling prison system, an abandoned mine and concrete factory, the town is nothing but abject poverty, depression and drug abuse. The horror of opioid addiction is forefront. The story is written in first person and I don’t think he’
Brennan LaFaro
Feb 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing

I'm afraid I don't know much about Shannon Felton, a fact that I expect will change. Here's what I do know:
1. Her debut novella is published by Silver Shamrock, something that nobody in the horror community takes lightly.
2. Her story Devil's Dip from Midnight in the Graveyard was a phenomenal opening to a phenomenal collection.
3. She either grew up in or near a place like Stewartville or has an extremely admirable and fertile imagination.
Stewartville is a place where everyone either works i ...more
John Lynch
Mar 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
One of my highly anticipated books of 2020 has arrived, The Prisoners of Stewartville, has finally arrived. Shannon’s story in the anthology Midnight in a graveyard served as proof she has talent, and her debut novella cements that.

Felton tells the story of a young resident of Stewartville, who along with his friend, stumble upon an underground tunnel system. Something is afoot in Stewartville, can anybody escape?

The town of Stewartville is just as important as any character in the book. This is
S.H. Cooper
Feb 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shannon Felton's The Prisoners of Stewartville is a glimpse into a depressing town overshadowed by the prison complex sitting in the middle of it. The horrors found in the tired, littered streets are subtle and creeping, and only sometimes coming from where you expect.

I really enjoyed this book. The story itself was engaging, the pacing was done well, and the characters were believable. It was half a look at the effects of a forgotten city where poverty and drug use are the norm and half a super
Feb 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
Who are the real prisoners here, the inmates within the prison or the poor souls who call Stewartville home?

The town of Stewartville is a living breathing, and dying, character within these pages. A hauntingly familiar setting that likens to many places in America nowadays. Run down, closed businesses, boarded up store fronts, an opioid crisis, an economy that revolves almost solely around the prison complex. Clouds of despair and dread hang over the town casting their shadows over all. It seems
Feb 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I was given an e-book copy of this by Ken at Silver Shamrock publishing in exchange for an honest review.
The Prisoners of Stewartville is about as bleak a first novel as you can get and I loved every bleak moment of it.
Best friends Casey and Denny are playing video games in Denny's basement when they find out that there is a hole in the wall and beyond that hole is what appears to be a tunnel. Denny wants to investigate and Casey, who also acts as narrator, is dead set against it. Pretty soon
Daniel James
Mar 31, 2020 rated it really liked it
A claustrophobic and desolate ghost tale of a small town’s bloody history, and the bleak futures of its occupants who habitually turn to drink, drugs and crime to get by. But is their something more sinister stirring beneath the prison town of Stewartville responsible for the population’s self-destructive patterns?
Amanda (spooky.octopus.reads) Turner
I was certainly blown away by the fact that this was a debut novella for Shannon Felton. I absolutely loved her style, and her writing of the town of Stweartville and the characters therein was absolutely intriguing.

Stewartville reminded me of some of the towns in the southern part of our state that have been ravished by drugs. You know those towns...the sad ones that you may see on the news or pass through, the ones that just look bleak and reek of desperation. They are the towns that anyone r
Oct 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this debut! A wonderfully dark story where the horrors are not just from the hint of the supernatural, but from the bleakness of an unfulfilled life. The small town setting of Stewartville is atmospheric and vividly described. Its residents are all linked to the huge prison in its centre - whether as guards, prisoners or people just stuck in a cycle of poverty and abuse. I thought the description of life in this prison town is harrowing, and I really felt for the characters.

Erin *Proud Book Hoarder*
Surprisingly good novella. It has its creepy moments, it has its twists, it has a realism that makes you think. Tragedy and not a happy ending, but that wouldn't fit with the story otherwise, and it displays its horror badge clearly because of this.

Where it gives the headiest impact is the characterization. Even in brief scenes, you come to feel for these paper folks. They across effortlessly and cleanly as realistic. The dialogue is in the tones of the young and, as an adult with a son, I found
Thank you to Silver Shamrock Publishing for providing me with a copy of The Prisoners of Stewartville in exchange for an honest review.

Wait, this is Shannon Felton's debut novel?! Shoutout to Shannon Felton for straight-up slayin' with The Prisoners of Stewartville. Honestly, if March wasn't such a pain and my attention span hasn't been complete shite lately, I would have devoured this read in a day. Granted, that wouldn't be so hard seeing as it's a novella, but THE POINT IS -- this was good, m
Aiden Merchant
Feb 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
(This 4.5 🌟 review appears on ---> There have been a lot of great newcomers in the last two years, and Shannon Felton is no exception. Her debut – a gripping novella called The Prisoners of Stewartville – is a fast-paced, terribly gritty story that blends crime, drama and horror with ease.

Like The Blinds (Adam Sternbergh), this novel left me in love with the possibilities of the town (which is, essentially, the most important character of the story). Stewartville could be th
I have read several books where towns seem to just suck you in and bleed you for everything that you’ve got, your blood, your sweat, your tears, your sanity. Stewartville, however, is an entirely different beast. The cover alone is foreboding enough, but then you crack it open and are introduced to the cast of characters who, at first glance, seem to understand the misery and despair that clings to the town. While the title may sound cliche at first, maybe a little basic, it wasn't until the end ...more
Mar 18, 2020 rated it really liked it


People moved to Stewartville for three reasons and three reasons only: they work for the prisons, they had family in the prisons, or they were in prison.

After Casey and Denny find a creepy tunnel in Denny's basement, strange things begin happening. People start to complain about hearing scratching in the walls before going crazy and murdering other people in town.
Casey, desperate to put an end to what's haunting Stewartville, soon finds out that there's more going on there then he ever
Feb 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
I am in awe that this novella is Felton’s debut. Her writing is so thoughtful, purposeful, and strong that it doesn’t read as the work of a new author at all.

Stewartville feels like it could be a real town. Hell, I’ve lived in towns that remind me a bit of it. Towns where everybody is piss-poor, unhappy, and beaten down. Towns where criminality is just a way of life and prison is inevitable – as either inmate or guard, depending on the whims of fate.

It’s a town without hope. A town built on bad
Slaidey Valheim
Jun 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
With no knowledge upon my purchase of The Prisoners of Stewartville other than its author being a kindly badass on social media, I can say I was not disappointed.

Shannon Felton's unapologetic portrayal of a seemingly inescapable shit-hole town was relatable and obviously, as depressing as it ought to feel. The setting and characters not only complimented each other where too many other stories suffer a disconnect, but they FED off each other. The Prisoners of Stewartville creates a perfect storm
Justin Ryan
Apr 11, 2020 rated it liked it
Good, not great. Still enjoyed it. Stewartville and the characters were so well described I felt like I'd been there and met them by the time I was done. Ultimately I was hoping for more supernatural horror and thought some major characters motivations didn't ring true. Really, for a first novel this was a fun read though, and I look forward to reading more from Shannon Felton. ...more
Mar 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
Dark, gritty, compelling

A pacy read of twists and turns between truth and illusion. A dark, gritty tale that leaves you rooting for the main character as he fights to escape both the miserable reality of his life and the prison's creeping tendrils.
Jul 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2020
Wow! I really enjoyed this book but was a little disappointed by the ending which seemed a little rushed.
Greg Stelzer
rated it it was amazing
Apr 08, 2020
rated it really liked it
Oct 18, 2020
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