When fifteen year old Rocky Zukas meets a mysterious dark-haired girl named November, his world is forever changed. The young couple falls under the spell of summer love, but not everyone approves. November's brother, Gabriel, is the keeper of the family's secret, and big brother is always watching, growing more sinister as his bloodlust gets the best of him. Directing his attention to Rocky's family, Gabriel aims to make sure little sister knows who is in charge.
Glenn Rolfe is an author, singer, and songwriter from the haunted woods of New England. He studied Creative Writing at Southern New Hampshire University and continues his education in the world of horror by devouring the novels of Stephen King, Jack Ketchum, Richard Laymon, and many others. He has four children, Ruby, Ramona, Axl, and Rivers. He is grateful to be loved despite his weirdness.
He is the author of Nocturnal Pursuits, August's Eyes, Until Summer Comes Around, The Window, Becoming, Blood and Rain, The Haunted Halls, Chasing Ghosts, Boom Town, Abram's Bridge, Things We Fear, Land of Bones, and Slush.
He is hard at work on many more. Stay tuned!
"With slashing claws and blood-soaked fur, Glenn Rolfe's novel will have you howling in terror and delight. A welcome addition to the werewolf mythos and proof that we're in the presence of a rising star in the genre. Highly recommended!" - Ronald Malfi, author of December Park
"(Rolfe) takes his writing cues from Richard Laymon, Jack Ketchum, with some haunts thrown in via the eerie style of Ronald Malfi." - Oh, For the Hook of a Book
"Glenn Rolfe runs at the front of the pack with the best of today's emerging horror authors." - Terry M. West, author of Heroin in the Magic Now
"Rolfe weaves a wonderful tale of big, bad things happening to a small, good town. A sure winner!" - Hunter Shea, author of The Mantauk Monster - (on Boom Town)
***** AMENDMENT ***** It is 02:45 in the morning and if I want to get any sleep tonight, I need to clarify something about this review. I mention TWILIGHT and I realize that there could be some who might think I am comparing these two stories with each other. Nononononono! I actually liked this one and I would never dream of insulting Mr. Rolfe like that! The only reason I mentioned TWILIGHT is because the love story plays such an important part of the story. The overall atmosphere can be much better compared to THE LOST BOYS. Please, there are no glitter-slapped, brooding vamps in this one.
Also, while I call this story tamer, it is compared to Rolfe's previous stories. There will be death, quite a bit of it, so the author is not holding back on the body count. Don't worry, fans, Glenn did not go sawft..."
My thanks to Glenn Rolfe, Flame Tree Press and Netgalley for this ARC - this is my unbiased review.
I've discovered Glenn's books about two years ago and I have read a few, which I liked for the most part. What impressed me most with his previous stories was his potential to become a truly great writer some day, one that will make a huge impact.
I had to distance myself a bit for this review, and you will understand what I mean if you read this review all the way through.
There is something truly magical when a coming-of-age story can take you back to a certain point in your life. If these stories are done right, they dig their long fingers into a place in your memory where they will stick for the rest of your life. But, in order to achieve this, they have to be done right.
Glenn Rolfe is progressing as a writer, and he is certainly heading in the right direction. Having read a bit of his newer work, this book is on the next level. And while I was silently rooting for him, the quality of this piece of fiction surprised even me. This is the book that will push him up to the level of some much bigger names in the horror genre.
And, while this book is much tamer than what I got used to from this author, it was done right for this specific story.
While I can't put it in the same league as IT, BOY'S LIFE or SUMMER OF NIGHT, I can say that this story will push the author much closer to the audience who enjoyed the three top books in this specific genre. Who knows, fans of those stories might be just as pleasantly surprised as I was.
However, I am not a fan of vampire romance - I like my vampires mean and evil - since I just couldn't get TWILIGHT (Or the bastardization of the vampire story - as I think of it) out of my head. While I completely understand that this might connect with a younger audience, it just doesn't float my boat. And that is the ONLY reason why I can't give this book 5 STARS!
I highly recommend it to horror fans who still like their stories more PG-13.
I received an uncorrected proof copy of Until Summer Comes Around in exchange for an honest review. I would like to thank Glenn Rolfe and Flame Tree Press for the opportunity.
I have been sinking my teeth into the horror genre more frequently recently and I decided it was about time I read a novel about vampires. Until Summer Comes Around is set in Old Orchard Beach in Maine during the summer of 1986. Rocky is a fifteen-year-old kid who enjoys metal music, video games, and wasting his days at the arcades on the seafront with his cousin Axel. That summer Rocky meets a mysterious girl named November. They quickly become infatuated with each other, meeting most days and loving the time that they spend together. November is weird, kooky, gorgeous and she also likes metal music. Rocky has no idea why November likes him but he isn't complaining about it. November, with her brother and mother, are visiting for the holiday season. Their family has a dark secret. They are vampires. To make matters worse, November's brother Gabriel is overprotective of his sister, and he is a blood-obsessed psychopath.
Rolfe's take on vampires is a mixture of the typical tropes and interesting original elements to suit his story. The vampire characters have certain attributes such as being fast, having above-average strength and the ability to fly. They aren't afraid of the sun and they can survive living off the blood of animals. Some vampires never taste human blood at all. Many vampires such as November wish to act as if they were human. Typically vampires will present their humanlike features in their day to day life yet the more blood that they feast upon the more vampiric their features become.
Until Summer Comes Around begins as a romantic tale between two young teenagers and some of their shared moments are sweet, intimate and engaging. The further through the 228 pages we get though it becomes clearer that this novel is, in fact, a vampire thriller that features numerous gruesome moments, a huge death toll, and a blood-addicted serial killer vampire on the loose in a lovely seaside town. The love between a young gentleman and a vampire teenager was never going to be straight forward, especially with Gabriel's warped mentality as a shadowing factor. As the novel progresses and there are more disappearances and deaths Until Summer Comes Around gets more terrifying. The suspense is heightened as we approach the intense and fulfilling finale. There is an underlying feeling of trepidation throughout Until Summer Comes Around. It is a stimulating, gripping and chilling horror tale and I devoured it in three days.
In addition, I also enjoyed the many cool nostalgic references to the 80's such as mentions of teenagers playing Outrun at the arcade, people wearing Twisted Sister t-shirts, and reading Stephen King's IT.
This 80's throwback coming-of-age story will certainly satisfy your thirst for a grisly vampire tale. I think this is only the beginning for Glenn Rolfe and although he has become a fan favourite in the horror community because of his earlier novels The Window and Blood and Rain. I feel this book is just a taste of what is to come and I cannot wait to see where he takes readers next!
I freaking LOVED this book. From the very first page I knew this book was going to be special. I was pulled in immediately by the writing and characters. For me the story invokes feelings of teenage love and hopefulness. Longings for that innocence and times past, something lost you can never hold again. Again, i absolutely loved this book. There was nothing in here I didn't like. Rocky is a teen growing up in a summer tourist town. One day he meets November and he falls for her. Only November isn't like other girls. About this time, people start disappearing into thin air. No witnesses, no leads. Something or someone is stalking the town and you find out pretty early on who it is. Although you know who it is and why, this book is hard to put down. The characters are so likable, you have to keep reading to see what happens to them. This is a vampire book and there is gore (it didn't bother me, I didn't find it excessive or extreme). I think all fans of vampires need to read this book. Way to go Glenn! This is fantastic.
Thank you so much to NetGalley for the chance to read this early.
I really enjoyed this book by Glenn Rolfe. It was nostalgic for me since I grew up in the 80s, and I loved the atmosphere and location of where it’s set.
Until Summer Comes Around is set during 1985 and Rocky Zukas is a 15-year-old teenager living in Old Orchard Beach. It’s a small beach community in Maine that has an amusement park on the pier and tons of tourists that come visit during the summer.
Rocky plans to have a great summer! He's going to play lots of arcade games, turn 16 and get his driver’s license (hopefully!), and meet tons of cute girls.
Well, he meets a girl all right. He meets November.
November is a mysterious girl that's just moved to the community. She's funny, beautiful, loves Van Halen and Rocky is smitten. He's a goner and November really likes Rocky too.
While Rocky and November are enjoying the summer and young love, there’s something that's not right in Old Orchard Beach. Something is hunting the streets and beach at night, and the tourist town is about to be overloaded with missing people!
Until Summer Comes Around is a coming-to-age story and it’s got all the vibes of the movie The Lost Boys. If you haven't seen this movie, you’re totally missing out!
The characters, the plot and writing are all well done in this book. I think you'll really sink your teeth into this story of teenage love and the dark shadows that slink up behind you!
You’ve still got a few days left of summer. Go check out this book and enjoy all the nostalgia of the 80s!
5.0/5.0 stars as my enjoyment of this was complete! The story was great, the feelings believable, the characters were real, the action was engrossing and the horror was felt. I loved the mid ‘80’s timeframe which made this feel like It could have been a snapshot out of my own past. After reading this and Blood and Rain, Glenn Rolfe is one of my favorite current horror authors out there. Looking forward to more!
Wow! This was almost like a sentimental journey back to the 80's but with more of a twist!
A little backstory:
Rocky Zukas is a 15 year old boy living in a tourist town off the coast of Maine. Summer is here and he was looking forward to it till he finds out that his cousin Axel that he hangs out with all the time will not be around for the summer as he will be going away with his parents. The summer is starting to look like it might be boring until Rocky meets a beautiful girl named November.
The summer is much brighter now and the two of them start hanging out together. Summer love blooms, but what Rocky doesn't know is that November's family is anything but normal as November's brother Gabriel has an insatiable appetite for blood and when the tourist town starts losing people as they go missing it turns the town upside down.
I don't want to give away too much with the story as you will just have to read the book, but this story just flows along and with it all being set in the 1980's was really cool as the different things that the author, Glenn Rolfe weaved into this story from that era just whisks you back to that time.
I am always impressed with the books by this author as his writing style just grabs you from the beginning and keeps you grounded in the book till the last page. There wasn't an excessive amount of gore, but there was quite a bit of blood flowing throughout the storyline. Giving this book five stars for creativity and nostalgia!
I received a complimentary copy of this eBook ARC from the author, publisher, and netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
It is the Summer of 1986 and young teen Rocky Zukas plans to have the most awesome Summer ever. He wants to get his drivers license as well as to enjoy his days at the arcade and meet girls too. Unfortunately his plans all fall apart once he meets a beautiful young woman named November who is visiting for the Summer with her family and people begin to go missing in his hometown. Will he be able to have the Summer of his dreams or will it all become a nightmare? Read on and find out for yourself.
This was a totally awesome 80s inspired vampire horror novel. The book gave me Fright night and Lost Boys vibes. If you like stories set in the 80s, horror, and vampires, then be sure to check this book out for yourself when it officially hits bookstores and wherever eBooks are sold online on May 21, 2020.
A big thank you to Glenn Rolfe and the fine folks at Flame Tree Press for sending along an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. Video review to come!
1987's The Lost Boys is not only one of my favorite vampire movies, but one of my favorite movies period. There are a lot of reasons for this: giant '80s hair, a boardwalk carnival, kids fighting against murderous vampires. . . a greasy saxophone player. . . and a great soundtrack. What more do you need? This book. You need this book.
Until Summer Comes Around is the first book I've read by Glenn Rolfe and it certainly won't be the last. It follows a 15-year-old boy named Rocky who lives with his parents and sister in a seaside town. Rocky enjoys spending his days on the boardwalk, playing games at the arcade and eating fried food. But his simple life is disrupted when he falls in love with November, a girl who just moved to town with her ill mother and her sinister brother, Gabriel. When people in Rocky's little town begin to disappear, Rocky wonders if November's brother might have something to do with it...
Simply put, if you like your vampire stories fun, bloody, and Lost Boys-esque, then look no further than Until Summer Comes Around. It had everything I was wanting from a summertime read with a bunch of heart thrown in. I enjoyed Rocky and November's sunny, innocent romance intercut with scenes of vampiric brutality and bloodshed. It's pretty great. Yes, the two "fall in love" very quickly, but it didn't feel like a YA, Twilight kind of romance. It just had that sweet feeling of being a kid and falling in love for the first time, even if that love is doomed to fail.
At the end of the day, you'll read the synopsis of this book and you'll know right away whether it's for you or not. There's nothing too dark here, just a good old time with lots of beachy '80s vibes. I dug it.
UNTIL SUMMER COMES AROUND, by Glenn Rolfe, is a horror novel that mixes vampires with coming-of-age, in an 80's setting. Personally, I loved the fact that this takes place in the not-so-distant past, as it brings back memories that I can clearly envision while reading.
Rocky is a fifteen year old boy on summer vacation. With his cousin--and best friend--Axel set to leave on a trip to Europe with his parents, he is wondering what to do with his time. Enter this mysterious summer tourist, November--a girl vacationing in his town over summer break. Right from the start, you know that there is something different about November, and more importantly, her big brother, Gabriel.
Rolfe opens up without holding back on what they are. There is no mystery to that, which admittedly, had me a little confused at first. No guesswork involved, only the "facts". However, I soon got over this, as the characterization took over. The relationships--not only between Rocky and November--but also among each of their families/friends, was a main focus of this novel.
In a sense, this is one of the "lighter" horror novels I've read from Rolfe. Despite the fact that the body count is high, and the horror well defined, I felt that had more of a psychological/emotional pull to it that many others. Fans of BOYS' LIFE, and other coming-of-age novels will find a lot to love in this one!
A strong, emotional story that incorporates elements of "everyday life", family, society, and small town horror all in one, this is not a book you want to pass up!
This is my first book by this author and really had a hard time putting it down. I really connected to the storyline as I was a teen back in the 80s and lived in a small tourist town by a Lake. The music that was mentioned in the book, I admit, I still listen to today, and Sammy kicks David out of the water IMO. I really liked that the vampires weren’t as cliche as most of vampire stories out there today. It was really rad and I totally recommend this book... like for sure! 5 Gnarly stars!
My favorite Rolfe book so far! Loved Rocky, Gabriel, and November, the pacing, the 80s vibe, and the entire plot play-out. His writing always has a having-a-drink-with-a-friend tone that pulls me right in and makes me feel like I've known the characters forever.
I like my vampires merciless and brutal and gory as fuck and this book delivers that in SPADES. I think Until Summer Comes Around might honestly be one of my favourite vampire stories I’ve read in recent years and that’s saying a lot because I’ve read a metric fuck ton of vampire books. This one is just on another level of great though, it’s hard to even accurately describe how good it was because I’m still revelling in all the guts and gore and teenage love. Because you can’t truly have a vampire novel without some kind of love story thrown in can you? All kidding aside, this is some next level vampire greatness and you’d be missing out by not picking it up and devouring it like I did. I mean, it’s worth it for the nostalgia vibes alone!
Glenn Rolfe’s UNTIL SUMMER COMES AROUND is an all-consuming, 1980s coming-of-age, nostalgic, vampire extravaganza of a story. I “summer breezed” right on through this entire book, and much like the vampires in this story, I was bloodthirsty for more.
I love the description in the synopsis: “When fifteen-year-old Rocky Zukas meets a mysterious dark-haired girl named November, his world is forever changed.” HOOKED. November has a family secret, and unfortunately for Rocky, he is under the spell of young love.
Every detail from the beach setting atmosphere to the 1980s summer teenage love story, to the blood-lusting vampires is exactly what I needed right now. Rolfe does a perfect job building these characters brick by brick and crafting a brilliant vampire story without going over-the-top. Did I mention I love it?! The carnival beach town, music, video games, and innocence (well vampire innocence) are just so RAD. I think I might need to watch the movie The Lost Boys again because this has those vibes. It’s oozing with nostalgia, dead bodies, and blood addled vampires. The kill scenes are brutal and blood-soaked. Gnarly. Righteous.
UNTIL SUMMER COMES AROUND is a perfectly executed story with a delicate balance of blood and love. Let’s just say I’m a fan of Mr. Rolfe and cannot wait for the next one.
I loved the hell out of this coming-of-age tale set in the high summer heat of a small New England coastal town. The beach, the amusement park, and the rapidly disappearing populace. Rocky, our teenage protag with sclerosis, meets the girl of his dreams while a vampire descends on the town and the bodies pile up fast. I would love to see this adapted to a movie. Kudos, Glenn Rolfe!
Glenn Rolfe's new book is a breezy, bloody slice of 80's vampire fun. Think The Lost Boys mixed with Romeo and Juliet, and you're on the right track. The coming of age story moves at a quick pace, and Rolfe does a great job putting you in that place and time. The ocean side boardwalk was an excellent setting for a vampire story, and I could practically smell the fried dough and hear the sounds of 80's arcade games.
This was my first time reading Glenn's work, and I'll definitely be checking out more from him in the future.
UNTIL SUMMER COMES AROUND is a compelling coming-of-age with a "disabled" protagonist (severe scoliosis) and his summer encounter with a beautiful girl who happens to be...inhuman. Although the plot and action are riveting, I give praise to author Glenn Rolfe's talent at characterizations. As he has proven time and time again, he gets inside his characters' psyches, knowing them perhaps better than they know themselves (although protagonist Rocky and first-love November are both quite self-aware).
This will be a summer that Rocky never forgets. He is about to turn 16, get his driver's license, fall in love for the very first time, and find out that monsters are real. This coming of age Vampire horror is set in the 80s in a touristy beach town in coastal Maine. Rocky is expecting a long boring summer since his cousin/best pal is going away, but meeting November changes everything. At first Rocky is so enamored of her that he barely notices that her arrival coincides with all the missing person posters going up. First love and raging hormones have a way of making a teen turn a blind eye to all else, and the only thing more dangerous than being unaware of evil, is when evil becomes aware of you. This is the author's best work so far and if you are looking for a summer read with a lot of bite I highly recommend this. 5 out of 5 stars I received an advance copy for review.
Don’t you just love a sweet and innocent coming of age story? Yeah, neither do I. If you love your coming of age stories to be full of blood, guts, and a creeping dread, then absolutely pick up Until Summer Comes Round. It blasts you with those feel good eighties summer vibes – the feeling that summer would never end. It just has that bonus of vampires and the spilling of blood. There is so much packed into this novel written by the immensely talented Glenn Rolfe. Every word has been deliberately chosen and they come to life with such a sinister prevalence that you feel the need to look over your own shoulder.
I knew that this book was going to be a hypnotising work of art. I picked up my kindle, took a deep breath and lay my trust in Rolfe, although he might just scare the brown stuff clean out of you, he will give the experience of a lifetime. He won’t let you down. Until Summer Comes Round is like being reintroduced to an old friend – if Michael Myers was the benchmark for friendship. The plot promises to reel you in, hook, line, and sinker with his narrative of an addictive plotline which is tainted with evil, blood and a resounding feeling of fate.
This superb vampire tale is set in 1986 in Old Orchard Beach, Maine. Rocky, our protagonist has previously enjoyed spending his summer days hanging around the arcade and blowing money on junk food with his cousin Axel. Nothing exciting ever takes place in their quiet town. Just once he wishes something would liven the place up, well you should be careful what you wish for.
Fast forward to a serious case of sun stroke and a mysterious girl named November. There a mutual attraction and they seem to have a lot in common. The same music tastes and a penchant for all things geeky. They spend a lot of time together, swimming, larking around and eating junk food, its too good to be true. Not only are they only in his beach town for the summer but November, her brother, Gabriel, and their mother are harbouring a horrific secret – They are vampires.
Glenn Rolfe captured so accurately the feelings and emotions of what it is like being that age. We see elements of denial, love, anger, and change. We can’t fight against the raging storm these emotions pull at and the author doesn’t try to. The human side of his characters bring the reader inexorably closer to the story – the words reach out to us, looking for a connection.
Until Summer Comes Around is extremely character driven, and its raw compulsive nature is visceral. The author has nailed the complicated nature of human beings and the evil of supernatural beings. Two stories interweaved that ramp up the adrenaline. Gripping from the very start and I was more than happy to open the door into this sinister world and experience everything it had to offer.
I love to read thematically. And this wasn’t as counterintuitive of a choice as one might think for December 31st. This was specifically selected to take my mind from the nonfunctioning heating system and transport to somewhere warmer. Specifically summer on the beach. Though Maine might not be a personal favorite for such a destination, it certainly seems to be the state for all too many horrific tales and this is one of those. Well, technically it’s a charming nostalgia tinted boy meets girl story set in 1986 in a small beach town on coastal Maine. The boy is a local, the girl is a tourist. The boy is a regular 15 year old, obsessed with comics, cars and girls. The girl is a vampire. That’s right, a vampire. It’s a vampire story, one of my least favorite genre presets and yet…this was pretty fun. The vampire lore here (underdeveloped as it was) presents the creatures as fairly ordinary and actively trying to fit in, except for the girl’s brother who is properly orthodox about the entire thing and takes advantage of their vacation to go maniacally homicidal and blood crazy. So that eventually it’s down to his sister and her new boyfriend to stop the madness. Pretty straight forward story, really. I’ve been reading the author for a while now, mixed results, but he’s always striving to improve and I appreciate that quality. There are still some stylistic limitations, especially noticeable with characterizations, but overall the story worked. It’s probably best to think of it as an 80s pastiche of sorts, maybe like an 80s throwback movie than a narrative masterwork of young love (way more mature that, say, Let Me In), because it has that sort of neon charm. And such nice kids. The mad vampire brother was laughable, though, cheesy in a silly way. Some subtlety would go a long way to make him into a more menacing terror, but then again vampire genre was never really all that into subtlety in the first place. Plus the story is told from the boy’s perspective, so it’s logical for it to concentrate on his side of the experience and his perspectives. There’s a fairly serious epilogue to the story, giving things a much welcome mature finish. So yeah, not a perfect story, occasionally lacking, but overall it did succeed in delivering that slice of a forgotten time in a sunny sandy place, first love, first car, first tragedy…a proper coming of age tale, innocence demolished by real world’s ugliness. Nothing was quite as nicely done as the setting, you can hear the ocean in the pages almost. Or maybe I’m just aggressively projecting personal needs into fiction. Either way, this was pretty fun. Might hold you over until the summer comes around. Thanks Netgalley.
Summer of 1986 the wind blows hot, tourists are everywhere and it seems like it's going to be a long summer for fifteen year old Rocky. His cousin, who just happens to be his best friend, has gone to England until school starts back up again. The days are pretty uneventful and long, that is until Rocky lays his eyes on November who seems like your typical all American girl. The two share an immediate connection yet there is more to her, a dark secret about her family that will change this summer forever. You know I am not one for vampires, I have never been a big fan and with the Twilight craze a couple years ago just pushed me from the genre entirely. But with a new year is a new me which means I am going to try to read more outside my comfort zone and Glenn Rolfe’s novel “Until Summer Comes Around” did just that for me. Yes it was a love story between a very unlikely pair but it went well together without it being unhealthy and toxic like something else *cough, cough*. It made you feel like a teen again and I really loved that. Plus the killings? I dig it, that is why I wanted to read it in the first place so sweet love story with vampire murders sign me up! Character wise I thoroughly enjoyed the main protagonist Rocky he was extremely likeable from the moment we meet him. His character growth, though it was a shortish story, went with grace along with never being a bore to read. Although I will say that despite what Glenn Rolfe was going for I found the antagonist Gabriel reminded me of those weird guys in school who thought they were vampires.You know the ones who had the fake fangs and never washed their hair, but on the other hand Garbiel does cause a lot of chaos in this book. I just couldn't take his character as seriously as I wanted or was intended. I mean when he was described by his own sister as crossing the line of wanting to be an old lore vampire, ones that go out only at night and sleeping in coffins she could relate to him being kind of a joke. I just wish he was scarier in his own right rather than just threatening his family to get away with his business. All in all I was very satisfied with this novel and look forward to reading more by Glenn Rolfe and definitely recommend other readers to keep an eye out for his work. Also I would love to thank NetGalley for a chance at reading this ARC in exchange for an honest review
** Edited as review is now live on Kendall Reviews! **
Thanks to Netgalley and Flametree Press for sending this my way! Really appreciate it.
Glenn Rolfe has been a favorite of mine since I first read ‘Land of Bones.’ To this day the story ‘Simon’ has stuck with me and even yesterday I was thinking about it as me and my son went for a walk and the rain had brought worms out to play. His book ‘The Window’ was one of my favorite reads of 2018 and at the time I called it a ‘future classic.’ It was really outstanding.
Now, Rolfe returns with his 80’s inspired coming-of-age story, which I was excited for since it was announced.
What I liked: Am I becoming a softy in my advanced age? It hit me somewhere in the middle of this book that I loved Rocky and November’s love story. I wanted her to be at the pier each and every time he went looking for her! The story is super straight forward; it’s summer, Rocky’s best friend Axel heads to England with his family, leaving Rocky bummed about what to do. Then he sees an out-of-towner. They connect and then carnage ensues. The absolute highlight for me was these two falling in love. Rolfe nailed that young-love pining that comes from the magic of knowing you only have two months together.
What I didn’t like: I’m tapped out on Vampires, which is hilarious because two of the four books I’m reading at the time of writing this are about Vampires. I also found I’ve fallen out of enjoyment of the rash of 80’s pop culture reference heavy books, movies, and TV shows. Maybe blame it on ‘Stranger Things’ and the abomination that was ‘IT Chapter 2.’ Saying that, I knew what I was getting into with the synopsis and that this was set in 1986.
On the other side, I found Rocky’s parents to be throw away characters, so when one of them became involved near the ending, I didn’t have any connection or sorrow over it.
Why you should buy it: Rolfe is a fantastic writer and this definitely captured the feeling and essence of young, summer love. This could’ve been set in any decade really and the spark that Rocky and November caught would make for a stellar read. I loved seeing their arc and how it progressed as things played out.
Glenn Rolfe is a recent discovery for me, my introduction to the author was the new re-release of the modern werewolf classic, Blood and Rain. Imagine my excitement when I discovered that he has joined Flametree Press, one of my favorite publishers, for his newest novel, Until Summer Comes Around.
Rocky Zukas is in a bit of a bind. His best friend and cousin Axel is going away for the summer, leaving Rocky to enjoy the season at the beautiful Old Orchard Beach by himself. Things quickly go on an upturn for Rocky as he meets a summer vacationer named November. The summer of love threatens to become the summer of blood, because something sinister has come to Old Orchard Beach, something thirsty.
Fans of Rolfe may think that they know what to expect with his latest offering, but as someone who’s been reading his whole back catalog very recently, I’m pleasantly surprised that Until Summer Comes Around has exceeded those expectations. I don’t typically mention author acknowledgements in my review, but there is one here where the author thanked Tim Waggoner for advice on outlining a story. Why is that relevant to this review? Whatever advice Waggoner shared seems to have paid off in spades because of all of the Rolfe titles I’ve read, this is far and away the tightest, most cohesive novel that Rolfe has written. Pages aren’t wasted here, everything serves the story, and there is an excellent job of building the characters and putting you smack dab in the middle of 1980’s Old Orchard Beach. I’ve been to Old Orchard Beach a few times, and Rolfe brought me right back.
The book spends the early chapters setting the scene, doing some world building and developing the characters. There’s some bloodshed early on, but as the story unfolds everything escalates and there’s some real tension leading up to the ultimately satisfying conclusion.
Until Summer Comes Around, much like Rolfe’s previous title, The Window, is a coming of age tale. I know some people found the gratuitous sex in the previous offering to be too much, I’d still recommend giving this one a try as the sex here is toned down.
After finishing Until Summer Comes Around, I’ve decided that this is easily my favorite Glenn Rolfe book. Some may disagree, they may be more nostalgic for a title such as the excellent blood and rain. Having just discovered the author recently, the nostalgia flys over my head. There’s no denying that Rolfe’s writing here is the best it’s ever been. I’d recommend this to anybody.
Glenn Rolfe and Flametree press have teamed up for a title that I’d not only rank as Rolfe’s best, but I’d also rank it amongst my other favorite Flametree Press titles.
Summer of 1986 the wind blows hot, tourists are everywhere and it seems like it's going to be a long summer for fifteen year old Rocky. His cousin, who just happens to be his best friend, has gone to England until school starts back up again. The days are pretty uneventful and long, that is until Rocky lays his eyes on November who seems like your typical all American girl. The two share an immediate connection yet there is more to her, a dark secret about her family that will change this summer forever. You know I am not one for vampires, I have never been a big fan and with the Twilight craze a couple years ago just pushed me from the genre entirely. But with a new year is a new me which means I am going to try to read more outside my comfort zone and Glenn Rolfe’s novel “Until Summer Comes Around” did just that for me. Yes it was a love story between a very unlikely pair but it went well together without it being unhealthy and toxic like something else *cough, cough*. It made you feel like a teen again and I really loved that. Plus the killings? I dig it, that is why I wanted to read it in the first place so sweet love story with vampire murders sign me up! Character wise I thoroughly enjoyed the main protagonist Rocky he was extremely likeable from the moment we meet him. His character growth, though it was a shortish story, went with grace along with never being a bore to read. Although I will say that despite what Glenn Rolfe was going for I found the antagonist Gabriel reminded me of those weird guys in school who thought they were vampires.You know the ones who had the fake fangs and never washed their hair, but on the other hand Gabriel does cause a lot of chaos in this book. I just couldn't take his character as seriously as I wanted or was intended. I mean when he was described by his own sister as crossing the line of wanting to be an old lore vampire, ones that go out only at night and sleeping in coffins she could relate to him being kind of a joke. I just wish he was scarier in his own right rather than just threatening his family to get away with his business. All in all I was very satisfied with this novel and look forward to reading more by Glenn Rolfe and definitely recommend other readers to keep an eye out for his work.
I liked the synopsis of this one so jumped it up to the top of my TBR pile. I’m a sucker for seaside towns myself so the setting of this one felt like it would be right up my street. Through in what sounded like a coming of age story and I was sold. Rolfe writes a fabulous setting in this one. You feel as if you are there. I spend my summers visiting little coastal towns in the UK and this story could have taken place in any one of them.
The characters in the story were loveable and well written. Loved there names too. Rocky and November. Most teen boys have gone through the heartache that comes with meeting a gorgeous girl on holiday only to realise that it can never last. At that age, you have so little control over your life. You go where your parents go. The love seems all the stronger knowing that inevitably it will come to an end. Everything is so raw in your teens. First experiences before you are jaded by life.
Throughout all of this the book is a vampire tale. It’s easy to make comparisons to The Lost Boys with it being a vamp story set in a town with a boardwalk, but I found myself thinking of Richard Laymons Funland quite a few times. That’s not to say any of the storyline is all that similar but I get the feeling that Glenn is a fan of some of the same things that I am.
I don’t want to give away any of the story because I hate reviews that do that. What I will say is the book is well written, has great pacing and brought back a lot of memories for me of my own youth, holidays, girls I met and still managed to weave a solid horror story throughout.
Thank you to Netgalley, Flame Tree Press and Glenn Rolfe for this advanced readers copy!
This was a super fun read that gave off some serious Lost Boys vibes! There is even a dedication at the beginning that reads; “For all the Lost boys out there. Thou shalt not fall.” Great. Now I have that song stuck in my head Glenn! Lol 😂.
Until Summer Comes Around is a coming of age story that takes place in a small seaside tourist town in 1986. When Rocky’s cousin Axel leaves for the summer, Rocky is pretty bummed...until he meets November; a beautiful girl visiting for the summer. But when kids start going missing and people start getting murdered, we get to see deeper into November’s family history, and meet who’s responsible for all the gruesome killings.
As I said before, there are some serious Lost Boy vibes to this story, which I loved by the way, but Glenn puts his own original spin on the classic vampire tale. I loved the characters, they were very likable and relatable. The setting was perfectly described to make you feel as if you were a part of the story without going overboard with descriptions and details.
After reading this one, I’m definitely excited to read more of Glenn’s work. Watch for this one when it officially releases May 21, 2020!