Category Archives: Horror Fiction

THE CROOKED DOOR – REVIEW

Litercurious Book Review

The Crooked Door - Brad McLelland & Louis Sylvester
The Crooked Door – Brad McLelland & Louis Sylvester
TitleThe Crooked Door
AuthorsBrad McLelland & Louis Sylvester
PublisherHenry Holt and Co. (BYR) (April 11, 2023)
FormatKindle, Hardcover
Pages320
GenreChildren’s Spine-Chilling Horror /
Children’s Action & Adventure Books (Books)
LanguageEnglish
ISBN 10/131250124387 / 978-1250124388

AUTHORS

Brad McLelland was born and raised in Arkansas and spent several years working as a crime journalist in the South. In 2011, he obtained his MFA in creative writing from Oklahoma State University, where he met his writing partner, Louis. A part-time drummer and singer, Brad lives in Oklahoma with his wife, his stepdaughter, a mini Aussie who gives hugs, and a chubby cat who begs for ham. He is also the co-author of the Legends of the Lost Causes series.

Louis Sylvester is a professor at Lewis-Clark State College in Lewiston, Idaho. He and his wife spend their free time playing tabletop games from his collection of over a thousand card and board games. Louis enjoys watching Western films and reading fantasy novels. He has two dogs that go wild when they hear the word treats. He is also the co-author of the Legends of the Lost Causes series.

Excerpt taken from The Crooked Door.

SYNOPSIS

Thirteen year old Ginny and her family are moving to a new state and a new town. They are forced to take a detour off the main highway when their troubles begin. Bernard, their crusty old pick-up truck, breaks down just outside of picturesque Pottsville. It is a story book town; clean, no traffic, happy people, with kids playing and riding their bikes in the streets.

While the local mechanic takes a look at Bernard, Ginny is taken away by some of the local kids for a tour of the town. Toy stores, ice cream shops, and bike shops are everywhere but there is something disturbing about the town. The lack of cars on the streets, the aged dress of the locals and the distant looks on their faces give Ginny a bad vibe. When the kids take her into the Town Hall basement, she really gets spooked. There, in the middle of the floor is a crooked door. She’s told to knock twice, donate some blood and the thing most dear to her and she will receive a wish. Her wish comes true but what is the price?

After Ginny gets back to the hotel, things really get spooky. The town at night transforms into something twisted with demonic creatures roaming the streets. Her parents are no where to be found, and Ginny is frantic. She learns that picturesque Pottsville is really a dimensional realm for twisted fairies and creatures of the night. The creatures demand sacrifice and Ginny’s parents are next on the menu. No one can escape Pottsville; everyone that tries to leave always end up back where they started.

Will Ginny find her parents in time? Can they escape Pottsville? Can she avoid the creatures of the night and the ghouls that are tracking her? Can she save her family and the kids of Pottsville?

CONCLUSION

The Crooked Door is a slow starter; about half-way the book took off and I couldn’t put it down once things got going. Reminiscent of Stephen King, it has just the right creepy feel to it. As I read the book, it reminded me of the Twilight Zone episode “It’s a Good Life,” featuring Bill Mumy. It also has a “Children of the Corn” vibe throughout the story, and it even takes a little from “The Lottery,” by Shirley Jackson. A really good combination of horror and creepy.

Although the first half of the book was slow and the story and characters weren’t fully developed, the second half more than made up for it. In the second half the characters really come to life and the suspense is palatable. You can feel the fear and anxiety in the prose. The authors take the reader on a fantastic but scary journey filled with suspense and excitement. The horror seen through a young desperate girls eyes trying to save her family and escape demonic beings is an intense and adrenalin fueled journey.

Suitable for all ages, I highly recommend sticking with the book once you start it. You will not be disappointed. I really enjoyed The Crooked Door.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

ACKNLOWLEDGEMNTS

I would like to thank Brad McLelland & Louis Sylvester, Henry Holt and Co. and NetGalley for affording me the opportunity to review The Crooked Door.

OTHER WORKS BY THIS AUTHOR

Frances and the Monster – review

Frances and the Monster is for children aged 8-12 years old, but will appeal to most ages. It is a high paced thriller with a bit of horror; especially at the end. The prose is appropriate for anyone 8 or older, while the plot is both interesting and engaging. This story is entertaining throughout with a dynamic plot twist at the end.

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THE LOST WONDERLAND DIARIES – REVIEW

Something terrible is happening in Wonderland. The characters are being turned into monsters! Celia, Tyrus and Sylvan must navigate a variety of hazards, puzzles and monsters not only to get home but to stop whatever is happening in Wonderland.

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SECRETS OF THE LOOKING GLASS – REVIEW

Celia and Tyrus are at it again! Secrets of the Looking Glass is another exceptional book. It is a world full of imagination and imagery filled with suspense, thrills, charismatic characters, and a hefty dose of conflict and tension.

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PEOPLE OF THE SUN – REVIEW

People of the Sun is the third book in The Eye of Ra series. Sarah and John are a time traveling duo determined to correct the time line. In this installment, they travel to Mexico in the year 1519 to prevent the death of Hernán Cortés. What follows is an adventure that sees Sarah and John almost becoming human sacrifices, battling for their very lives and having to make some hard decisions about whether or not to change history.

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Everything’s Eventual – REVIEW

Litercurious Book Reviews

TitleEverything’s Eventual                                             
AuthorStephen King                                         
PublisherScribner Reprint (April 17, 2018)     
FormatPaperback, Kindle, Hardcover, Audiobook           
Page464     
LanguageEnglish     
ISBN #1501197967     

Author’s Bio

The eponymous Mr. King, the author of a library of horror genre literature really needs no introduction, but just in case you spent the last 50 years on a meteor traversing the universe, I will give you the press junket introduction. Stephen King, is the child of a school teacher. It was Mrs. King who encouraged all of her children to read. Stephen King consumed literature like a man possessed. This compulsion continued through-out his life and even directed his choice of study as a young man. Whilst in academia he began writing professionally. He sold his early works for a pittance but as his skill and reputation continued, he became a much-loved horror writer of modern times. At the time of writing, Stephen King’s name is synonymous with the horror theme. Some people describe him as the King of Horror and it is hard to deny with his sky-high book sales. As this is Halloween it might be pertinent to mention that one particular story was inspired by paranormal events experienced by him and his spouse in a hotel in Colorado. King has spoken of it in the past and I encourage you to seek out his own account for more details.

Who will enjoy this collection of stories?

If you are looking for a read that disquieting, amusing at times, and frightening at others this could be a book for you this Halloween. King will take you on a sojourn into an alternative universe where things may not be as you imagine. He can take you from a hospital gurney to conversing with the Devil in the woods. Every story in this novella has something for everyone. If you aren’t a Stephen King fan already, perhaps this volume could turn you into one.

Synopsis

Everything‘s Eventual is one of many of King’s Novella’s. In my opinion, whilst this is not his greatest, it is not his worst. The series of stories span a wide gamut of characters and storylines, as you expect from a novella. What is special about this collection of stories is the expertise of the author in crafting the characters so well you can almost smell them.  The stories are so well described that you could be accompanying the characters as they transverse the plots.  One cannot help but be impressed by the sheer latitude of King’s vivid imagination. The stories are original and explore new aspects of terror. If you enjoyed King’s earlier work, such as Carrie, Salem’s Lot, or Joyland you will love this outing. My favorite of the bunch is 1408, or perhaps it is Riding the Bullet; no, it has to be Luckey Quarter.  

Conclusion

Everything’s Eventual was nearly 10 years in the coming preceded by King’s earlier novella Dreamscapes and Nightmares, and it is eminently comparable. In short, if you enjoyed the latter, you will love the former. The perfect Halloween read.