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The Children's Hour

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Writer Joe Gardner has brought his wife and family to his childhood home in Colony, West Virginia, to visit his dying mother. Flooded by terrible memories of the town's deaths and disappearances, he begins hearing the voice of a girl who he believes may have been buried alive. As he digs up her grave, Joe breaks through the door that has held back a sinister evil.


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Writer Joe Gardner has brought his wife and family to his childhood home in Colony, West Virginia, to visit his dying mother. Flooded by terrible memories of the town's deaths and disappearances, he begins hearing the voice of a girl who he believes may have been buried alive. As he digs up her grave, Joe breaks through the door that has held back a sinister evil.

30 review for The Children's Hour

  1. 4 out of 5

    Bill

    A dark and atmospheric novel of small town life and the evil that lives directly beneath the surface. It may have dragged a wee here and there, but it didn’t spin me out of the story and the slower interludes didn’t last long. Not that this is a fast novel to begin with…because it isn’t. It isn’t supposed to be. Mr. Clegg takes his time getting you familiar with the characters and the colorful backstory of Colony, West Virginia. And then all hell breaks loose... Welcome home, Joe. We’ve been wai A dark and atmospheric novel of small town life and the evil that lives directly beneath the surface. It may have dragged a wee here and there, but it didn’t spin me out of the story and the slower interludes didn’t last long. Not that this is a fast novel to begin with…because it isn’t. It isn’t supposed to be. Mr. Clegg takes his time getting you familiar with the characters and the colorful backstory of Colony, West Virginia. And then all hell breaks loose... Welcome home, Joe. We’ve been waiting. …All of us.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Adam Light

    I love horror stories set in those bucolic little off-the-beaten-path country towns where anyone and, in some cases, everyone has dark secrets and no one is safe. Clegg does an outstanding job weaving a bleak and chilling tale about the town of Colony, West Virginia, where an unspeakable evil is being perpetrated on innocent children. When Joe Gardner, formerly a resident of Colony, receives a call informing him his mother is about to die, he must overcome seemingly insurmountable bitt I love horror stories set in those bucolic little off-the-beaten-path country towns where anyone and, in some cases, everyone has dark secrets and no one is safe. Clegg does an outstanding job weaving a bleak and chilling tale about the town of Colony, West Virginia, where an unspeakable evil is being perpetrated on innocent children. When Joe Gardner, formerly a resident of Colony, receives a call informing him his mother is about to die, he must overcome seemingly insurmountable bitterness and paranoia regarding his hometown and the lingering terror he feels concerning the horrific act he committed there many years ago. This was my first time reading Douglas Clegg and I am thoroughly enjoyed it. I was happy to discover he is a prolific writer and lots of his titles look very interesting. I love when that happens.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Rick

    A superior horror novel that truly elevates the genre. Clegg writes a chilling story while at the same time exploring important issues about families, life, love, and death.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Sara Meehan

    If you were a fan of Stephen King's "'Salem's Lot," you'll find a lot to like in "The Children's Hour." Vampires! An ancient evil! Love lost! Troubled heroes who fight the demons of their past! All this and more, as they say. Clegg's protagonists are Joe and Hop, childhood friends who have lost touch since Joe left town after high school. He looks back at his formative years in Colony with something akin to hatred. Joe's mother is dying, though, so he packs up his wife, his children a If you were a fan of Stephen King's "'Salem's Lot," you'll find a lot to like in "The Children's Hour." Vampires! An ancient evil! Love lost! Troubled heroes who fight the demons of their past! All this and more, as they say. Clegg's protagonists are Joe and Hop, childhood friends who have lost touch since Joe left town after high school. He looks back at his formative years in Colony with something akin to hatred. Joe's mother is dying, though, so he packs up his wife, his children and his marital issues and heads back to his hometown. Joe's return sets the wheels in motion for the re-emergence of an ancient evil the men thought they'd seen the last of. Why do children keep disappearing in Colony? How could a 12-year-old girl reappear at her parents' home, when she ought to be in her 30s, if alive at all? What has been living in the well hidden inside Old Man Feeley's barn all these years? What does it all have to do with Joe? Clegg's novel jumps back and forth in time, which makes it difficult to summarize. As he works his way through the above material, he revisits Joe's and Hop's childhood, from the first time they came up against Abaddon, the demon in the well, and through subsequent encounters with it. I understand why he structured it that way — a straightforward, chronological retelling would reveal too much, too soon — but it makes the narrative occasionally difficult to follow. Like "'Salem's Lot" — and like many King books — Clegg periodically cuts to the viewpoints of minor characters. We meet a college student dogged by his cruel past, a sheriff caught between his distant wife and his pregnant mistress, a teenager whose parents have disappeared; they all eventually fall to Abaddon. The scenes where the demon and/or his minions overtake those victims are the highlights of the book: The child reached out his hand, its shackles pulling at the stone. As its skin met Byron's, he felt as if something within him was fighting to be born, fighting to burst through his skin, trying to burst his bones and flesh and blood, outward in a spray of red. He heard the sound of wet splitting, and where the child touched him, a bone broke through the surface of his flesh. The child's mouth went eagerly to the bone and Byron, shivering and feeling cold, watched while he sucked at the bone of his forearm as if it were sugar cane. Vampiric children! What a creepy idea. And, yes, they're the biggest similarity to "'Salem's Lot." "The Children's Hour" is an entertaining horror story, though it suffers from the genre's periodic flaws in logic. But if this is your kind of story, you're likely ready to look past that.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Alisi ☆ wants to read too many books ☆

    No. Just No. This is the second book of his that I've tried to read and, while it's a tad bit better, that ain't saying much. I'm not going to try any more. Most of this book is just plain boring. I could tell that there is some structure under all of this that could've made this a decent book (maybe not ubber original) but it was totally drowned out by everything else. The story is that kids (and adults, but it's mainly kids) have been dying in mysterious ways. Now they're No. Just No. This is the second book of his that I've tried to read and, while it's a tad bit better, that ain't saying much. I'm not going to try any more. Most of this book is just plain boring. I could tell that there is some structure under all of this that could've made this a decent book (maybe not ubber original) but it was totally drowned out by everything else. The story is that kids (and adults, but it's mainly kids) have been dying in mysterious ways. Now they're coming back and Jon is back to his hometown for the first time in a long time. That sounds very interesting, doesn't it? Instead, what we get in piles and miles and mountains of info dumps. The author doesn't even try to make it interesting. This is unfortunate because all everyone does is whine and mop around. Pretty much the only interesting is Jon's but that's limited and what strength that brings is further cut by everyone else. This book has like fifty different POVs, it would seem. I don't give a shit about all these characters. We get some interesting flashback with the kids and then we're pulled into some boring persons info dump of the past. The info dumps/ random characters are a bit like a Jerry Springer show, save Springer's show actually has some kind of action. This doesn't. It's like a bad soap opera. Like, for example, take the Sheriff. He has a mistress who's gotten pregnant, right? She tells him and says she loves him. He plans to kill her (saying he'll get away with it cause he's the Sheriff.) He goes to see her at the bar and nothing. He breaks into her car and sees the woman screwing another man and he does nothing. Then, miraculously, he decides he loves her and she does a 180 on him. Suddenly, she's sleeping around on him and she's going to get an abortion. It's freakin' bizarre. Then there's his choice of words. It's not horrible in the sense that he raped a Thesaurus but the choices are so... awkward. It's like he took his Thesaurus out for a date and they ended up at a BK where he buys it a value meal and a slice of their 'pie'. Then he expects that Thesaurus to 'put out' for him and it just throws horrible word choices at him because it feels rather used and cheap about the whole thing. For example, one of the billions of characters is caught in a bad situation that is some kind of black mail ploy because he apparently raped a college girl. He stands there and thinks: "All this because I mated and she squealed?" Mated and Squealed? WTF? Who the fuck says 'Mated' outside a Paranormal Romance? Bleh.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Eva

    Once upon a time Douglas Clegg finished the last pages of King's Salem's Lot and thought to himself "I wish I would have come up with that!". And as time went by this wish turned into "What the heck! I'll just write the same story again myself!". To be fair I don't know if the author wrote his book as an homage to Salem's Lot or has stated in some interview how his plot was heavily, heavily influenced by King's book, but the many parallels and similarities cannot be dismissed. Ne Once upon a time Douglas Clegg finished the last pages of King's Salem's Lot and thought to himself "I wish I would have come up with that!". And as time went by this wish turned into "What the heck! I'll just write the same story again myself!". To be fair I don't know if the author wrote his book as an homage to Salem's Lot or has stated in some interview how his plot was heavily, heavily influenced by King's book, but the many parallels and similarities cannot be dismissed. Nevertheless, I really enjoyed the first part of the book. It was written well enough and had a sufficient sense of foreboding as well as "creepy-evil-is-lurking-in-every-corner" kind of scenes. I liked the anachronic narrative that revealed parts of the puzzle only one at a time and was eager to carry on reading to know more about what's going on in the picturesque litte town of Colony. But then the whole plot took kind of a detour: I felt lost in too many stories of the town's inhabitants that did not really drive the story forward. Worst of all: even though I had read through all those different character's life stories, I still didn't care very much when the plot got back on track and the grand finale hit the town - (view spoiler)[sparing no one.<7spoiler> After such a promising start this development was quite a disappointment. Even though there were enough creepy and even scary scenes, I wasn't exactly at the edge of my seat anymore when the climatic finale happened. (hide spoiler)]

  7. 4 out of 5

    Bandit

    I've looked for this book for years and I'm happy to say it was well worth the wait. Reminded me how much I love Clegg's horror. It's so exceptionally well written, reminds me of Braunbeck...great take on what could have been a trite vampire story, characters you really care about and surprisingly romantic for a that bloody of a book. I love that about Clegg's work, the depth, the heart. I highly recommend this book.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Peter

    Joe Gardner is returning to his childhood town of Colony, West Virginia. He is there to visit his dying mother. Joe and his mother are not close at all. Joe had second thoughts about returning to see her. The town of Colony holds some bad memories for Joe and his friends. Joe will wish that he never returned to this hellhole of a place. Something evil has lied dormant waiting for Joe return. Joe has only one friend left in Colony and that is Homer. Joe and Homer talk about the strange things tha Joe Gardner is returning to his childhood town of Colony, West Virginia. He is there to visit his dying mother. Joe and his mother are not close at all. Joe had second thoughts about returning to see her. The town of Colony holds some bad memories for Joe and his friends. Joe will wish that he never returned to this hellhole of a place. Something evil has lied dormant waiting for Joe return. Joe has only one friend left in Colony and that is Homer. Joe and Homer talk about the strange things that happened when they were teenagers. Can Joe defeat this evil beast that has been waiting for him all these years?

  9. 5 out of 5

    Jessie

    I am one to finish books when I start them however, this one was difficult. I normally read a book or two in a week but this one took me almost 2 months to get through. Maybe it was just me .. I don't know?? I found it very poorly written and "boring".

  10. 5 out of 5

    Kathy

    The story was just okay for me because it took awhile to get into. A lot of jumping around, the detail skips around too much, and too much like Stephen King's "Salem's Lot".

  11. 4 out of 5

    Kelly

    Meh. Great start, but fizzled out about halfway through. I had higher expectations for this story. The description made it out to be more than it was.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Marcella Zatwarniski

    I read it because it was tis the season for Halloween. I found it weird but it did have some creepiness to it and gore as well. It just moved slow. Finally got moving about a quarter of the story to go.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Sean Daniels

    This isn’t horror, it’s horrible. It’s hard not to compare this novel to Stephen King’s ‘Salem’s Lot’ and find jt inferior in nearly every way. Only the language, the clear imagery and regional dialogue hold any worth in reading this novel. Which is a shame, as it starts with so much promise, taking the time to set up a whole host of intriguing characters and storylines... only to discard it all in callously poor storytelling. And then the ending arrives... and it’s worse th This isn’t horror, it’s horrible. It’s hard not to compare this novel to Stephen King’s ‘Salem’s Lot’ and find jt inferior in nearly every way. Only the language, the clear imagery and regional dialogue hold any worth in reading this novel. Which is a shame, as it starts with so much promise, taking the time to set up a whole host of intriguing characters and storylines... only to discard it all in callously poor storytelling. And then the ending arrives... and it’s worse than all that came before, taking the last shred of hope that there was anything to salvage from the experience and trashing it.

  14. 4 out of 5

    John Weathers

    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 fro 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.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Tanja Berg

    I think I'm done with horror novels for a while now. This was awful in the sense of mindnumbingly boring. I thought I'd like it because I quite enjoyed "Neverland" by the same author, but this book lacked both the childlike enchantment and wit of the former. It just dragged, from beginning to end. Author Joe returns to his hometown of Colony, West Virginia, with his wife and two children because he has been told his mother is dying. She's not, she just wants to see him. Joe has major I think I'm done with horror novels for a while now. This was awful in the sense of mindnumbingly boring. I thought I'd like it because I quite enjoyed "Neverland" by the same author, but this book lacked both the childlike enchantment and wit of the former. It just dragged, from beginning to end. Author Joe returns to his hometown of Colony, West Virginia, with his wife and two children because he has been told his mother is dying. She's not, she just wants to see him. Joe has major misgivings because he experienced some rather horrible things in Colony - amongst other, the death of his fiancé Melissa. There is some horrid creature living in the mines underneath the town, something vampiric but not quite. Joe knows, he has heard it. Maybe this wasn't a bad book. Maybe I'm just tired of monsters and paranormal horrors. It's possible, I'll grant you that. I still didn't like it and I won't be recommending it to anyone.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Josh Love

    In the children's hour nothing is at it seams The children's hour is about a town a a group of people in that town who at different times experience great horror, much of which they can not explain. It is about the small town of colony that nobody ever leaves, except for Joe Gardner who had seen and heard to much of the evil in that town. Many years latter as a grown man with a family of his own he returns to his childhood home only to discover that he had barely witnessed any of the evil Col In the children's hour nothing is at it seams The children's hour is about a town a a group of people in that town who at different times experience great horror, much of which they can not explain. It is about the small town of colony that nobody ever leaves, except for Joe Gardner who had seen and heard to much of the evil in that town. Many years latter as a grown man with a family of his own he returns to his childhood home only to discover that he had barely witnessed any of the evil Colony had in store for him. This story had surprises that I could not figure out in advance and so many terrifying twists. Douglas Clegg left me in shock more then once with this book; nobody does horror better.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer (Sad Books Say So Much)

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. We all face demons. We are all haunted by malevolent forces we cannot even begin to understand or control. But in the end, there is love, family, community...home. Home is not a building, nor is it a fixed place. It is where we are when we are with the people who know us better than we know ourselves, who have seen us at our worst far more often than our best, and yet...still find the strength and the courage to help us fight our demons and to forgive us again and again and again if we cannot ov We all face demons. We are all haunted by malevolent forces we cannot even begin to understand or control. But in the end, there is love, family, community...home. Home is not a building, nor is it a fixed place. It is where we are when we are with the people who know us better than we know ourselves, who have seen us at our worst far more often than our best, and yet...still find the strength and the courage to help us fight our demons and to forgive us again and again and again if we cannot overcome them. Our childish innocence of old may lurk deep beneath the surface, but if we unlock the chains that bind us to cynicism and despair, we can return home and find a way to rebuild our shattered hearts, dreaming new dreams to replace those that are gone forever.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Uncapped Pen

    The Children's Hour by Douglas Clegg is one of the more interesting takes on the vampiric novel. Although, I guess I would not call the monster(s) in this a vampire. The protagonist of this novel is Joe Gardner. This is a great literary character. Just because he is the good guy doesn't mean he is no flawed. Joe is in denial about having a drinking problem that his wife clearly sees. In the past, while drunk he cheats on his wife because she reminds him of his fiance that died in a ho The Children's Hour by Douglas Clegg is one of the more interesting takes on the vampiric novel. Although, I guess I would not call the monster(s) in this a vampire. The protagonist of this novel is Joe Gardner. This is a great literary character. Just because he is the good guy doesn't mean he is no flawed. Joe is in denial about having a drinking problem that his wife clearly sees. In the past, while drunk he cheats on his wife because she reminds him of his fiance that died in a horrible accident. This is what makes him so believable as a character. I also think that learning the origin of his flaws is one of the reasons that The Children's Hour kept my undivided attention. Read more at uncappedpen.weebly.com

  19. 4 out of 5

    Stacey

    Super book by a terrific author! When I first started reading this and saw that it was a vampire type book, I was prepared not to like it since I do not care for that type of horror story. But, since I have loved everything else that I have read by this excellent writer, I kept an open mind and continued reading. And, I am glad that I did. The plot was really a different take on this type of story. The storyline was well developed, and I really cared for the characters. Clegg is an excellent an Super book by a terrific author! When I first started reading this and saw that it was a vampire type book, I was prepared not to like it since I do not care for that type of horror story. But, since I have loved everything else that I have read by this excellent writer, I kept an open mind and continued reading. And, I am glad that I did. The plot was really a different take on this type of story. The storyline was well developed, and I really cared for the characters. Clegg is an excellent and very polished writer. I will be reading many more works by him.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Craig

    I don't comment on most books. I am about half way through and I am confused. So far it is boring nothing there's no excitement. I though this was a horror story but it's more of a confused love story of past live events of the main character. I don't think I will finish reading this book. Cuz it did not captive me and interest me for the beginning. I would not waste my time reading this book. You will be very disappointed. Also I will not rate this book cuz how can I rate something that wasted I don't comment on most books. I am about half way through and I am confused. So far it is boring nothing there's no excitement. I though this was a horror story but it's more of a confused love story of past live events of the main character. I don't think I will finish reading this book. Cuz it did not captive me and interest me for the beginning. I would not waste my time reading this book. You will be very disappointed. Also I will not rate this book cuz how can I rate something that wasted my time so this book gets no stars

  21. 5 out of 5

    Brenda

    The story was okay (slow at times), the writing was okay (kind of wordy at times and there were a couple of inconsistencies). Everything fell into place a little too neatly for my taste - kind of throughout the whole book. I read a shorter piece by this author that I enjoyed, so thought I would try this - I liked his short piece a lot more. I agree with another reviewer who said this is like 'Salem's Lot - unfortunately, Mr. Clegg is not Mr. King.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Dr. Fiona M. Clements-Russell

    'The Children's Hour '... Oh my. This is my favourite Douglas Clegg book, which I have had the wonderful pleasure to have so far read. I loved his shorter story/novella collections, (the Hallowe'en Chillers box set, for example which includes the superb Nightmare Chronicles,) and recently, have been reading little else other than short story collections. That's mainly due to 'Stuff' going on in my life, and my getting my fix to my addiction to reading hasn't been compatible with just not having 'The Children's Hour '... Oh my. This is my favourite Douglas Clegg book, which I have had the wonderful pleasure to have so far read. I loved his shorter story/novella collections, (the Hallowe'en Chillers box set, for example which includes the superb Nightmare Chronicles,) and recently, have been reading little else other than short story collections. That's mainly due to 'Stuff' going on in my life, and my getting my fix to my addiction to reading hasn't been compatible with just not having time (and enough concentration) to really getting my teeth into a novel, without too many damned distractions eating into my sacred reading time! But the feeling of this book grabbed me right from reading the synopsis, as did the story itself, right from the very beginning. I really don't like to write reviews with spoilers, so I am not going to go into detailed plot of character breakdowns, storyline, etc., but what I can say is, it is so atmospheric and the themes - returning to your past; friendship and loves lost; family complications (not really 'spoilers' I hope?!) are so well crafted that you feel you are living them yourself, as you get into this superb story. That is possibly why I have always read, by the way - to escape - and this was one hell of an escape. The writing is descriptively so on point. For example, some of the heartwrenching settings for particularly poignant and emotionally dredging, scenes, will stay with me for a long time. I have already said that's because I feel as a story, it is so well crafted, and I would really like to repeat this, as it is the lynchpin of a 'perfect storm' for this kind of book - compelling plot, beautiful writing, and 'real' people who you care about. Oh my goodness, even the way that Douglas Clegg writes fine details in some scenes in 'The Children's Hour' is so absorbing you can almost, taste, smell, and touch the very soul of the narrative, along with the person it is happening to. You want to be there. And, trust me, that might not the best possible idea I have ever had, given what unfolds in this story! Speaking of how the plot does unfold, the terrifying, almost surreal way you begin to experience the horrors (and there are plenty of them, this book doesn't disappoint on any level!) reminds me of something Stephen King says, in, if, I am remembering where it comes from correctly, I am pretty sure it's in the foreword to 'Night Shift'. It's about how he reminds us that the normal fabric of everyday life can unfurl with shocking suddenness. This is exactly what happens in 'The Children's Hour'. The writing is so good that you find you are rapidly being drawn into what, in 'everyday' life, would seem too surreal to be believable. Yet, here, because you are actually living this story so immersively, it just feels too real to NOT accept, and that is a gift I believe only a real Storyteller can use effectively. Just as a slight aside, and not meant in any way to detract from the ingenuity and superbly written story here that Clegg has uniquely brought to life, I am sure that most readers, and indeed writers, if they are being honest, realise that there are always going to be nods to other influences in any Author's work. I consider it nothing but the highest praise to add, as I raced breathlessly to the conclusion of 'The Children's Hour ', I was most compelled to revisit Stephen King's own ''Salem's Lot'. So, for me, comparing this so favourably to something from my favourite Author's life's work, really is just a simple compliment, and shouldn't be misconstrued as anything else. Yes, there are certain similarities in the plot, but beyond that, 'The Children's Hour ' is perfectly capable of standing tall on its own two feet as a memorable story I know I am going to want to read again. Let's be honest here, how many books can you truly say you want to/have read more than once? Again, a compliment to Douglas Clegg and this fantastic tale of his. I honestly feel that Douglas Clegg has surpassed himself with 'The Children's Hour '. I am obviously a fan, but if you want to treat yourself to some very fine writing indeed, and love a great horror story that goes way beyond the remit of simply being terrifying, please, give this book your time, and you will not be disappointed. I really hope you will enjoy it as much as I obviously have!

  23. 4 out of 5

    KL Caley

    I’m really perplexed about writing this review. This author was recommended to me on the premise that he was very similar to Stephen Kings older horror books and I soon purchased this book with eager anticipation. I didn’t find that to be the case. I didn’t have that terror that somehow kept you addictively reading with Stephen Kings classics such as the shining. Nothing like that, at all. That being said the book itself wasn’t too bad. The premise is really intriguing. A family returns to the town the fat I’m really perplexed about writing this review. This author was recommended to me on the premise that he was very similar to Stephen Kings older horror books and I soon purchased this book with eager anticipation. I didn’t find that to be the case. I didn’t have that terror that somehow kept you addictively reading with Stephen Kings classics such as the shining. Nothing like that, at all. That being said the book itself wasn’t too bad. The premise is really intriguing. A family returns to the town the father (Joe) grew up in and on his return he is confronted by a girl that disappeared during his childhood. The issue being the girl is exactly the same, she hasn’t aged at all and she remembers Joe. Clegg’s writing is really quite good, it’s strange and quirky and at times a very vivid image of this small backwater town is portrayed. However, for a lot of this book, I found it quite boring. Not a lot seems to be actually happening. I do agree with other reviewers also that there are just too many points of view in this book, so you sort of struggle to really champion Joe as the main character as the perspective switches a lot along with quite a few flashbacks. It makes the reading quite hard-work and off-putting and all these flashbacks/perspective switches, do slow the pace down a bit. So, a bit of a mixed bag for me really. This book is not for me a Stephen King equivalent. The story was much more complicated than it needed it to be. That said I didn’t totally dislike it, I really enjoyed the premise, the main character Joe was pretty good and I did like the ending. I think this author has talent and as he continues to write I think his writing style will really flourish, for that reason I will keep an eye out for future books, but I think this one could have done with just a little extra polish and honing. Still, overall an enjoyable read and it’s nice to find something new in this genre. 3.5 star rating. Please leave a like if you think my review/feedback of the item was helpful to you. Alternatively, please contact me if you want me to clarify something in my review.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Bilquis

    I would like to start by saying that I am a huge Clegg fan. I've read a few of his novels now, and a collection of short stories that completely won me over. I still have easily 4 or 5 of his novels on my shelves yet to read. Horror writing is tough, and this man knows his business. Having said that...this book was a huge disappointment. I don't want to trash him, I'm a fan but, no...this book was not good. If you are looking to dip a toe in, start with Neverland. The book started off strong b I would like to start by saying that I am a huge Clegg fan. I've read a few of his novels now, and a collection of short stories that completely won me over. I still have easily 4 or 5 of his novels on my shelves yet to read. Horror writing is tough, and this man knows his business. Having said that...this book was a huge disappointment. I don't want to trash him, I'm a fan but, no...this book was not good. If you are looking to dip a toe in, start with Neverland. The book started off strong but started to fall apart around the beginning of the second act. There was a lot going on. This could have (should have) been an epic. He had plenty of characters and a widely arching time stamp to work with, but the Author decided not to commit. He seemed to knuckle under and differ to a minimized word count per industry standards. The results were chapters that seemed hacked down, dramatically in some cases, with huge chunks of the narrative reduced to just a few paragraphs. This of course led to a total break-down of the timbre and mood of the piece and by the end, it had all the charm of a magazine article telling us that, this happened, then this happened, then this happened...ugh. Drained all of the fun out of it. By the end Clegg just seemed to give up, having lost his taste for it. Neither the ending itself or the "monster" ever felt fully realized. At one point in the book, (toward the end) the "monster" was characterized using no less than 5 iconic creature character templates. No shit folks-5! Not individual characteristics, but whole categories! Just when you thought you had it locked down, he shifted gears, ending in, just a jumbled mess. The characters never really seemed to know difinitvely what it was, and I don't believe that Clegg did either. The ending was just plain sad. I finished out of loyalty; hoping that the Author would somehow redeem himself in the end. He did not. Also. the female characters in this book were weak props at best, or vaguely interesting, due to the fact that they were truely awful people, but ultimately two dimentional due to the fact that they were too soon dispatched, just when they were getting interesting.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Kim Casey

    It was ok. Still not sure I understand the concept of this book. Not sure if the main character Joe was supposed to be a hero of some sort. SPOILER ALERT: At times I wanted Joe to do something and he would just lay down to It(devil/angel) waiting and wanting to die...really???? And b/c he did just that, he gets his family back....Again really??? They leave town after Tad said they shouldn't thru his father. In the next town everything is normal so they go to sleep instead of getting he It was ok. Still not sure I understand the concept of this book. Not sure if the main character Joe was supposed to be a hero of some sort. SPOILER ALERT: At times I wanted Joe to do something and he would just lay down to It(devil/angel) waiting and wanting to die...really???? And b/c he did just that, he gets his family back....Again really??? They leave town after Tad said they shouldn't thru his father. In the next town everything is normal so they go to sleep instead of getting help. The end. That's it. So why should they have not left town? Why go to sleep instead of getting help? What happened to Virgil? The rest of the children? There were no answers to these and other questions.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Bibhash

    I wanted to like this more than I did... but ultimately the story just fell flat. The premise was reminiscent of older- to mid- Stephen King but the characters simply did not resonate with me. The plot moved forward briskly enough; however, there were too many time shifts with too many characters which confused the story at times. Ultimately, I didn’t care enough about the main protagonists and the climax of the story left way too much to be desired.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Michelle K.

    The story is engaging but drawn out in places, so at times I lost focus. The writing is good but again in places kind of loses focus. I would consider reading more from this author but I wouldn't rush out to get his other books.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Jason

    Disturbing and scary What I thought would be a simple read turned out to be a very well written book that gave me nightmares. Weaving from the past to the present it tells a haunting tale of loss and redemption. I recommend this book to all fans of modern horror!

  29. 4 out of 5

    Janice

    I just couldn't get into the book.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    New author I fell into reading....love his books!! This was a nice thriller !

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