Review by Shellie for The Year of the Storm by John Mantooth
Shellie’s quick take: A complexly interwoven and otherworldly mystery that is also a dark coming-of-age story. It centers around the events leading up to several devastating tornados and a painful loss.
Shellie’s description: Set near some woods in Alabama, Danny and Walter are on the verge of being forced into becoming adults. Danny’s mother and sister have disappeared before a powerful storm and Walter and his friend Seth are targets from violent and heartless bullies. Each story is set within two different times, one current and one during the 1960’s, with the boys each telling their sad stories in the first person. They relate their tales in alternating chapters, slowly unraveling the mystery of the disappearance of Danny’s family.
Shellie’s thoughts: An intense read, this book feels somewhat paranormal in nature. However, it’s one of those reads that leads you into a hidden world but then brings you back to reality in the end. What also adds to the thrilling nature of the book, is that how the boys are connected does not become completely clear until the last third of the book. It has a satisfying and twisty plot and a surprising ending.
Even though this book has a great structure that kept things moving along, and the more I think about the storyline the more I admire its complexity, I do have one minor grumble - the voices of the boys were so similar that several times I found myself confused about which one I was reading about.
Beyond that it’s a terrific book that is highly recommended for those wanting a thrilling and otherworldly coming-of-age story, and of course those looking for literary horror. 4 stars for this creative and twisty story.
320 pages | 04 Jun 2013 | Berkley | 8.26 x 5.23in | 18 - AND UP
Author Bio: John Mantooth is an award-winning author whose short stories have been recognized in numerous year's best anthologies. His short fiction has been published in Fantasy Magazine, Crime Factory, Thuglit, and the Stoker winning anthology, Haunted Legends (Tor, 2010), among others. His first book, Shoebox Train Wreck, was released in March of 2012 from Chizine Publications. His debut novel, The Year of the Storm from Berkley, was released in June 2013. He lives in Alabama with his wife, Becky, and two children.