The Sylvanville Spirits

The Sylvanville Spirits

Troy H. Gardner

280 pages

May 2013

E-book, currently free on Amazon.com

So I’m a fairly late arrival to the e-book phenomena. I have to say that I still prefer the act of reading a physical book, but having 40 or so books on my phone at any given time is a rush, plus it’s like going to the library without trying to figure out if I have the time to walk to the library before I get hit with late fees.

Anyway, other than a book by a fellow blogger this was the first e-book that I managed to finish (note to self: if a book involves two men fighting over a woman, don’t bother downloading it, you know you’re going to hate it). I really liked the book overall and I’ll get the few issues I had with it out of the way: both the writing and the editing are slightly inconsistent. There’s a handful of cases where the you’re should have been a your, and where the writing gets a little stilted and rocky. However, neither really detract from the other all story.

I really liked the way that this book went from sort of young adult goofy and descended into horror right at the end of the story. I have to admit to a fondness to this style of supernatural novels; I feel that it heightens the climax when the tone shifts this way. The characters are actually fairly believable as well, which I’ve found is one of my major critiques with indie horror novels-the characters have a tendency to come across as stilted and cardboard. Gardner’s characters avoid that issue.

When a famous author comes to stay in Sylvanville, Shelby and her friends think that it’ll help to make the summer more exciting-especially when they discover that he’s interested in the town’s most famous urban legend. The summer becomes increasingly strange as the legend seems to create a new mystery. Combine the ghost of Paul Lynde as well as a series of disappearances and the summer starts to move in a direction that none of them could have seen coming.

I’d rate this one at late young adult/early adult. There’s no sexual content but there is a fair amount of discussion about drug usage, but also no heavy street drug usage either. Profanity is minimal but the end takes a slightly violent turn. I’d put this one somewhere between Christopher Pike (does anyone even read Pike anymore?!) and lighter Stephen King.

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