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Lora's Rants and Reviews

My own unapologetic opinions on books and writing. I DO NOT accept review requests but only review books I choose to read and I don't post reviews on Amazon. I'm also persnickity about genre and plot.

Currently reading

The Illumination of Ursula Flight
Anna-Marie Crowhurst
Paris: The Novel
Edward Rutherfurd
Progress: 21%
Unnatural Creatures
Maria Dahvana Headley, Neil Gaiman
Progress: 8%
Don Quixote
Roberto González Echevarría, John Rutherford, Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra
Progress: 60%

A Halloween Tale

A Halloween Tale - Austin Crawley

by Austin Crawley


I wasn't sure about this one at first because the three significant characters didn't immediately invoke sympathy, but as the story reflects the journey of Scrooge from A Christmas Carol, I could see why they had to be at least a little shallow, so that they had some room for development. I actually started to like Amber once we got a better look at her through her reactions to the ghost visitations.


The story is actually very cleverly deceptive, starting out like any group of middle class girls around college age, just having a laugh by doing a séance to raise fictional ghosts. Then when something actually results, we are taken through their individual memories and mostly normal fears into a very changed reality.


I don't want to give spoilers, but rest assured that things get deeper and more intense as the story goes along. There's a certain amount of a moralistic message, but that also follows the spirit of the source material and doesn't hit you over the head. The last of the ghost sequences was the sort of thing that leaves you thinking afterwards, about the whole nature of belief and how our perceptions of a thing shape its nature. That part just might stay with me for a long time.


I would highly recommend this as a Christmas Horror read. It's novella length, so easy to read in a short time just before the holiday, either as an alternative to or in conjunction with the well known Charles Dickens story or even watching a version of the story, even the Muppets version, on television.