“The annihilation of Earth is only a heartbeat away”
THE RAINS BY GREGG HURWITZ
I read “The Rains” by Gregg Hurwitz with great interest, as I’m always curious why bestselling adult writers decide to take a stab at writing YA. Hurwitz usually writes a book a year since his debut in 1999 and is a very popular producer of page-turning thrillers which sell very well. I’ve even read a few, as has the wife! So “The Rains” was a major change of pace for him, and over the whole I enjoyed it a lot. I must point out that it borrows heavily from a pretty wide range of both adult and other YA novels, but Hurwitz blitzes everything together into his own cooking pot and comes up with a brand that teenagers should really get into. In reviewing YA you must always remember that YOU are not the intended audience, so the majority of YA readers will not pick up on everything I mention in this review.
A few months back GNoH enjoyed Amy Lukavics YA debut “Daughters Unto Devils” a gripping and hypnotic horror thriller set in frontier America which threw into the mix everything from cabin fever, religious fundamentalism, madness and murder, not to mention a large dose of the supernatural. In light of a terrific debut I was very interested to see what Amy was going to come up with next, and that often ‘difficult’ second novel…..
‘The Last Days of Jack Sparks’ is the very enjoyable debut novel from a journalist with a pretty colourful career, writing for magazines as cool as ‘The Word’, ‘Kerrang’ (beyond cool!) and ‘Q’. Jason Arnopp has also penned comedy for Radio 4 and official tie-in fiction for both ‘Doctor Who’ and ‘The Friday the Thirteenth’ franchises. He’s a really versatile writer whose varied output shows this dude really knows how to bust a twisted sentence or two. I reckon the debut novel was always an inevitability, and is certainly a welcome one. With this back-catalogue there’s also no surprise his first splash into fiction is pretty crazy, off the wall, and at times just a little bit scary. I would expect no less from an ex-‘Kerrang’ journalist….
Jeff is a Toronto-based writer (and grade 2 teacher), with new middle-grade comedic horror coming out from Star Crossed Press this fall (October 15, 2016) Sheldon Unger Vs. The Dentures of Doom “Dentures” is the story of 8th grade student Sheldon Unger, who unwittingly unleashes hellish forces locked up in his cranky grandmother's wooden trunk. He begrudgingly takes up the mantle as a demon-hunting tooth fairy, while simultaneously trying to win the heart of his school crush and keep himself from getting pummeled by the grade 8 alpha male. Of course, he must also keep from getting pummeled by the Tenebrion, a shadow demon from another realm intent on destroying our own.
Jeff has been published extensively with Maple Tree Press and Owlkids in Canada, including nonfiction m/g titles such as Fear This Book (finalist, 2008 Ontario Library Association Silver Birch Award), and Gross Universe (2005, IPPY Finalist, Juvenile category and a pick for YALSA's Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults). HE also dabbles in educational writing (Nelson Publishing), and am a regular contributor for Rue Morgue Magazine. Recent books include the Kirkus-reviewed humorous horror novel Evil Eye (Star Crossed Press, 2012 , and X Marks The Spot (Orca, 2015).
“Callie looks back just in time to see the lid slide off the urn, dropping with a noisy thump onto the carpeted floor. From inside, a jumble of hair rises out of the opening, inch by slow, protruding inch. As she watches, horrified, a drooping eye emerges from underneath that matted hair, and then next, a gaping mouth. It is Yoko Halloway’s head.”
The Girl From The Well was a very entertaining YA horror novel which, at first glance, seemed like it could be one that was pretty easy to stick your nose up at. In thanks to the fact that the cover is such a rip-off of the Japanese horror film classic “Ringu”. I am amazed the publisher hasn’t faced a lawsuit it’s so similar. However, from the back sleeve this novel is pegged at “Ages 14 and up” so I’m guessing that age group of 2016 may not be as familiar with slow walking young women, with very long black hair, climbing out of wells as us adults who became jaded with J-Horror once it ran out of ideas a good few years ago and started repeating itself. Age certificates on books do make me smile though….