So I land this dream job as a reviewer for Ginger Nuts of Horror. My first “official” job is to review an ARC of Nothing Lasting by Glen Krisch. Who says good things don’t happen?
This is one of those rare occasions that you get 2 reviews from me for one book.
Review 1: It’s Glen Krisch. Buy it. If you have never read him before this will get you hooked.
Review 2: It’s 2009. Noah Berkley’s father has passed away. He has returned to the family home in his father’s hometown of Maple Valley for the funeral and to clear his house. While there he reminisces about the last time he was here, during the winter of 1984 when his life changed forever in ways he could never imagine.....
In 1984 Noah is 12. His mother and father have just separated. He goes to Maple Valley with his father to start a new life in his Grandpa’s house after he passes away. When he gets there he discovers his father has already hooked up with his old flame Erin Dooling. Noah now discovers he must try and get on with her son Derek. Noah despises him and Derek takes him into deep dark places that he will never ever escape. Jenny Sparrow lives round the corner. When she and Noah get together there is an undoubted connection. While Noah is slowly falling in love with Jenny, his secrets with Derek threaten his very existence. Will he ever break away from Derek’s hold? Will his love for Jenny ever come to fruition? Only if the secrets people have, stay as secrets.
This book is probably best described, in my opinion, as a creepy coming of age novel. The main body of the story is a flashback to 1984 following Noah as he tries to deal with his parents break up and the increasingly annoying Derek, and the life he now has to build with him. The character make up is fantastic. Noah is a timid, introverted young boy on the verge of becoming a teenager. You just want to take him under your wing and guide him through everything and keep him out of trouble. Derek is horrible. I probably haven’t hated a character in a book as much in a long time. As the story unfolds he gets worse and even though he is only a teenager in the story I just wanted to punch his face in. Jenny is adorable, worldly wise and a shining star Noah should follow for better future. You don’t like Noah’s parents or Erin Dooling much either until circumstances are explained much later in the story.
Secrets is a key word in this story. Everyone has them. You just never know what they are or the effect they will have on those around them when they are revealed. In this case the secrets span a period of more than 10 years. Just when you think you have found out who the keeper of a certain secret is, it becomes clear that that Mr Krisch has led you up a path of deception with more secrets still to reveal. It shows quite clearly that none of us can trust anyone we don’t know implicitly. We even have to doubt those we do occasionally as well.
This book doesn’t contain the amount of horror we have seen previously from Glen Krisch but when you look deeper into the story it reveals a different kind of horror. Something that is engrained in us all and as a society in general. Human nature. This story is probably happening all over the world as we speak. That is what is so believable in it. That is what is so convincing in it. That is what makes it so scary.
Glen Krisch’s words don’t just flow together on the page. They jump out at you and grab you by the shirt and don’t let you go until you’re finished. They hug you when you need it. They make you laugh when you need it. Just when you think it’s all ok, they creep you out when you don’t expect it.
This is definitely a more slow paced, creepy than all out, in your face horror. If like me you love the gore and the jumps, the heart pumping scares and all out poo your pants horror then this story is not it. On the other hand, it is an excellent read that will let you recover from the former and enjoy writing at it’s very best and a story that will keep you rooted to your seat until the twist at the very end that will quite possibly make your jaw hit the table and leave you like that for a long time after.
Highest recommended 5 stars.
REVIEWED BY NEV MURRAY