Published by Grindhouse Press on February 16 2019
Genres: Horror, Novella, Supernatural
Source: Purchased Book
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Strang isn’t the small, quaint town it appears to be. It’s haunted every night by a creature the townsfolk refer to as Halloween. Once the sun sets each day, Halloween emerges to collect its treats: a small, live offering from each household. The residents comply because no one wants to be the target of Halloween’s tricks. But the nightmare of residing in Strang is nothing compared to the yearly ritual Halloween demands of the citizens on All Hallows’ Eve.
Halloween Fiend is a seriously creepy tale. The residents of Strang (yup, Strange without the E) know not to go out after sundown. The streets are eerie and quiet, but that’s not the only thing that is wrong with this town. They are haunted by an entity that prowls the streets. The only thing that stops them being killed is the sacrifice of small animals being left on their doorsteps. Apparently, guinea pigs and the likes are a tasty snack for the creature that is called Halloween. Once a year however, someone gets the dot – a term for a randomly selected resident to satiate the monster for another year.
The protagonist, Barry Johnson, a middle-aged guy who’s had his fair share of trauma. His mother came foul to the evil creature that haunts this ghost town. He’s has never quite got over the events surrounding it. He’s now essentially been handed the reluctant role of being his elderly fathers’ carer. His antagonistic behaviour has spiraled Barry into a life of misery and despair, he quite fancies the waitress at the diner but melts into a puddle of embarrassment at the prospect of asking her out. Barry is in a rut, that he can’t see any way out of.
Now, although this is a story that is entertaining and fun there was a few problems I had with it while reading. The narration is clunky and disjoined. It didn’t flow with the ease I have come to expect with horror novellas. Barry’s inner monologue was boring and came across as just whiney. Yes, he’s had a difficult life and things are hard, what with the nightly curfews, but he isn’t exactly taking everything in his stride…and boy does he let everyone know it.
The plot had more holes in it than a string vest! This monster known as Halloween, is creating mayhem in Strang, no-one tries to find some way to fight it or discover what its weakness is…why? Why are they letting this thing run amok through their lives and town? Why are they oferring up their residents as a yearly sacrifice? The descriptions of the creature seem a little vague and seems to morph but again, we don’t find out why. The ending was also a bit meh and left me with more questions than I really have ought to have. Halloween Fiend has masses of potential but for me it fell a little flat.
ABOUT C.V. HUNT
C.V. Hunt lives in Dayton, Ohio and is the author of RITUALISTIC HUMAN SACRIFICE, BABY HATER, COCKBLOCK, HALLOWEEN FIEND and several other books. C.V. Hunt is also the owner of Grindhouse Press. If you’re interested in their work please hit the follow button on Amazon as they are not on any social media. If you need to contact C.V. Hunt you can do so through the contact page on www.grindhousepress.com.