I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Parachute by Holly Rae Garcia
Published by Easton Falls Publishing on May 20, 2022
Genres: Horror, Cosmic Horror, High School, Novella
Format: ARC, eBook
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Angela Rodriguez and her friends aren't sure what they want out of life now that they've graduated high school, but they think there is plenty of time to figure it all out. When a trip to an abandoned elementary school leads to a break-in, they discover an old gym parachute.
Raising the fabric above their heads, the group expects it to balloon out around them like it did when they were younger. But instead, the parachute reveals alternate universes and terrifying worlds.
There's only one rule...
DON'T LET GO
Move over H.P Lovecraft there’s a new cosmic horror genius in town! A pitch black concept that beguiles and unnerves in equal measure
Parachute came along at just the right time. In a genre that can be incredibly hard to stand out from the crowd, Holly Rae Garcia has done just that. She hasn’t just stood out but she’s floating into space. She has proven that stories can still be unique, can still scare you, it can make you fall in love with reading again.
Horror is like a drug, well it’s my drug of choice. It stops me from catastrophising life, dwelling on all the hurt and anguish in the world. It’s addictive. I couldn’t live without it – I want to experience other dimensions, I don’t want to walk in the woods unless I’m checking if there’s a serial killer behind me, I can’t walk through an abandoned house without making the connections to the dead. Horror has saved me on more than one occasion. With that comes the sameness in horror – you can see things coming at you, the patterns within the dialogue you quickly recognize the bad guy. Parachute was so original that I didn’t make assumptions, I took the road less travelled and slit my throat at what I found in an abandoned school.
It’s a coming-of-age story of kids reminiscing about a Parachute game they all played, the newbie to the group, Jason, had never heard of it let alone played it. Their dogged determination to show him what it’s all about forced them forward. Told from the perspective of Angela Rodriguez who is entangled in a bit of a love triangle with her boyfriend and Jason. Garcia did a great job of encapsulating those angsty teenage years within the pages of a novella. They break in and begin to play the childhood game – with dire consequences.
The scenes under the Parachute are sublime. It totally reminded me of those cooky episodes of The Twilight Zone or for us brits, Tales of the Unexpected. As they get deeper and deeper under the spell of the game a threatening cloud hangs over the group of friends. They all witness their world becoming darker, there seem to be no rules in this world.
The ending left me hanging, but I completely loved it. It leaves it up to your imagination and let me tell you – I was imagining all sorts. It was refreshing. You could spend all day trying to dissect but Holly Rae Garcia is a mastermind at messing with your head!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Holly Rae Garcia works full-time as the Gulf Coast Regional Photographer for a global chemical company. Growing up, she read her mother’s extensive Stephen King and True Crime collection, and a love for dark fiction with sad endings has stayed with her ever since. Holly especially loves the works of Edgar Allen Poe, Daniel Keyes, Richard Matheson, Stephen King, and Alfred Hitchcock.
Her own books include Parachute, Come Join the Murder and The Easton Falls Massacre: Bigfoot’s Revenge (co-written with her husband and fellow author, Ryan Prentice Garcia). Her shorter fiction has been published online and in print for various magazines and anthologies.
She lives on the Texas Coast with her family and five large dogs. You can often find her reading, watching horror movies, or playing poker.