Sunday, October 20, 2013

Book Review: “Harvest Moon” by James A. Moore, Cemetery Dance Publications, 2009, 330 pages, Kindle Edition.

Our final part of our special set of columns focusing on Halloween books concludes the hat trick; this time with the novel “Harvest Moon”, part of a series of books that interchange characters, yet can read alone.

Moore dedicates this volume to Ray Bradbury whose own book “The Halloween Tree” stands as the inspiration for this tale of mystery and steady paced creepiness at every page turn. The book screams every aspect of Halloween, not only as backdrop but in the author’s descriptions and story-telling.  Too is the author’s use of the standard staples of that night, as they each, in their own way, independently play a part, celebrating the holiday without overdoing it.

You can feel the chill in the air of late October as you picture the town, a town that curiously and marvelously looks like the towns each of us grew up in, as that town prepares for the magical night.

But when you factor in a witch, scarecrow men, monsters and a less than enchanted forest that people are forbidden to enter, peppered with people gone missing and murdered this book is oh so sweet.

Like a candy unwrapped, Moore takes us through the order of history of the people who came to settle and live here in Beldam Woods; through the legend that defines the people even in the present day. As the wrapper unwinds, you meet the locals, sense the secrets, and the foreboding begins to weigh.

The novel is written magically, almost lyrically as Moore plays with language and rhythm. The horrors are delivered softly but firm, making the reader squirm and squirm again.

And if you brain dead and that doesn’t do it for you; check out the cover by Alan Clark --- in a word ‘Damn!’ Yeah, THAT good.

If you expect fast pace and a fast read, this is not your book. If you want depth, style and master storytelling. . .

1 comment:

Christopher Linebaugh said...

Yeah Joseph, I totally agree with you about that cover. I own the limited edition hardback and it gets displayed every Halloween in my library.

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