Echoes in the Graveyard is a suspenseful tale of death and rebirth in a small New England college town during homecoming.
My review copy was provided for free through Netgalley
Just so you know, this is short. 98 pages on my ereader. Which is fine, if you just want a quickish read.
Secondly that description isn’t really… descriptive. The description on Calhoun’s own webpage is better, in that it gives me more details, but also spoils most of the events of the book whilst not giving me any idea of what its about (I am not an expert on book descriptions, but I would still advise a rewrite of the one on the website). I am going into this book… refreshingly unprepared. Is it an urban fantasy with werewolves? A horror novel? Literary fiction? I just don’t know! Shall we find out?
I’m not quite sure what I just read, but I know that I liked it. However, it did have a few problems.
Despite the beautiful, often poetic writing and the great sense of place, this is a confusing book. It is this way intentionally perhaps, as it jumps between characters and times to tell the story. The problem is that a lot of seemingly unnecessary detail is kept in. The tenses jump around in the paragraphs, and we are often treated to flashbacks within flashbacks, leading to a sense of some kind of temporal gumbo.
The other major problem is the dialogue. It is too realistic. Writing dialogue is hard, but making it sound like real people are talking isn’t the best idea. Have you heard real people talk? They’re dull. I often felt as if the characters were discussing things that didn’t matter, that didn’t move the plot on or reveal the theme or any character depth.
I love the supernatural turn the book took towards to end, though I found the end itself unsatisfying.
This is a hard one to give a star marking to. The good stuff (the language, the atmosphere, the twists) were very very good but the poor stuff was equally poor. In the end I average it out at 3 stars.
Worth a look if you think you can get past the confusing timing.
- On Writing Echoes in the Graveyard (sjcalhoun.wordpress.com)