Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Review: After Dark by James Leck

25628608Title: After Dark
Author:  James Leck
Publisher:  Kids Can Press
Publishing Date: August 1st 2015
Pages: 256
Genre: YA Humor Horror
Series:  Stand Alone (maybe a series) 
Source: Kindle
Fifteen-year-old slacker Charlie Harker is stuck in the sleepy town of Rolling Hills for the summer, helping his mom renovate his great-grandfather's creaky old inn. It's not entirely dull, thanks to Charlie's new neighbor Miles Van Helsing, who insists there's paranormal activity happening in Rolling Hills. Charlie chalks it up to Miles being the town nutcase. But many townspeople are falling prey to a mysterious illness, and wisecracking Charlie quickly gets wise?: there's something sinister going on in Rolling Hills.

This book was a pleasant little surprise for me. I was offered a chance to read it by the publishers and really hadn't heard much about it before then. I like the cover. Its simple and it really fits well with the book. Its got a bit of a funny side but also its horror. So the cover fits well. The book was funny, corny at times, not to creepy but enough to be considered horror. It was a fun book to read, especially this time of year. 

Charlie Harker's life gets uprooted when his mother moves him to her childhood small town and decides they are going to renovate an old inn that the family took over. This is a very weird small town. The first night back he meets a crazy uncle, a paranoid teenage conspiracy theorist, and the fun doesn't stop there. There is definitely something creepy and weird going down in this small town and of course Charlie is right smack dab in the middle of it all. 

I want to start by saying this book was fun. It is not to be taken seriously and its meant to be corny and a little off but I really liked it. I liked the simplicity of the story... zombies, vampires... zompires. It was classic but yet original. There was no big romance, no love triangle, no family issues to hash out. Just a goof off kid that doesn't like to work, be involved, or try hard, that gets dragged into the middle of a supernatural takeover. Its pretty cool. 

I felt there was a handful of very interesting, well woven  together characters. I enjoyed every one of them and feel they all brought something to good to the production. They were all pretty snarky, sarcastic, and little bit out of their minds but they were all different too. Each with a distinctive voice. 

Charlie Harker cracked me up. I usually don't like the care free lazy, good for nothing characters. But he grew on me. He changed a bit towards end. He finally steps up when he figures out something is definitely off and his family and the town is in danger. He is lazy and he doesn't like to help most of the time but when it comes to his family... he was on it. He didn't want anything to happen to them and he was pretty awesome in fighting for them. 

Miles Van Helsing was my favorite character. Just plain insane, nutty, crazy, out of his mind, living in a world of his own.... but for once in his life he gets something right and basically saves the town with the help of Charlie. He was super funny and quite interesting. I just adored him. 

The entire story was just fun. Like I said original enough to be enjoyed, light enough not be to creepy and just some good ole fashion monster fun. 

I really really enjoyed this book.  A great fun book for the Halloween season. 

James Leck

James Leck was born in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia in 1973. At the time, his hobbies included eating, sleeping and pooping his pants. Since then, much has changed.
He has worked as a high school teacher in Canada, Japan, and Kuwait. He has had the good fortune to visit New Zealand, England, Mexico, South Korea, Thailand, Guam, Oman, Jordan, France and Prague in the Czech Republic and Egypt.
Three things influenced him to write mysteries: Scooby Doo, Inspector Jacques Clouseau, and Sherlock Holmes. However, his teenage private eye, Jack Lime, is based on the hardboiled detectives of the 1940s and ‘50s.
Currently, James lives in Dartmouth with his wife and two children. He still enjoys sleeping and eating but has moved beyond pooping his pants.

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