*Book given via netgalley in exchange for an honest review*
Ronan Szepessy promised himself he’d never return to Hudson. The sleepy upstate town was no place for a restless gay photographer. But his father is ill and New York City’s distractions have become too much for him. He hopes that a quick visit will help him recharge.
Ronan reconnects with two friends from high school: Dom, his first love, and Dom’s wife, Attalah. The three former misfits mourn what their town has become—overrun by gentrifiers and corporate interests. With friends and neighbors getting evicted en masse and a mayoral election coming up, Ronan and Attalah craft a plan to rattle the newcomers and expose their true motives. But in doing so, they unleash something far more mysterious and uncontainable.
Hudson has a rich, proud history and, it turns out, the real estate developers aren’t the only forces threatening its well-being: the spirits undergirding this once-thriving industrial town are enraged. Ronan’s hijinks have overlapped with a bubbling up of hate and violence among friends and neighbors, and everything is spiraling out of control. Ronan must summon the very best of himself to shed his own demons and save the city he once loathed.
What I Liked
The first thing I have to say is I really liked the world building of this book. The author did a wonderful job of creating the town of Hudson. The main character really has bad memories tied to this place, rightfully so, he had endured quite a bit there. But, even with his memories he heads back to help his father only to face a place so different than he remembers, but hates. The world and environment of this story feel real, it has a feel to it even with the supernatural elements. There is a rich history of the town, which is not just there for the sake of being there, but plays into the plot.
The writing itself was interesting, the plot moved quickly even for a nearly 400 page novel. It was a book I picked up from time to time, but I always ended up reading for more than I originally planned on. It did talk about a lot of larger topics throughout this book like violence, gentrification, homophobia, drug use and more. I think this is one of the reasons I kept on reading this book, because it had a lot going on and was dynamic.
What I Didn’t Like
The major flaw of this novel is the first part of the book was difficult to get through. While I did say I always ended up reading more than I planned, this first part of the book was a bit iffy for me personally, but turned around for me as the book continued. Another thing that I wasn’t totally on board with is the fact that it could be really confusing at times and I had a hard time trying to figure out what this book was trying to be at first.
Overall, I think the author created a really rich history for this town that really lent itself to the plot and structure of the story. I think the author is a talented writer and I plan on giving his other works a try as well. I really enjoyed the use of the paranormal and really elevated this story into an engaging and unique horror. I feel like if this book sounds interesting to you, you should give it a go.
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Publication Date: December 1, 2020
List Price: $26.99
Pages: 384 pages