Saturday, June 7, 2014

Bay's End by Edward Lorn

This book could be shelved under horror or thriller/suspense. I'd lean more toward the thriller side of things, if it were my job to categorize it. However, if I were the librarian recommending this thing, I'd make sure people knew that this is at its core a coming of age story. I'd also let folks know that the first half is told at a pretty leisurely pace, which perfectly matches the mood of two young boys getting to know each other in an endless summer of nothing to do. It's not until around the 50% mark or so that you begin to realize the author's been sneakily setting up all the dominoes that go tumbling down in the last third of the book. This story transforms smoothly from a funny, almost bittersweet, story of childhood's end into a tense thriller. Nicely done.

I'm not one for framing mechanisms in stories, but Lorn puts the one he's constructed here to good effect. It serves the purpose of creating tension through dramatic irony. It breaks up the action a bit here and there, too. But, as a whole, I could have done without it.

I'm also not a fan of villains explaining their motivations and filling in all the holes in the story just before they are about to (unsuccessfully) kill the heroes. This happens twice in this book! Even though I'm not a fan of this trope, I don't despise it, and I understand why it happens in stories. If I truly hated every story that contained the 'villain explains' gag, I wouldn't like anything ever. I'm just saying I like it better when the author finds a different, better way.

It wasn't my intent to end this review on a sour note. This truly is a touching story and an exciting thriller. Pick it up. If you're so inclined, you can grab a copy for free from Amazon.

I'd recommend you do so.

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