Saturday, October 31, 2009

BOOK REVIEW: Horrorween by Al Sarrantonio

I actually started reading this book last Halloween but never finished it. I guess that shows you what I thought of this novel. Actually, the first two parts of Horrorween are interesting, but the last part is pretty dull.

Al Sarrantonio wrote a series of books about Halloween, Samhain and a fictional town called Orangefield. The first was Halloweenland and the second was Hallows Eve. This is the third and is comprised of three novellas instead of being a full-length novel like the first two. The first two novellas are fairly short - about 100 pages each - and the third one is around 200 pages.

The first novella is about a children's author who has a hornet infestation in his house. There wasn't a lot of action but the ending made up for that. I liked the children's book he was writing about a character named Sam Hain. It reminded me of Sam from Trick 'r Treat.

The second novella is about Pumpkin Boy, a half-robot half-pumpkin creation. This was definitely the best of the three. It was creepy, fast-paced and had a conclusion I never saw coming. Sarrantonio should've made this story into a full-length novel and forgot about the other two novellas.

The third novella is about Samhain appearing to three citizens of Orangefield and telling them to do things in order for him to take over the world. There wasn't a lot of explanation in this one. I never fully understood how Samhain planned to take over the world through these people. It dragged along and had very little action (I think this is where I stopped reading last year). And the ending was so anticlimactic. Practically nothing happened at the end when I was expecting a big finish since the rest of the novella had so little action.

Overall, Sarrantonio is a good author, writing fantastic descriptions of Orangefield at Halloween. But his character development is lacking. I never cared about any of the characters in Horrorween.

It's an okay read for Halloween and definitely gets you in the spirit with all the pumpkin and jack-o-lantern descriptions. But if you're looking for something with lots of action and gore or something with interesting characters you might want to skip it.

Rating: 3/5

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