Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Greetings from Moon Hill - by Anthony J. Rapino - A collection of strange, inexplicable tales from Moon Hill, Pennsylvania

3 of 5 Stars     Review copy

I wanted to love Greetings from Moon Hill and I can't quite put a finger on what went wrong.  Conceptually, it's a great idea.  A small town "tucked into the folds of the Pennsylvania countryside."  A place of "Unseen things that are all around us. Impossible flowers, witches, interdimensional beings, murder coverups" and more.  These are all things I love, so what went wrong?

Once I finished the book and checked the copyright, I discovered the stories where written over the last decade.  This could very well account for the disconnect I felt and the seeming unevenness between some of the stories. Ten years is a long time and I'm sure the writer has honed his skills significantly over that time.  Some of the stories felt incomplete yet others were as good as anything I've read this year.

I was nearly 20% into the collection before finding a story I found satisfying on all levels. Camera Obscura about a Junior High Science Fair leading to an obsession with one student's project.  That and a bit of a drinking problem lead to some interesting results.

Other winners in the collection included From Your Body They Rise, Morning Espresso at the Church of Me, and Loosely Enforced Rules, the later about an unorthodox gang of miscreants, with plenty of gore, and took a stand on how french fries should be prepared (I couldn't agree more).

No Touching at All was very clever and Struck by Golden Lightning introduced us to Ewan, a wonderfully complex character who would show up occasionally throughout the collection.

Just Once More, Little Sister was a truly demented story and one of my favorites, as was A Very Large Bird.

As you can see, there are some gems in Greetings From Moon Hill, just not enough for me to fully recommend.

Most of these stories have appeared elsewhere, but are collected here for the first time.

Greetings from Moon Hill is currently available for the Kindle. If you subscribe to Kindle Unlimited you can read it at no additional charge.  Also, if you are an Amazon Prime member you can read it for FREE using the Kindle Owners Lending Library.

From the author's bio - Anthony J. Rapino is a horror writer and sculptor. He's also a teacher, and somehow that makes more sense than it should.  He spends his days among people and things that demand shaping:  Words, clay , or minds, it all amounts to the same job.

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