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Grab a pumpkin spice latté and a warm blanket, because the old movie theater double feature has come back from the dead on your Kindle device or app! And these two short stories are jam packed with tricks and treats to get you in the mood for the Halloween season!
“‘Til His Very Last Day”
Sonny has had a tough life, but in spite of it all he pressed on, learning to get by with less. When a vicious creature in the woods takes what little he has left, he finally reaches his breaking point and vows to kill it – even if he destroys himself in the process!
Michael hates his dead-end job. If not for his enormous student debt, he would have quit long ago. So when his peculiar boss invites him to a dinner party, he hopes it’s his chance for something better – but he should be careful what he wishes for!
Review by Travis Starnes
Halloween Double Feature is exactly as the name implies. You get two short stories of the spooky variety. The first is about a man named Sonny and a vicious creature while the other focuses on a man in a dead end job.
I will start by saying that I am generally not a fan of either short stories or novellas. They almost always leave me unfulfilled and wanting more. That being said in this book it totally worked for me. The spooky Halloween tale is almost tailor made for this format. It is the literary version of sitting around the camp fire telling tales.
These two stories aren’t particularly scary but that doesn’t detract from the book. In fact these stories were almost certainly not intended to be scary. It seems instead the goal was for cleverness and a bit wit, which is fine by me since truly scary books are hard to pull off. Very few writers succeed and those who try and miss usually do so in a spectacular fashion. If you have read anything by Joe Caramanga or followed him on social media you will quickly recognize his tone. The stories are both charming, a little bit clever, and they have a dry sense of humor about them that works.
I did have a preference for the first story. Not that “Company Picnic” was bad mind you. My only real issue was that I could see the end coming pretty far away. However this story seemed to pay homage other classic “scary” stories, so maybe I was just reading my knowledge of those into this. Also there was also a lot of Mr. this and Mr. that which was a little distracting. To be clear I did enjoy it in a twilight zone kind of way, but if I had to pick a favorite I will go with the first story.
“Til His Very Last Day” had some tone changes that I enjoyed and a couple of times the story took me off guard. I thought one thing was going on, only to see it be something else, only to realize it was kind of the first thing I thought it was but not really. I know that sentence makes it sound confusing, but the story wasn’t. It’s just that for such a short story the path you go through as a reader has some nice bumps to keep things interesting.
It you are in the mood for some Halloween fun and like that Halloween style spooky story, then this book is for you. Actually, if you just like a fun story then pick this up. It is a quick and thoroughly enjoyable read.