The Turtle Boy by Kealan Patrick Burke is a wonderfully dark and sinister ghost story wrapped up in a 3-hour read. And best of all - it's FREE to download from the Kindle Store!
When Timmy Quinn and his best friend Pete encounter a new kid, Darryl, at the local pond/pit in Ohio, events both disturbing and unexplanable unfold in a thrilling mix of the supernatural and crime genres. Darryl is a boy who feeds himself to turtles. He is a boy who has secrets, and a boy who harbours a deadly longing for revenge. He also leaves Timmy with a gift he'll never be free of.
I found The Turtle Boy both brilliant and strange all at once. The basic storyline is nothing new: dead boy seeks revenge against his killer - but it is the quirkily written subtexts that made it something different. A lot of them are very dark for something classed as a children's/YA read. There are overshadowings of abusive parenting, poverty, homophobia and adult violence - however, they are nothing more than shadows and maybe only an adult would pick up on them(?) I wouldn't say I "enjoyed" these themes per say, but they did add a well constructed depth to what is undeniably a very short book, which I did like. It made something cliched uncliched...
Being a very short story, there was (probably inevitably) some very sharp scene cutting and a sense of "episodic" chapters rather than continuation, but overall I felt the book was well written and absorbing. The ending did feel a little rushed, but I have half an inkling that I was just so impatient/excited for the final events that I refused to slow myself down! Unfortunately, the end of the book doesn't have the sense of an ending (a pet hate of mine!) It's as if the book just stops mid-flow, but this is part of a series, and it has certainly worked well enough to make me want to read the second installment. (I have already downloaded the sample!)
I would recommend The Turtle Boy to anyone looking for an atmospheric and quick ghost story for a rainy night. I read it on a car journey and it made the time fly by - and that's definately a commendable feat for any book!
The Turtle Boy - Review
Emma is a designer living in Bristol, UK. A self-confessed stationery addict, book lover and TV sci-fi geek, she enjoys sketching zombie-eyed women and finding her next source of inspiration in the pages on the bookshelf.