I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an open and honest review.
An atmospheric, chilling page turner from rising star Martin Stewart, reminiscent of Stand by Me and Stranger Things.
Sep, Arkle, Mack, Lamb and Hadley: five friends thrown together one hot, sultry summer. When they discover an ancient stone box hidden in the forest, they decide to each make a sacrifice: something special to them, committed to the box for ever. And they make a pact: they will never return to the box at night; they'll never visit it alone; and they'll never take back their offerings.
Four years later, a series of strange and terrifying events take place. Someone broke the rules, and now everyone has to pay.
But how much are they willing to sacrifice?
I knew from the blurb of this book that I was going to enjoy it. Even the title and cover piqued my interest. I’m a huge horror fan and I’m still waiting for more options when it comes to YA horror. This is an excellent addition to the genre, particularly because it’s reminiscent of some of my favorite adult horror titles. Chelley Toy had a fantastic guest post from Martin Stewart that you can read here, which explains his nostalgic influences.
One of the best things about this book is the 80s feel. I only vaguely remember the 80s but I’ve always loved 80s movies, from the feelgood to the terrifying. This book captures the 80s in the subject matter, plot and touches from the time period, such as the music and clothing. It has all the best elements from books like IT and Salem’s Lot, in its wonderful characterisation and a gripping plot that takes you to some scary places.
The characters in this book are fantastic. It was hard to keep them all in my head at first, but then I really appreciated the variety of different personalities. All of them had something to different to contribute and relate to, and I particularly enjoyed Arkle's humour, as it added much-needed lightness.
This was the first book I've read by Martin Stewart and I'll certainly read more in future.