A nostalgic Halloween read by Christopher Golden
4/5 Star Review
It’s Halloween night, 1984, in the small town of Coventry, Massachsetts. In the neighborhood surrounding Parmenter Road, the Barbosas are setting up their annual Haunted Woods spook walk for charity; The Koenigs are setting up for their big Halloween party; Barbara Sweeney is out looking for her drunken, philandering husband; and all the kids are getting ready for trick-or-treat. During the evening, four children show up who do not belong and beg the neighbors and neighborhood children to help them – to hide them from The Cunning Man. Tension and fear escalate as the night wears on and the mysterious children become more frantic and long-held neighborhood secrets come to light.
“Nothing in these woods could be more dreadful, more terrifying, than the selfish cruelty of ordinary people.”
All Hallows is part supernatural thriller and part suburban drama. We have a cast of characters that the reader feels very strongly about and can easily relate to. Love them, or hate them, you care what happens to them. Almost to the detriment of caring much about the supernatural element. The human monsters are the real stars of the show in this one, folks.
This novel breathes Halloween. You can smell the autumn leaves and crisp, cool air; you can taste the apple cider and the candy bars. All Hallows pulls all of the heartstrings to bring you back to the Halloweens of your youth where you used to race each other to houses and it was safe to go out with your friends. That sick feeling of sadness in your gut when you know it’s going to be your last year of trick-or-treat – Golden excels at giving life to the emotions surrounding the holiday.
If you’re looking for a slow-burn horror novel, chock full of character development – this read is for you. If you’re looking for a fast-paced, gory, supernatural monster book – you may want to take a pass on this one.