There’s a monster in Carthage Lake, and it’s stalking 15-year-old Shawn Spencer and and his friend, Jenny McGee. Jenny swears she saw the monster kill her brother, Tanner, who was Shawn’s best friend. Shawn doesn’t believe her, until one fateful night…
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Small Things, Joe DeRouen’s debut novel, is several things at once: a coming-of-age novel, a small-town horror story, a B-monster movie that scares the shit out of you, and a dark fantasy nerd-tale full of in-jokes for comic book and action figure fans. It’s a little Matheson, a little Bradbury, a little King, and a little John Constantine, all rolled up into an entertainingly spooky tale that you’ll want to read in one go. DeRouen tells a strong story in plain language and he’s only bound to get better.
(Disclaimer: I was a First Reader for Small Things in manuscript form, and I’ve enjoyed it both times I’ve read it.)