Trona is a small, foul-smelling, mostly insignificant town in California. Besides a booming chemical plant, the only thing that characterizes this dismal town is dirt, sagebrush, and an enormous abandoned mansion.
The mansion is, admittedly, the only notable addition to Trona, but it’s something everyone tries to avoid due to its creepy facade. Everyone except for Camm Smith, who is obsessed with the need to get inside.
Seven years earlier, as Camm herded a pack of little trick-or-treaters past the mansion, her young neighbor, Hugh, disappeared, becoming just one of many children who have vanished from Trona over the years without a trace. Now a senior in high school, Camm is still haunted by the old tragedy and is sure the answer to the mysterious disappearances lies hidden somewhere in the decaying mansion. Joining forces with her best friend, Cal, who also happens to be Hugh’s older brother, Camm naively begins a perilous search for the truth.
As things spiral quickly out of control, and others die, Camm and Cal discover it will take all their combined ingenuity to stay alive. An unseen creature, lurking deep within the bowels of the mansion, seems to have supernatural powers and is now hunting them. Making matters worse, they become entangled with hostile federal agents, who care only about keeping old secrets permanently hidden. Left with only their wit and seemingly ineffective firearms, they know they are running out of time. Unless they can make sense out of the few pieces of the puzzle they manage to unearth, the monster will certainly destroy them, and like so many others before them, they will be gone without a trace.
*Advanced Reader’s Copy provided by Jolly Fish Press for an honest review*
Suspenseful and horrific, even the cover of Pitch Green is spooky enough to capture my interest. I really enjoy horror genres, so when Jolly Fish Press contacted me asking if I would read and review Pitch Green, I signed right up.
Things go bump in the night at the old abandoned mansion in the small town of Trona, California. Children have been going missing. And when the younger sibling of Cal becomes one of those missing children, Cal and his best friend/neighbor, Camm, join forces in figuring out what had happened and what dark force is lurking deep within the mansion.
Though this book is labeled young adult, I felt like it read as a middle grade novel. Probably because it started out like a middle grade novel: trick-or-treating on Halloween night. Mixed with a dark abomination looking to feast on human flesh and teenagers wielding weapons like guns, it does pan out of the middle grade element.
I’m just going to talk about the gun issue for a moment. I am not against the use of guns in YA novels, it’s done all the time and with other weapons as well. It’s just the fact that these items are so easy to get a hold of in the novel that worried me, especially the fact that they were very good at using them. This is just be, but, if I was using a gun I would not know what to do. Sure, people will say it’s simple, you just throw back the safety (if there is one) and pull the trigger. But people say that about using a fire extinguisher, have you tried using one of those before? There’s one in my house but I don’t know how to use it. So how were these two teenagers roaring and ready to go this these shotguns and pistols? Not to mention the carelessness of wielding these weapons. I just found it to be a very weak scenario in the novel.
The suspense and action was articulated very well. I was getting into the book really well because of it. I was wanting to figure out what this old mansion really was and how this monster rat thing lurking in the basement actually came to be. The Brothers Washburn had be on the edge of my seat every chapter. I even found myself giggling when the discussion of Cal and Camm’s names came into conversation. If you read the book you will understand why I found them so comical.
Final Summation: With some quizzical elements to the novel, Pitch Green did turn out to be an appealing read. It was more the suspense and the anticipation in learning about the mystery of the mansion that kept my attention rolling rather than the worldbuilding or the characters or the realistic elements. Though horror is not for everyone, I can say that it is a very down low horror story if compared to Stephen King, but one that makes for a very exciting story.
First Line: A dry Death Valley wind blew through town, sucking life out of everything it touched.