book review, horror

Reaper by Jonathan Pongratz

When I found out that Jonny from Jaunts and Haunts had published a horror novella, I couldn’t wait to read it. You better beware, you’re in for a scare!

On Halloween night, 13 year old Gregory is finally old enough to look after his baby sister, Immy, while their parents go out for the evening. Greg is thrilled to be in charge, because it means that he is now old enough for a weekly allowance. However, the fun evening turns dark after a game of hide and seek results in Immy’s abduction. Greg will do anything to get his sister back, or make the things who took her pay.

Reaper is written in the same fun, spooky spirit as books such as the Goosebumps series, although due to the language, this novella is aimed at an older audience. Framed with a warning from Greg at the start of the book, there is the hint of a cautionary tale here. Listen to your parents, perhaps? Or maybe look before you leap. There is plenty of foreshadowing, so it is easy for the reader to put the pieces of the puzzle together before the characters do.

I enjoyed Reaper. It’s well written and surprisingly tense. There are plenty of darker themes here – losing a sibling and the feelings of guilt for not saving her; lack of trust in the establishment and paranoia; abduction and monstrous perpetrators. If I were to nitpick, it would be a wish for the author to have developed these themes further and pushed the storyline into darker territory. I Had high expectations for the denouement, but only because the set up had me primed for something more shocking.

I look forward to reading further works from this author, and I award Reaper

Reaper is available for $2.93 ebook and $7.99 print book on Amazon.

9 thoughts on “Reaper by Jonathan Pongratz”

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