book review, fantasy, horror

The Year of the Storm By John Mantooth

A story about those who seek to find a way to leave the world behind, and succeed.

It’s been months since fourteen year old Danny’s mother and autistic young sister, Anna, disappeared, but he’s convinced that he can find them. When he tracks down the mysterious man who hangs around his house at night, Danny finds Walter, and perhaps the key to reuniting his family.

Thirty years before, when Walter was fourteen, two little girls disappeared. Walter’s friendship with ostracized schoolboy, Seth, changed his life for ever. That was the year he saw the ugliness of the world, and the fact that magic lies just around the corner, for those who care to see.

A story about how easy it is to fall into darkness, and how sometimes pain makes us fall off the face of the earth altogether.

Told in the form of a memoir of sorts, written by Danny years later, the narrative jumps backwards and forwards in time, both when it is written from Danny and Walter’s point of view. The writing is solid, but I did find Walter and Danny’s voices very similar, and, while I like the parallels in their stories, I did confuse the two characters at times. Perhaps this could be explained by the fact that the book is written by Danny, and Walter’s accounts are merely what he remembered being told by him sixteen years previously.

My other quibble would be with the time periods. I assume that Danny was fourteen sometime in the 1990s, as the book was published in 2013, presumably when Danny was nearing 30, and his childhood seemed more in tune with the 90s rather than the early Twenty-first Century. Walter was fourteen in 1960, so he was only in his forties, or early fifties at the most, when Danny encountered him. Maybe he wasn’t supposed to be as old as he appeared in the narrative. Maybe it was because he had wild white hair and emphysema that I pictured him as a man in his eighties.

However, aside from these two points, I really enjoyed the book. It is compelling reading, as much for the character development as for the resolution of the mysteries, which are both superbly drawn. I was engaged from the very beginning, and the ending left me wondering how I would react if I had lived through what Danny experienced. Would I believe him if I met him in real life? Probably.

I award The Year of the Storm

The Year of the Storm is available for $3.77 ebook and $11.99 print book on Amazon.

I received a free copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

8 thoughts on “The Year of the Storm By John Mantooth”

  1. I think you are assuming a linear timeline unaffected by relativity or extreme gravitational pulls. If you understood those principles correctly I think a lot of your problems would be cleared up. #hottakeswithjoe

    Liked by 2 people

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