Friday, October 21, 2011

The Guardians by Andrew Pyper

More horror reading fun! I've decided that amongst all the various types of horror tales out there, a really well-done ghost story is probably my favorite. It's a slim lead, trust me. I have room for lots of favorite story types, but it's definitely the ghosts that get me most. And I find there are fewer of them for some reason.

Andrew Pyper isn't completely new to me. He's a Canadian author who's last book, The Killing Circle, was released here by Minotaur back in 2008. His latest, The Guardians, was limited to Canada and the UK when I originally came across it in some similar title searches. I was combing the internet for new, must-have horror reads for my TBR. So not only was I familiar with him, he kept popping up in the "people who like this might also like..." links, and came with some pretty great praise from John Connolly, Dennis Lehane, and Joanne Harris. You can see why I had to have it!

Ben, Trevor, Carl, and Randy have been friends for ages. They grew up together in the small town of Grimshaw, saw each other through their teens, played hockey together, and are permanently linked by what they saw and experienced in the old Thurman house. For them, the Thurman house was always a place to avoid. Empty and menacing, the house faced Ben's childhood home. Every once in a while, the kids saw something strange and inexplicable. But one day, something truly terrible happened and the four friends were the only witnesses. Ben never left Grimshaw. He watched the Thurman house tirelessly, serving as guardian and protector of the neighborhood, making sure that whatever lurked inside was never able to leave. But now Ben is dead and the Thurman house is awake again.

The Guardians is a great haunted house story that alternates between present and past. A spooky story for any time of year and a great one to add to your horror TBR. I did want a little more of the back story, to be honest. My only complaint. I could have spent a lot more time with Trevor and his friends, past or present.

As with my favorite haunted horror reads, atmosphere is a key component in The Guardians. You have to build the suspense and get the creepy hair-raising tension just right to make it a good ghost read. Pyper definitely got this right. I found myself getting chills in the middle of the afternoon and it was definitely due to more than our recent cold snap!


Jenn's Bookshelves said...

Ok, you sold me in the first few lines. Just downloaded this onto my Nook!

Becky LeJeune said...

Yay! You have to let me know what you think of it, Jenn!