Cover Image: The Ghost Tracks

The Ghost Tracks

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

Sadly I was disappointed by The Ghost Tracks which centres around a young man called Erasmo who has started a paranormal investigation venture to pay for his Grandmother's medical treatment. The narration felt really flat and the pacing (especially at the start) was either too fast or too slow making the whole novel feel super disjointed. 

The horror just wasn't there either. Although it had some particularly gory moments they were not scary/creepy and just felt like an obvious attempt to add a shock factor. I also really did not like the direction the plot took. We follow Erasmo's investigation into three cases and I disliked to conclusions to all of them. At one point in the middle it looked like the plot would take a turn for the better but sadly this was not the case.

Moving onto the characters, there was no good female leads AT ALL and all the male side characters were incredibly unlikeable and one dimensional. Something I did particularly like though, was our protagonist Erasmo. He showed some brilliant growth throughout and I felt his heartbreaks along with him. 

Thank you to NetGalley and Inkshares for an advanced reader's copy.
Was this review helpful?
The title, The Ghost Tracks, as well as the book description, suggested that this was a ghost story. While there are some possible paranormal aspects, please do not pick this up thinking you'll be reading about a haunting the entire book. There are some ghostly/demon type scares, but that is only a portion of the story. 

There were some good character twists and turns and a lot of tension. Somehow every character (and there were at least 6 or 7) got their own ending and the main character found his true self by the end of it all. 

As for trigger warnings, there is some mild body horror/violence, animal corpse abuse (which thankfully is not described a whole lot), child abuse and talk of suicide and drug abuse.

Although I wish I had a dollar for every time the main character found himself unable to move his legs due to fear or anxiety, I still couldn't help enjoying this book. I'm also not a huge fan of continously bad things happening to one person... but once again, I can't help myself, it was a good book. 

Thanks to Netgalley and the book's publisher, I received a free ebook copy of this book to review. And, I'm thankful because I liked it enough for a 4 ⭐rating. It is definitely worth the read.
Was this review helpful?
Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for an eARC in exchange for an honest review.

The Ghost Tracks spins us a story of three different paranormal experiences and the young man who tries to make sense of it all. Erasmo Cruz has some noteriety in his town. He has been touched by the Ghost Tracks, a local haunt story which makes him considered a credible source when it comes to the paranormal. When he and his friend, Rat, decide to place an ad on Craigslist they are met with three extremely different cases. What horrors await Erasmo, and will he be able to save anyone?

Let me begin this review by saying this: you will either LOVE this book, or absolutely HATE it. I adore this story start to finish in all it's gore and gasps. The way the three cases unfold throughout the book give each a perfect timing, never focusing solely on one for too long. There is massive gore multiple times through the book and one of the instances includes an animal; so if that is not your cup of tea then just steer clear. They absolutely mind-fuckery(for lack of any other word that fits) of this novel is top shelf. It is one that I will be recommending every year to people looking for a good spook. Nothing in this book was unnecessary or under thought making it a masterpiece of the macabre. If you have the stomach for it, make this one a spooky rainy day read.

I recommend this for readers 17+ as the gore is very detailed and can be too much for younger readers. I do not recommend this for those who cannot handle trauma to animals, child abuse, or can be easily triggered by talk of addiction or suicide. Thank you for the amazing ride, Celso Hurtado. I can't wait to see what you bring next.
Was this review helpful?
This book is undeniably fun; Erasmo Cruz was the funniest and realest protagonist that I've had the pleasure of reading in quite a while. Don't get me wrong, though: this book is definitely creepy! I love paranormal thrillers, and this one did not disappoint: it was a thriller, it was spooky, it was well written, and it moved along at a great pace.
Was this review helpful?
Thank you to Inkshares and NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review Celso Hurtado's "The Ghost Tracks."

I was drawn to this by the cover and title combination (which I think are excellent) and intrigued by the blurb but was not at all convinced that I would enjoy it and even through the first 20 pages or so, struggled a little but when I got into the flow I thoroughly enjoyed this debut outing.

It's all very weird and improbable but isn't that the point? That said, the mental, cultural/societal struggles of the main characters - Erasmo and his grandmother and his friend Rat - felt well done and real. This may be about fledgling and initially inept paranormal investigators but it's certainly not Ghostbusters.

There a few too many examples of teasing some big development or plot point only to have to wait for many pages for them to be revealed or for the explanation to happen and that requires the reader to rewind through the narrative in your head to make the connections. It's fine to have some of those slow burns in the book, it adds to the suspense, but it felt like everything that moved the plot forward and explained the context was a tease and a big reveal later on.

All-in-all, an enjoyable debut and I can see this author really developing into a very good storyteller and one that adds to the growing number of authors spinning horror tales from a Latino and/or indigenous people's point of view.
Was this review helpful?
The Ghost Tracks was not what I expected.  But in a good way. It’s a spooky mix of horror and YA with some nice twists. The main character is very likable. You really root for him. This is a nice one to read during the spooky season or anytime you’re in the mood for something scary.

Thank you @netgalley for the arc in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
The Ghost Tracks follows Erasmo Cruz, a teenage boy who has decided to turn a paranormal experience and an interest in the supernatural into a business to help pay for his grandmother's cancer treatments. He and his friend Rat put an ad on Craigslist and receive three responses. A novel ensues.

I read The Ghost Tracks in one day. I enjoyed it very much. I liked the character development and the twists and turns of the plot. It took me a little while to get into, but once I did it was an afternoon well spent.

The premise sounds a little made-for-tv, but the books deals with some very serious themes and goes to some very dark places. The supernatural aspects of the book are handled well, but it's the actions of humans that bring the real horror.

I enjoyed this book a lot.
Was this review helpful?
What a debut. This book had so many twists and turns my head is still spinning. Loved the main character and sympathized with him. A good ending as well. Overall highly enjoyed and will recommend.
Was this review helpful?
Thank you Netgalley for this fun arc! 

Erasmo Cruz becomes a paranormal investigator so he can make money to help pay for his Grandfather's cancer treatments. He begins working with a friend on several cases that seen right up his alley. 

I had a lot of fun reading this but overall this story just didn't seem to do it for me personally.   I was having a hard time relating to the characters and scenarios but I still really enjoyed reading this! 

Definitely give this book a shot, especially if you love paranormal investigations!
Was this review helpful?
🪜 Wow! Where to start with reviewing this amazing debut novel?

🪜 Character development was on point and not just for the protagonist but all the characters had their own stories come to life.

🪜 As with any good horror book there was some gore but it was not overwhelming - thev hardest bit was an animal being killed but it was not a huge section of the book. 

🪜 Unlike many horror stories, TGT stories seemed believable and like they could have happened to you or me! 

🪜 I enjoyed the real life heart breaks and growth shown by Erasmo especially. How his best friend Rat, looked out for him and his grandmother as much as he could, showing real loyalty and friendship for 2 outcasts.

🪜 Hurtado gave the reader many twists and turns to keep us invested and wanting to know more about what was going to happen next!
Was this review helpful?
Such an odd book but it's oddness keeps you going. It's a little unbelievable and the part with Echo was horrifying.  I did enjoy the end twist with Nora; I did not see that coming at all! The flow of the book seem stilted and seemed to jump from place to place. I think if it read more smoothly it would be 4 stars for me.
Was this review helpful?
I like the premise of this book--a young man dabbling with the paranormal in an effort to help his grandmother, But the story is a bit messy, and sometimes not easy to follow. Who's dead? Who stabbed who? What's happening now? I'd love to read it again after one more edit for temporal clarity and better character definition.
Was this review helpful?
While the Latinx representation is welcome and needed, particularly in genre fiction, this one might be too finally and gory to pass muster with school gatekeepers.
Was this review helpful?
CWs: graphic depictions of violence, child abuse, animal abuse, attempted suicide

3.5 stars. I requested this book because it reminded me of the CW show Supernatural, and it did end up being pretty similar to their early, darker MOTW episodes. In fact, I think this story would translate pretty well to a movie. I received an eARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. 

What I liked:
	- Erasmo, the main character, and his best friend Rat had a really interesting dynamic. Their friendship felt natural and realistic. They set up a supernatural detective service based on a lot of research, but they had absolutely no idea what they were getting into. 
	- Also, they're obsessed with the supernatural, but they don't super believe in it. 
	- The suspense is fantastic; I was on the edge of my seat for the entire time. Mostly the book read like a debut, but the suspense was extremely well-redined.
	- It's narrated in 3rd person, but the POV was super close, if that's the right word for it. It worked out pretty well. 

What I didn't like:
	- The violence was extremely graphic. Like so graphic. 
	- There are…lots of ellipsis, which was rather distracting. 
	- I didn't connect super well to Erasmo and Rat, or any of the minor characters. I enjoyed reading about them, but didn't connect super well to them.
Was this review helpful?
I found "The Ghost Tracks" to be very bland and struggled to finish it. It struggled with its sense of identity - the main character was supposed to be seventeen, but most of the time seemed to be older and acted like an adult. Books in which kids hunt ghosts generally have younger main characters and I struggled to make much of this story as it moved from samey, often uninteresting supernatural situations to the other. I got bored very quickly.

Erasmo Cruz, due to history revealed in his back story, starts up a supernatural detective agency initially to help pay for cancer treatment for his grandmother, having his best friend as a sidekick. When it comes to the story that is just about it, the pair then shamble through a few supernatural investigations, none of which set the pulses racing. Set in San Antonio, Texas, the boys realise their hometown is a much scarier place than they ever imagined,

I struggle to see which teen group might be gripped by this story and although it might be seen as an acceptable debut there are many much better YA horror novels on the market to sink your teeth into or recommend to your kids.
Was this review helpful?
DNF at 49%. This is the 19th book I'm reading via Netgalley, and it's the first I am not going to finish. I had issues with the writing style from the get-go (IMO the book reads very amateurish, there's simply no flow to the prose, no rhythm, it's just words strung together in a perfunctory, sometimes downright awkward way), but I was determined to trudge or at least skip read through it nevertheless, if with gritted teeth. I made it all the way to chapter 17, when the little boy eats his Golden Retriever's intestines ("He was gnawing on it, trying to rip the slimy tube open so that he might feast on its contents."). 
Now, a decent writer doesn't have to resort to cheap gross-out tactics to scare his/her readers; this kind of would-be manipulation speaks to a serious lack of skills, which becomes even more apparent when we next get the big sister's reaction to this mind-boggling act of carnage: "Echo... He was a good dog..." I was literally falling off the couch with laughter, which is not exactly what I'm looking for in a horror novel. Oh, and by the way, does the sister talk to the authorities about this, or a doctor/mental health specialist, or a priest?
Of course not. She looks at Craigslist.
What with the stilted prose, failed pacing, seriously clunky structure, weird characterization, lack of females (except for grandma; the most unconvincing police officer in literary history; and of course The Girl, who's also the MC's love interest <insert eye roll>), less than believable storylines, AND a true wet towel of a protagonist who reads like he's no older than 14 and is forever either vomiting or downing glasses of milk, I felt like I was reading some teen's first attempt at a horror novel. I'm sorry, but life's too short.
My apologies to the publisher and to Netgalley, but this novel would have needed a lot more work to make it worthwhile.
Was this review helpful?
Erasmo Cruz is about to make a decision that will not only put him in a whole bunch of danger, but also change his life.. 
Erasmo has decided that he needs to make money to help pay for his grandmas cancer treatments.. So because he had this thing happen to him, that we learn about further into the story, and has done a ton of research. He decides that he is going to be a paranormal investigator and help move earth bound spirits to where they belong.. After he puts up the add he and his friend Rat came up with he finds 3 people with stories that seem like they could be up his alley.. Each of these cases puts Erasmo into super dangerous situations., where he ends in the hospital, and has the police asking questions.. I really like how even though he is advertising himself as a paranormal investigator, he does look for normal explainations for everything.. 
My favorite of the three investigations was with Nora and Sonny.. and I definitely didn't expect the way that one turned out. The other two cases were very interesting.
I just wish there were more actual paranormal things happening.. What we did get I really liked, I just wanted more. I think this was a really good debut book, and I will look for other things this author writes in the future.
Was this review helpful?
"A seventeen-year-old Texan from the wrong side of the tracks starts a supernatural detective agency - this is Fear Street for a diverse America.

Erasmo Cruz is from the wrong side of the tracks. His dad was a junkie who overdosed. His mom chose to run off rather than raise him. His only passion is the supernatural, and his only family is his grandmother, whose aches and pains, he soon learns, aren't just from old age but from cancer.

Desperate to help his grandmother pay for treatment, Erasmo sets up shop as a paranormal investigator. After witnessing a series of inexplicable events, he must uncover the truth behind his clients' seemingly impossible claims. From hauntings to exorcisms, Erasmo soon finds that San Antonio is a much scarier place than even he knew."

ALL about the supernatural PI!
Was this review helpful?
The fact that I finished this 300+ page in one day shows how hooked I was from the beginning!!

•My Thoughts:

I was not able to put this down! I had to know what was going on with this crazy adventure that the MC, Erasmo, put himself into as a paranormal investigator!

Erasmo thought he was going to go help remove some spirits and free them or help them move on but what he actually got was some insane cases! Expect gore, expect to get freaked out, expect violence and expect to go on a thrilling adventure.

I also liked that the setting was in San Antonio TX which is one of my favorite places to go visit!!
Was this review helpful?
3-4 stars.  While I was able to finish this book, I definitely didn’t love it or crave reading it.  I think the writing style was a bit difficult for me, which made the story a bit harder to digest and enjoy!  I did find some parts really enjoyable and found the topic intriguing.  I was going to rate 2-3 stars, but found out it was a debut and decided to rate an extra star, because I do think knowing it’s the first book, made the writing style blunders a bit more understandable.  I think this is also hard to review, because in being a bit disengaged, I’m not sure I got everything a reader should.  So, I think saying give it a shot, especially if you enjoy paranormal type books!  

Will use top Amazon reviewer number on release!
Was this review helpful?