Cover Image: These Things Linger

These Things Linger

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A wonderfully emotive book with some horrifically spinechilling scenes that lingered in my mind long after I turned the last page. Franklin is destined for big things.

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Occult Ritual going wrong. Sign me up. Interesting spin. Also has several layers of grief and love and a foundation of family.
It gets dark at times with some nice evil things mixed in.
I liked it overall.

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This cosmic horror novel was terrifying but also left me gutted with its poignant insights into the cycle of poverty and shame. I felt for protagonist Alex. He moved away from his tough childhood to marry his college sweetheart and work as an engineer only to be drawn back home to his past of demons, both figurative and literal. I thought all the characters were well-developed and the descriptions cinematic.

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After the death of the uncle who raised him, Alex Wilson wanted answers from the man and made amends. But his effort brought something else he was not ready to face.

I had conflicting feelings towards Alex. I sympathized with his plight, but at the same time, he brought it upon himself with his selfish acts. While towards the end I felt some of the scenes felt caricature, I enjoyed the overall story with how he dealt with the situations, especially in the psychological aspect.

These Things Linger is a story of desperation and consequences. It would appeal to readers who enjoy occult-based horror.

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A really gripping read, I thought the characters were intriguing and I'm going to look out for more by this author.

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These things certainly do linger! That bathroom scene from early in the book creeped me out and stuck with me. I was intrigued by the ritual they performed. Who hasn't lost a loved one they wish they could see again or spend more time with? By the end of the book, I'd been sufficiently turned off of the idea. The descriptions of the entities were vivid and creepy. There was a lot of suspense and action while the reader waited to see if Alex could undo what he'd done. The ending wasn't quite what I'd expected but after some thought, I think it's the perfect ending for this wild ride.

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Alex Wilson couldn’t wait to separate himself from his hometown and the man that raised him, but when his uncle dies, Alex is left with memories and regrets. In an attempt to get closure, Alex opens a portal meant to be kept closed.

“Don’t hurt anyone you don’t need to hurt, don’t steal, and don’t be a damn idiot.”

Narrated in Alex’s POV, he seems like an ordinary man moving on from the poverty and desperate cloud of his childhood, but it is also apparent he hasn’t sympathized with his uncle’s circumstances. By reenacting a black magic ritual, Alex is confronted with the horror of ghostly figures and monstrous spirits. When it escalates, Alex seeks help but and he gets more than he could have bargained for.

While I liked how Alex was far from perfect, having a little more background about him and Uncle Matty would have strengthened their connection. The horrific consequences proved to be greater than expected for Alex and the ending was fitting considering what was summoned.

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Thank you to the author for providing a review copy.
Well. I'm pretty gutted after finishing These Things Linger. Bleak, but beautiful. Perfectly paced and well-written, but frantic. It's a beautiful meditation on grief on grief as well. I have a feeling that I'll be thinking about it for a long time. 5 stars

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Well, that was dark.

I first heard of Dan Franklin in the BoH indie brawl. I still haven’t gotten a chance to read The Eater of Gods but I’ve been looking forward to trying Franklin.

This book is pretty bleak and deals heavily with themes of loss, regret and grief.

I do wish certain aspects of the book had been expanded upon more. I didn’t fully understand the relationship between Lacey’s brother and the gut snatcher. Also Lacey’s husband was kind of a weird one as well. I assumed he’d pop in at some point but nope. Lacey wasn’t my favorite character but I did enjoy Buzz and Raychel.

I definitely look forward to reading more from Dan Franklin in the future.

I received an advance review copy for free from NetGalley and I am leaving this review voluntarily.

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4 Stars!

I had read Dan Franklin’s first novel, The Eater of the Gods, and enjoyed it, so I was curious to see what he had in store for the reader in These Things Linger. Franklin showed he had ability to write a good adventure/horror novel, so I was curious to see how he would do with a story that looked to be more on the psychological horror level.

Alex Wilson had never had a happy life. After his parents died, he went to live with his uncle. The two never had a close bond or understood each other, so it was only natural that they grew further apart as Alex got older. His uncle raised Alex as his own son but the bond of fatherhood, or even guardian, never fully developed. Alex left for college as soon as he could and the two grew even further apart. Alex started his own life and his uncle faded further into the background. When Alex got the news that his uncle had passed, he did not think it would have a big impact on his life. He went home out of a sense of duty and quickly learned that there was something much greater at work. Something bigger than expected. And something much, much darker than he could have ever believed.

Alex returns to find a mystery about his uncle’s life and the ghosts of his uncle’s death. Not just memories, but actual ghost inhabit his uncle’s home and quickly surround him. He is not sure if they are trying to tell him something or to threaten him, but he knows he has to learn their secret before it destroys him. Calling on an old friend who had been with him in in only brush with the supernatural in the past, Alex turns to the occult in order to try to contact his uncle. Just as in life, things do not go as planned and Alex finds himself spiralling down into a deeper darkness that threatens to destroy everthing around him.

These Things Linger is a story full of ghosts, both supernatural and psychological. Once Alex returns home and things begin to spiral downward, the line between the real world and the supernatural world becomes blurred and reality is fluid. How much of what is happening is from ghosts and how much is due to memory or regret? Alex is not certain but is desperate to find answers and the reader is drug down the dark path with him. The story relies heavily on atmosphere and Franklin suffocates the reader with a dark fog that hangs over everything. The story is heavy and at times oppressive, but it is also easy to read and moves along at a good pace. Franklin keeps the story from getting bogged down so that it never lags and keeps the reader pressing forward at all times.

Franklin shows his mastery of dark fiction in These Things Linger. There are ghosts and the supernatural in this story, but the true horror is that of the human mind and it is a horror that is all too easy for the reader to relate to. Everyone is haunted by their past to one extent or another and Franklin uses this to build the horror in this novel. The lines between the psychological and supernatural are never clear and no one except for Franklin really knows what is happening. There is a heavy weight of regret and even guilt hanging over Alex which seems to be the catalyst for all that is happening to him. He is a flawed person, and thus he is very relatable. It almost feels that, even at its most outlandish moments, the event so this novel could be happening to anyone who is brave enough to read it. That is the true horror of These Things Linger. No matter what else is happening, whatever is written on the page, Franklin is also turning a mirror on the reader so that the reader is forced to look not just into the pages of the story but also in the recesses of his own mind. This is very good stuff, and highly recommended.

I would like to thank Cemetery Dance Publications and NetGalley for this review copy. These Things Linger is available now.

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What can you do when everything in your life spirals out of control? I read this book with tremendous fear and wonder. I felt really creeped out by Buzz’s story about the girl in the lake. I, too have a fear. Mine is someone standing over me while I sleep. I know that reading this book will drag those nightmare out of the closet. Every page I turned my hope for a good outcome for Alex slipped slowly down the drain. I felt really sorry for Alex. He decided to open a door that should have remained closed but that pull to talk to his uncle one last time was too strong. This book could be a guidebook as to what not to do when you miss someone terribly.

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I hadn't read any of Franklin's work before These Things Linger, although I had seen a lot of hype for it, and I didn't really know what to expect. I ended up going in nearly completely blind, apart from seeing some people saying this book would break some hearts - fortunately for me it lived up to the hype, both as far as hype, and providing an emotional gut-punch.

The story revolves around Alex, who was raised by his uncle. Once close, they had stopped talking or seeing eachother, and remained estranged until the uncle's passing. Remembering a childhood friend who had tried to contact the dead, Alex decides to attempt it himself in a bid to speak to the man one last time - only to discover that when you call out into the beyond, something else may just answer you.

I thought this was a fantastically written book, with more than one passage that I re-read to enjoy the prose. Franklin does a great job of making the characters relatable and making the reader root for them - even if they may not necessarily like or agree with all of their choices - while also showing no hesitation in making them suffer and hurt. I went into the last pages unsure if our protagonists would win, escape, or even survive, and as we entered the final showdown I had to remind myself to breathe and to loosen my grip on the Kindle just a little. Even though it often hurt, I appreciated having no idea of what was to come, and couldn't stop myself from reading one more chapter every time.

The book tackles a lot of deep and emotional issues, with as much focus on grief and closure as there is on scares and rituals. This balance worked perfectly for me, making for an entertaining, but often heavy, experience.

Although early in the year, I expect this to be right up there when remembering my favourite books of 2024. I found the praise around These Things Linger to be more than justified, and would encourage any horror fan to give it a try.

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What would you do if someone close to you died and you couldn't say goodbye? Would you mourn them, or bring them back from the dead?

All the ghost stories (Bloody Mary, Candyman, etc) scared me as a child, this was no different. This took that to a whole new level and then some.

You want to see your family member again? Just be careful what you wish for.

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3.5 stars. Grief horror is one of my favorite sub-genres, so I jumped at the chance to read this book. I flew through the first 100 or so pages, loving the opening bathroom scene and the subsequent boat one. Solid ending as well. However, I was hoping for more emotional pull from this story. Part of problem is the surface level characters, particularly the main character, Alex. I never quite grasped who he actually is, so it became difficult to be invested in his story.

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Alex wants to reach his dead uncle to make things right. Alex better be careful something else is in this town It is hungry. Do things really die or do they wait. Chilling read full of suspense filled creepiness. Pulls you in.

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After a decently rough life, Alex has everything going for him. A decent job, a house, a loving fiance, and a baby on the way. One day he gets a call - his uncle, the man who raised him, has passed away.

Years before, he had a falling out with him. He was there for him every step of the way until their fight, and now Alex is full of regrets. He goes back to the trailer Uncle Matty left to him to see the sad life he led in the years they had no contact. Grief appears in many ways. Desperate ways.

Alex remembers an event that happened with a girl in high school, one longing to bring her deceased brother back. He remembers the steps. He also remembers getting interrupted and it not working. But he also remembers the footprints he found in the tub.

He attempts to summon his uncle back. He wants to apologize. He just wants closure. But what appears isn't what he wanted. It's not what he wanted at all.

These Things Linger confronts grief and terror in ways that I never encountered before. There were several parts of the book where I wondered what was going to happen next because there was either too much left in the book or too little left in the book for it to continue going in the same direction. There's so much despair. So much pain.

The cover art? Brilliant. It takes new meaning once you realize what it really is.

I absolutely loved this book. Thank you so much to NetGalley, Dan Franklin, and Cemetery Dance Publications for the ARC!

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This title says it all! This book had me paranoid and filled me with a sense of dread. It was fast paced, and a lot of times it feels like more like a movie than a book. The descriptions were so vivid, and the entity is just terrifying! This book is creepy and heart breaking all at the same time.

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When Alex’s estranged uncle, the man who raised him, dies, he finds himself desperate for answers and closure. In an attempt to gain these, he tries an old summoning he learned when he was young from a girlfriend—but what ends up coming through to the other side now puts the lives of his fiance, unborn child, and the entire town in peril.

Including themes of family secrets and legacy, the occult, and making amends, this book was a unique story that was both horrifying and touching. The “entity” was extremely unique and the descriptions were detailed and terrifying. The characters in this book were well written and interesting and there were quite a few twists I did not see coming that made me want to read this book in one sitting. Without giving anything away, I usually hate endings like this one but for this book it was well played. This is the second book by Dan Franklin that I have read, and I am really loving the writing and style so far. Keep them coming! Thank you to NetGalley and Cemetery Dance Publications for the ARC.

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"Some things die hard and secrets are perhaps the hardest of all.”

This is the second novel I’ve read from this author, and if there’s one thing I can say about it, it’s this: Dan Franklin writes horror with a heart. Throughout the entire book, I couldn’t help but feel like he was speaking directly to me about his own experiences. It’s rare that I’m able to actually feel the emotion behind the words I’m reading, but I could here. I’m usually not a fan of stories involving ghosts, as they’re all very similar, and I just think it’s overdone. This book, however, introduces us to a “creature” far beyond your typical ghost story. I liked the general concept, it’s something new to me, and I think it's an interesting and unique take. Without giving too much away, I really enjoyed the descriptions of it doing what it does and what it looks like. I do wish we were given more information on the “creature” itself though, like what it truly is and why/how it exists. I’m a sucker for a good, fleshed out background story. I was also left wanting more after the final scene. It could’ve been more action packed, considering the entire novel builds to it, and then we’re left with a few pages of “epic conclusion”. With that being said, I think this could’ve been a bit shorter too. It felt a little unnecessarily drawn out to me.

This novel features great writing, realistic, believable characters, and natural dialogue. It’s simplistic yet impactful, easy to digest, and flows well. I often find myself needing to reread sentences because of disjointed writing, but that wasn’t the case with this book. Our characters, especially Alex, experience grief, desperation, and trauma that drive them to extreme measures. This story really shows how susceptible to these things humans can be, and how important it is to seek healthy outlets. All of the characters also go through very real and normal emotions befitting their situations, and it makes it easy to connect with them on a personal level. I’ve read a lot of books with odd and awkward dialogue, where it suddenly changes or seems completely out of character. However, the conversations within this book left me with a clear picture of the characters’ personalities and mannerisms. These are are all aspects I look for in a book. All in all, this was a good read. It’s a slow burning, supernatural tale of why some things are better off left alone. There are some areas that fell flat, but others that I really enjoyed. If you like grief horror with a twist, be sure to check this out. The author has certainly found a faithful reader in me.

I appreciate Dan Franklin, Cemetery Dance Publications, and NetGalley for giving me the opportunity to read this ARC.

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This horror novel explores grief, loss, and regret with utterly horrific elements along the way! 😱 The entity gives off major creepy vibes, especially in the earlier part of the book, but in the end I wasn’t quite sure what it really truly was. All in all, I did enjoy the book and would recommend it! ❤️

TW: animal death

Thank you to NetGalley, Cemetery Dance, and Dan Franklin for the eARC in exchange for my honest review!

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