Strong Bones

You must sign in to see if this title is available for request.
Pub Date 15 Dec 2021 | Archive Date 15 Jan 2022

Talking about this book? Use #strongbones #NetGalley. More hashtag tips!


Description

"Peterson’s tale strives to enshrine all that was magical about growing up in the ’80s. He laces his narrative with mentions of favorite films, toys, video games, music, and fashion, much like Ernest Cline does in Ready Player One (2011). While primarily being a Stephen King–style panorama of a town gripped by horror, Peterson’s story also feels like a cautionary middle-grade tale ... A magical killer and ’80s pop culture headline this crowded but engaging horror tale.." —Kirkus Reviews

***

It’s 1989, and evil’s on the loose in the Smoky Mountains.

Now, only a brave group of friends can stop it, using their imaginations and a little bit of magic.

Okay … a lot of magic.

Hiram and Mac Gresham live with their recently widowed Mom in the foothills of the Smokies. But when she starts dating a new man, he introduces two abrasive step-siblings into their lives, upending everything they knew.

Meanwhile, Hiram is having dreams he can’t ignore—dreams of a man with a Plaid Face. The Plaid Man haunts the woods around their home, sending cryptic messages about East Tennessee’s most notorious serial killer, Lenny Skelton. Skelton just broke out of prison and is on the hunt for his latest prey.

All that stands in his way are Hiram, Mac, and an unlikely group of heroes that includes their best pals, Lee and Dawn, their rowdy new step-sister Kaitlyn, their wise and tough old Aunt Hanna, and Justin, a kind-hearted cop who’s crossed paths with Skelton before. Together they must tap into ancient magicks to battle the forces of evil on an epic quest where they’ll explore enchanted theme parks and extradimensional dungeons, armed with their knowledge of folklore, classic video games and movies, and an array of magical weapons.

In the proud tradition of The Goonies, IT, and Stranger Things comes this high-spirited retrowave adventure from the creator of the Deadblast Chronicles. Influenced by everything from Stand By Me to A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors, Strong Bones explores the challenges and horrors of growing up all while delivering a healthy dose of pop nostalgia for the 80s and 90s.

"Peterson’s tale strives to enshrine all that was magical about growing up in the ’80s. He laces his narrative with mentions of favorite films, toys, video games, music, and fashion, much like Ernest...


Advance Praise

"Peterson’s tale strives to enshrine all that was magical about growing up in the ’80s. He laces his narrative with mentions of favorite films, toys, video games, music, and fashion, much like Ernest Cline does in Ready Player One (2011). While primarily being a Stephen King–style panorama of a town gripped by horror, Peterson’s story also feels like a cautionary middle-grade tale ... A magical killer and ’80s pop culture headline this crowded but engaging horror tale.." —Kirkus Reviews

"Peterson’s tale strives to enshrine all that was magical about growing up in the ’80s. He laces his narrative with mentions of favorite films, toys, video games, music, and fashion, much like Ernest...


Available Editions

ISBN 9781955085045
PRICE $16.00 (USD)

Links

Available on NetGalley

NetGalley Shelf App (EPUB)
Send To Kindle (MOBI)
Download (EPUB)

Average rating from 5 members


Featured Reviews

Cool update to a genre we didn’t know we needed. This one is like Goonies meets a more serious Scream movie, or maybe Stranger Things. It’s got the 80s vibes with lots of nostalgia. If you like any of those movies/shows, give it a try! Thanks to the publisher for the ARC.

Was this review helpful?

I didn't know what to expect but it was realy enjoyable. As an 80's/90's child I felt like I had come home. It was well written with good characters and great nostalgia.

Was this review helpful?

I really enjoyed this book. I loved the strong 80s vibe which was really nostalgic. I highly recommend you read this if you love The Goonies or Stranger Things! Thanks to the publishers for giving me a chance to read this book.

Was this review helpful?

The writing was some of the most authentic/believable sounding that I've read in a long time. It can be hard getting the voices of kids and young people right, but the author pulled it off. Also, when writing a period piece, it can be easy to go ham on the pop culture references, and while there were certainly plenty here, they were appropriate and added to the reader's understanding of the characters. The characters were all well-rounded and believable, from the abusive father/stepfather and the emotionally unavailable mother/stepmother to the ragtag band of kids. I particularly liked Lee, the little weirdo genius with the unending supply of compassion. And I appreciated Hiram's redemption arc. It was nice to see that particular sort of lateral bullying represented. It's not always the jocks picking on the nerds. As a kid, my worst bullies were girls just barely a step up the social ladder from me, so the fact that Hiram bullied Lee at first, despite them both being outcasts, rang very true to me. The worldbuilding was complicated but consistent, very much inspired by early video games, but with some non-denominational magical ladies and a wee bit of the almost prerequisite Lovecraftian influence, as well. Happily, the author didn't lean into the ol' mythos too hard. It did all get a bit silly and over-the-top, but that was ok. The main character was a nerdy 10 year old, it makes sense. I appreciated the underlying themes of peace, love and understanding, and the possibility of positive change. It was refreshing. Overall, this was a very good book that I struggled to put down. It was a chunk, at close to 500 pages, and the pacing did lag a bit in the third quarter, but I still found myself picking it up at every opportunity, finishing it in two days. It was a good read. I do want to mention a few things that stuck out in a bad way: anachronistic cultural norms and the overuse of "trypophobic" and words with trypophobia as a base. There's no way everyone would be so chill about LGBT stuff in 1989/90. I know, I know, why pick on that minor detail when the whole book is a fantasy requiring you to suspend your disbelief? I guess it served to emphasize the overarching theme of love, kindness and acceptance, but it did feel a little shoehorned. And then the word frequency thing. I shouldn't be distracting, but it is. When a word that's rarely used in day-to-day speech is used, and I counted, 7 times in a novel of 215,000 words, it's... a lot. Also, the term trypophobia wasn't coined until 2005, so it was weird reading it in a diary written in 1990. That was another thing, actually. It was hard to determine which Hiram was narrating during his sections, child Hiram or adult Hiram, who is sort of the main narrator? Yeah, so, the book is written from the perspective of each character in turn, but only Hiram's is in the first person. It was an interesting style choice, and it alllllmost worked? It could have been clearer. I received a copy from Netgalley and am voluntarily leaving a review. Thank you to the author for the opportunity.

Was this review helpful?

Loved loved loved this. Brilliant story and lots of 80s nostalgia for me. Look forward to getting my son to read this one.

Was this review helpful?

Readers who liked this book also liked: