Monday, May 25, 2015

BOOK REVIEW: "Blood Vengeance" by Michael Schutz-Ryan

Sick of being bullied, seventeen-year-old Brennan Cooper packs up for San Francisco to start over. But before he can settle into his new home, Bren is drawn to the abandoned apartment downstairs. In its shabby rooms, he sees the grey and rotting ghosts of murdered girls claw each other in sick imitation of their deaths. 
With his wild new friends, Brennan explores the seedy streets of the city. But the laughter and screams downstairs continue to both terrify and entrance him. After meeting Tara, his dream girl, he convinces her to explore the downstairs apartment with him. There they encounter not only the murdered victims but the raging spirit of the girls’ dead killer. 
Bren and Tara’s ghost-hunt soon becomes a manhunt as they trace the history of the “San Francisco Ripper.” But retaliation for their meddling is quick and brutal. Now time is running out, not just for Brennan and his friends, but for the spirits of the girls trapped for all those years with their murderer.

I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Horror and teenagers. That is not always a promising mix in TV, film or literature. But Blood Vengeance is a lot better than most upper YA/NA horror I have read. While not as inventive or frightening as something like The Demonata, it definitely beats a lot of the other stuff I have read off of Barnes And Noble's shelves! I actually am a sucker for horror directed at younger people, and this did a pretty good job of holding my interest.
The plot is basic, as all the best ghost stories are, with murdered girls' ghosts haunting an apartment and two teens determined to set the spirits free. Brennan has an interesting backstory and that gives him a certain likability to readers. But there are times the narrative edges out of the horror genre and into a more generalized fictional account of a troubled teen and his friends.
The ghosts are as pitiful as they are frightening, trapped in an abandoned apartment for eternity. The descriptions are vivid and will leave an indelible mark on your mind, staying with you once you've closed the book.
I think that, in order for this to have been as awesome as it could, the author should have toned down the emotional backgrounds of the characters and focused more on the horror. I liked Brennan's story, and you needed that depth in order to give the story heart, but the others didn't need that much detailing, in my opinion.
You can see the influence of Stephen King shine through in some of the descriptions and in the way certain things just leave that chill on your skin. Mr. Schutz-Ryan has some amazing potential in the horror genre to be one of the greats. I am very excited to see what he comes up with next, and I will be keeping my copy to reread in the future!

4/5--Horror with heart!

Purchase Blood Vengeance on Amazon!

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