The Stowaway

A NOVEL OF HORROR

In Edwards’ debut horror novel, a ship’s captain discovers a mysterious orb that gradually infuses him with a malevolent personality.
In Boston of 1808, young Kit Cabot toils away as a clerk for his family’s shipping company while dreaming of adventure on the high seas. His uncle John, a ship’s captain, has returned from a long voyage with a mysterious golden orb that he jealously guards. John’s appearance and demeanor begin to change from handsome and benevolent to gaunt and harsh, and Kit suspects the orb is to blame. To find the truth, he stows away on John’s ship just before it sets sail. By the time John lands at his destination, he barely resembles a man, and Kit, with the aid of several shipmates and a West Indian mystic, tries to rid his uncle of the orb. However, what the group hadn’t counted on is the evil entity in the orb’s having its own agenda and destination, which it will stop at nothing to achieve. Kit suddenly realizes that it’s not just his uncle he must save—but he himself. Edwards crafts a well-written, imaginative and quick-moving horror tale that’s plenty enjoyable. Demonic possession may be a tried-and-true horror staple, but by placing the maritime tale in the early 1800s, Edwards imbues the old theme with new life. With a character roster that’s small and distinctive, the book’s unique setting and situations help keep interest alive when the horror aspect flags. Although Kit is the main character, uncle John—being slowly destroyed by an evil force he can neither understand nor control—is more memorable. The story moves along rapidly, avoiding any detours or extraneous subplots that could distract from the novel’s energy and stall the forward momentum. What stops the book from being a must-read, however, is its somewhat far-fetched resolution, but readers will likely forgive the hokum.

A debut horror novel about demonic possession that breathes new life into an old theme.

Pub Date: July 13, 2014

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: 135

Publisher: Baudrons Books, Inc.

Review Posted Online: July 29, 2014

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Packed with riveting drama and painful truths, this book powerfully illustrates the devastation of abuse—and the strength of...

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IT ENDS WITH US

Hoover’s (November 9, 2015, etc.) latest tackles the difficult subject of domestic violence with romantic tenderness and emotional heft.

At first glance, the couple is edgy but cute: Lily Bloom runs a flower shop for people who hate flowers; Ryle Kincaid is a surgeon who says he never wants to get married or have kids. They meet on a rooftop in Boston on the night Ryle loses a patient and Lily attends her abusive father’s funeral. The provocative opening takes a dark turn when Lily receives a warning about Ryle’s intentions from his sister, who becomes Lily’s employee and close friend. Lily swears she’ll never end up in another abusive home, but when Ryle starts to show all the same warning signs that her mother ignored, Lily learns just how hard it is to say goodbye. When Ryle is not in the throes of a jealous rage, his redeeming qualities return, and Lily can justify his behavior: “I think we needed what happened on the stairwell to happen so that I would know his past and we’d be able to work on it together,” she tells herself. Lily marries Ryle hoping the good will outweigh the bad, and the mother-daughter dynamics evolve beautifully as Lily reflects on her childhood with fresh eyes. Diary entries fancifully addressed to TV host Ellen DeGeneres serve as flashbacks to Lily’s teenage years, when she met her first love, Atlas Corrigan, a homeless boy she found squatting in a neighbor’s house. When Atlas turns up in Boston, now a successful chef, he begs Lily to leave Ryle. Despite the better option right in front of her, an unexpected complication forces Lily to cut ties with Atlas, confront Ryle, and try to end the cycle of abuse before it’s too late. The relationships are portrayed with compassion and honesty, and the author’s note at the end that explains Hoover’s personal connection to the subject matter is a must-read.

Packed with riveting drama and painful truths, this book powerfully illustrates the devastation of abuse—and the strength of the survivors.

Pub Date: Aug. 2, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-5011-1036-8

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Atria

Review Posted Online: May 31, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2016

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Finding positivity in negative pregnancy-test results, this depiction of a marriage in crisis is nearly perfect.

ALL YOUR PERFECTS

Named for an imperfectly worded fortune cookie, Hoover's (It Ends with Us, 2016, etc.) latest compares a woman’s relationship with her husband before and after she finds out she’s infertile.

Quinn meets her future husband, Graham, in front of her soon-to-be-ex-fiance’s apartment, where Graham is about to confront him for having an affair with his girlfriend. A few years later, they are happily married but struggling to conceive. The “then and now” format—with alternating chapters moving back and forth in time—allows a hopeful romance to blossom within a dark but relatable dilemma. Back then, Quinn’s bad breakup leads her to the love of her life. In the now, she’s exhausted a laundry list of fertility options, from IVF treatments to adoption, and the silver lining is harder to find. Quinn’s bad relationship with her wealthy mother also prevents her from asking for more money to throw at the problem. But just when Quinn’s narrative starts to sound like she’s writing a long Facebook rant about her struggles, she reveals the larger issue: Ever since she and Graham have been trying to have a baby, intimacy has become a chore, and she doesn’t know how to tell him. Instead, she hopes the contents of a mystery box she’s kept since their wedding day will help her decide their fate. With a few well-timed silences, Hoover turns the fairly common problem of infertility into the more universal problem of poor communication. Graham and Quinn may or may not become parents, but if they don’t talk about their feelings, they won’t remain a couple, either.

Finding positivity in negative pregnancy-test results, this depiction of a marriage in crisis is nearly perfect.

Pub Date: July 17, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5011-7159-8

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Atria

Review Posted Online: May 1, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2018

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