Firefly Haven by Aaron Gritsch is a series of tales within a tale, told by various characters and a narrator. The main plot involves a set of friends who enjoy hunting down hauntings and other paranormal events, and a family whose life has taken a series of bad turns. The friends and this family converge at a park called Firefly Haven, an idyllic location where things go horribly wrong.
What I love about this novel is the storytelling, especially the ghosts and other paranormal stories. I think switching around from tale to tale in the novel is well done. It gives the reader the sense that something sinister will happen, you just don’t know exactly when. I also enjoy the characteristics of the friends. They are well-defined and distinctive. I especially enjoy the dichotomy between Luci and Didi, who should have been unlikely friends as one is quite devious in nature (Luci) and the other a bit innocent and naive (Didi). With the family characters – Daniel, Jennifer, and Jessica – there is always that sense of foreboding with a touch of optimism. It too is an interesting contrast. Gritsch definitely nails plot, characterization and storytelling in this novel.
However, there are quite a few things wrong with this novel. It could use some serious professional editing. For instance, Gritsch’s constant misuse of ‘to’ that should be ‘too’. I thought this was a one-off, but it is instead a continual practice throughout the novel. Two other areas really distracted me – the overuse of the elliptical instead of proper punctuation and incorrect quote tags. I can forgive the elliptical being used in conversation because it can denote a pause, but this was not the case the majority of the time in the novel. It was used mostly within the narration of the story and far too often. The quote tags were badly constructed. Occasionally they were used correctly, but the majority of the time they weren’t. There was also a lot of odd wording for sentences, especially the constant use of ‘mainly due to the fact’ and ‘referring to the fact’. These are colloquialisms that would be okay if used in conversation, but they weren’t. They were used by the narrator and it was quite annoying. And finally, a few times, Gritsch changed verb tenses mid-sentence, or within the same paragraph.
All in all, this has the potential to be an amazing novel. The plot is exciting and intriguing. The characters are interesting. You want to know them and and discover what makes them do what they do. And the tales within this story really keep you on the edge of your seat. I would love to give this novel a high rating for those reasons alone, but sadly, I cannot. The novel really does need extreme editing and because of that, I just cannot give the high rating. Does this mean you shouldn’t read it? If you aren’t a literary snob like I am, then you will probably overlook most of the issues that I found and could enjoy the novel. The only things that may stop your enjoyment are the oddly worded sentences, but I could even be wrong there. All I can say is it isn’t the worst plotted novel I’ve ever read; however, it is one of the worst edited novels I’ve read so far.
Rating: 3 star
Genre: Horror/Ghost Tales
To Purchase: Amazon
Gripping, powerful ghost story… this one will fool ya!
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The bedroom was dark. Rain pattered against the long window. It was colder for this time of year. Even in the middle of the day, it was gloomy with the sun tucked away behind the continuous cloud cover.
In the corner of the upstairs bedroom, Colleen and Maggie sat huddled holding onto each other. Their eyes were wide and unblinking.
“Did you hear that?” Asked Colleen. Her voice was shaky and uncertain.
Maggie craned her head to listen than frantically shook her head.
“I hear yelling,” Colleen whispered.
“Are they coming?” Maggie said and gripped her old sister tighter. Tears began to well up and stream down her cheeks.
Footsteps pounded up a staircase. The floor creaked outside of the bedroom door. Maggie closed her eyes as if to wish the noises to go away. The footsteps continued on to another…
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Like a good ghost story? especially one with some humour involved? Then you will love this delightful 200 word tale!
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A Well-crafted ghost flash fiction. Gave me chills!
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The rough waters crashed against the cement docks. A mist of water sprayed through the fence gate causing me to shudder and move away from the bench that I waited on. Opal wanted to meet here but I don’t know why. Not a soul would want to come to the boardwalk with the weather we’ve been having. She insisted and said that it was important and for me not to ask any questions.
She appeared in the distance; like a silhouette against the gray sky she hobbled towards me. I started towards her and yelled out for her.
“What’s the matter?”
She said nothing. There was something wrong with her. I knew that look she had plastered on her wrinkled face. In the forty some years that we have been friends, I’ve seen that face on a few occasions. She was somber…
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