I’ve read some great books by Christopher Golden in the past, especially the Ben Walker series. Then I see he has a new Halloween thriller set back in my heyday of the 1980s. Sign me up!
Unfortunately, All Hallows failed to live up to my expectations. Was it me? Was it him? Was it us? It’s hard to say, but this story just didn’t work for me.
I think when a book is written around a particular time of year, it should release that time of year. Nothing makes me shake my head more than a Christmas story releasing in February. What the heck? Timing is everything. If you ran that far behind, sit on the darn thing for another nine months and release it as that season is approaching. I’ll put that one on the publisher. Seasonal books are best released and read during the season!
I think that Golden really missed the boat on the nostalgia factor. Setting a story in the '80s allows the author to immediately create a connection with a certain segment of the population. Go there! Make me remember the fun time I had growing up. Where was the music? The slasher movies? Everything that made the '80s the '80s. All Hallows felt like it could have been set any time. The only thing that reinforced that it wasn’t set in this day and age is that the kids weren’t walking around staring at their cell phones.
Golden bounced around from one character, to another, to another. I didn’t develop any connections. As a reader, I need a connection to really get into a story, otherwise my mind will wander, and I fixate on small, annoying details. In All Hallows, I started to focus on all of the dads. What a bunch of arses! Every. Single. One. Of. Them. Yes, Mr. Golden. I get it, the '80s were a different time. Racism and sexism were more prevalent. But not every dad was a cheating, racist, intolerant creep, ogling over 17-year-old girls in Halloween costumes.
I’m going to write All Hallows off as a one-off. Maybe I need a new Ben Walker story.