A Wistful Tale of Gods, Men and Monsters – David Ruggerio

DNF @ 26%

I was intrigued by this book’s blurb and was looking forward to a spooky read. The idea of a town that’s inherently evil, with the scares taking place in a graveyard, school and mortuary, sounded like my kind of fun. Unfortunately it’s not working for me at all, which is really disappointing. Even worse, I’m currently surrounded by reviewers who loved this book so I feel like I’m missing out on something wonderful.

I’m finding the story quite disjointed and haven’t been able to form an emotional connection with any of the characters that have been introduced so far.

I acknowledge that I’m reading an advanced copy of this book so hopefully proofreading and editing will fix a lot of the problems I’ve experienced. The punctuation is all over the place. An abundance of commas exist where they shouldn’t and they’re missing where they’re needed. While they could easily be fixed, here are only a couple of the many sentences that frustrated me:

Whether that was Lilly or not, William wasn’t waiting around to find out, he bolted.

That old Ford was a sight for sore eyes, he could now breathe easy.

An extraordinary feeling of happiness and expectations filled the inhabitants, this was their holiday.

I know my punctuation and grammar are nowhere near perfect either, but I’d definitely want someone to clean up my writing if I ever expected people to pay for it.

There was some phrasing that felt awkward:

These were ghosts that were disturbed for keeping evil obsessions hidden.

they were blood-like red in color.

It was an erotic transformation, from a woman of beauty to a fierce beast of uncontrollable hatred for mankind.

This was a horror unlike any before; no man had ever survived such a terror and lived to tell about it.

My jaw dropped (and I almost threw in the towel right then and there) when I found this sentence in the second chapter:

Giving birth was akin to a gang-rape.

Characters have also called one another “homo”, “nuts” and “retarded”.

If the story had grabbed me I wouldn’t have been as focused on typos, including “lightening” instead of “lightning”, as well as the other nitpicks. I hate to admit defeat where any book is concerned but I can’t travel any further with this one.

I’d encourage you to read some 4 and 5 star reviews before deciding if this is the book for you or not. I’m definitely an outlier here.

Content warnings (so far) include death by suicide, child abuse and sexual assault.

Thank you so much to NetGalley and Black Rose Writing for the opportunity to read this book.

Once Upon a Blurb

Can a village be inherently evil? Welcome to Brunswick NY, Population 4,941.

On the surface, this sleepy hamlet comes alive in the autumn with picturesque apple orchards, haunted corn mazes, laden pumpkin patches and holiday hay rides. During a snowy Halloween, a young William Willowsby must battle evil forces that have been shielded by the locals for generations. On the outskirts of the town is the abandoned Forest Park Cemetery. All things wicked seem to revolve around the old graveyard. A rarely seen homunculus serves an evil task master. Together they weave a wicked web that attempts to snare the youth of the hamlet. A creepy graveyard, a spooky schoolhouse, an abandoned mortuary and a member of his own family will leave you simply sleepless.

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