CM . . .
. Volume XXII Number . . . .September 25, 2015
On summer holidays, Charlie Harker finds himself stuck in Rolling Hills, a quiet town where his mother grew up. Helping his mother and siblings renovate their great-grandfather’s old inn is not what Charlie had in mind for his break at all. When Miles Van Helsing, Charlie’s new neighbour, comes running out of the dark one night, screaming about paranormal activity, everything changes. At first, Charlie writes him off as a young kid with the brain of a conspiracy theorist; however, he, too, starts noticing strange things happening around town until he comes to the conclusion that Miles might be on to something. Together, they set out to determine what’s happening in Rolling Hills.
The progression of the novel, itself, was slightly slow paced in the beginning. Readers meet numerous characters, including Miles who is an integral part of the story. His ravings of paranormal activity seem far-fetched, and, as the reader, I kept wondering where the story was going to go. Would we find full-fledged zombies or vampires, or would there be some kind of twist? There were moments where I felt the author wasn’t leaving himself enough time to explain, and so when the ending arrived, it felt quite rushed. The story does leave the reader hanging though, indicating there will definitely be a sequel, and so there is redemption in the author choosing to take it slow in the beginning.
For those that enjoy quirky and wisecracking characters, Charlie Harker is your guy. James Leck creates a refreshing 15-year-old main character through Charlie's sarcastic tone and sense of humour, and the way he interacts with the other characters in the novel. While the plot was interesting enough to propel the story, it was Charlie who kept my attention.
Overall, I would gladly recommend After Dark and feel it would be a great read for those that enjoy sci-fi, thriller type stories.
Lacey Hall works at Kwantlen Polytechnic University and started her Masters of Children's Literature program in Fall 2015.
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Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any
other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.