As much reading as I do in my free time, outside of school assignments, I realized I should probably think about reviewing the books. Sometimes. Here’s the first one:
In Ectostorm, author Scott A. Johnson does what I love to see great writers do: he takes his exemplary writing to an even higher level. A fan of the Stanley Cooper chronicles since the first book, Vermin, I was completely awed by the characters in the latest installment. I already felt like I knew them intimately, but just as we don’t always know everything we think we do about even close friends, Stanley and his crew drew me deeper into their world.
One of the most distinguishing characteristics of Johnson’s writing is his uncanny ability to perfectly portray the average Joe in not so average circumstances. His readers get, in no nonsense terms, the person and the person’s feelings about all that is going on around him or her. Ectostorm took this talent to another place with the palpable feelings and emotions Johnson evokes. Stanley Cooper’s guilt is a living thing that reaches from the pages and grabs the readers’ heart. His devastation chokes the reader with its bulk. And Stanley’s realization that his family feels the same about him as he does them is such a vivid moment that the reader feels as if the discovery is theirs along with him.
Johnson also plays on one of my personal mantras, in that “your family is who you choose them to be”. It’s quite difficult to drum up sympathy and support for the family we’re born into, because we have no choice in that matter. However, when we create a family, feelings are vested in a way that bind forever. Stanley, Maggie, Andi and their living store are such a bonded family. And each member would go, and pretty much have gone, to hell on earth and back for the others.
Make no mistake: with all the talk of emotions and feelings, this book is filled with gory details and creepy un-dead, returned dead and strange creatures. The difference between Ectostorm and the average horror novel is that readers of all genres can enjoy the twists and turns of not so ordinary Stanley and his crew as they navigate the storm created by the newest supernatural bad guys along with everyday crises.