I have sat on this book review since early summer. Why? I have no idea, well perhaps that statement is not entirely true. The reasons why are many, mainly because I was so taken back by the amazing tale of horror and hope and festiveness wrapped in a dripping red bow. I did not think she could blow me away more after Spring, but she did and in a roar of heat and flames from above and below in came Summer.
This second in this series, wait this cycle because this is much more than just a 2nd book, it is a moment, a piece of time within the history of this town in Vermount. Natasha Troop is this mind-blowing weaver of worlds.. a strand of light yarn and strand of dark yarn, a strand of red thrown in for color. Summer came forth burning away the fog of Spring and blazing across my cranium twisting me into knots and causing me to question each draft of a review I have written. I have read the book a total of three times, each time finding something else I want to talk about. I finally needed to write this to tell you guys, go grab and read this book! I really want everyone who likes a challenge to not be scared to read these books, you will lose. Read Spring, and go huh, then pick up Summer and go woah, what the hell and where the hell and what direction do I face when the Hokey Pokey says pull my foot back in!? (At least I hope my foot will still be there!) They are both so good, but each so different. Which is her intent, this wild woman of the west!
This wicked wench and demented word wizard birthed this seam ripping world with a simple open door beckoning you forth with the understated cover. Stepping forward as the first page is read you are immediately there, in the truck, listening to the ghost whisper to Marcus... riding on the handlebars of the blogging Bridge Maiden before she gets to he point where she can cross the bridge... in the pharmacy as Shelley's eyes glaze over quickly before refocusing again. The town is bigger now, swollen from the storms of Spring, bigger than one could imagine, becoming larger with each page I turned and with more layers of darkness & light and Troop was sitting there clutching the knitting needles tightly, with a wicked grin (at least I can assume so)..
Knit one (Gil takes a step towards the door) pearl two (Mr. Whiskers hisses toward the evil thing who may be a threat to his girl) ...knit one (Marcus came expecting blood and meat and found nothing, not even a wisp of lingering ghosts.. or..) pearl two (a new Paladin arises amidst the ashes of death in the form of Jennie).. knit one .. her tongue clenched between her lips, concentrating as she made sure each line and count was perfect and no stitches dropped. This is a future classic horror, it is a dense, literary read. I dare you, take the plunge, but bring a rain jacket for I believe that both heaven and hell will be raining their version of war upon this dense, convoluted large town...
Horror is not a genre, I have stated this before, it is a response to emotion where "in the case of a well written tale of horror, the author infringes our psyches, bypassing rational thought and stroking the fears and terrors we put into the back of the closet behind the box holding that quilt that used to keep us safe." (Review of Spring). When I finished Spring I was left hanging at a precipice wondering how and where Troop would lead us in the next book of the cycle, this experiment of different flavors of horror, Summer did not disappoint. It was more disturbing, more entertaining and eclipsing the first. I gave Spring five stars, what can I give Summer? There really is not enough. This book left me sitting in a puddle of terror half the time and pumping my arms up with pom-poms the next.. both emotions oozing forth from my pores and other orifices, at least metaphorically.. ok most of the time it was metaphorically.
Go grab a copy after you grab Spring for free. I guarantee you will be sending me pounds upon pounds of bacon to thank me for recommending it. Autumn cannot come soon enough, after all... it is time for an election in Stansbury, time to vote in a new Sheriff a new mayor and and bring in new blood... for the bridge and town, and us readers!