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Tuesday, September 7, 2021

Review: Boys in the Valley by Philip Fracassi

Boys in the Valley
by Philip Fracassi

Thank you Earthling  for this amazing gifted book.

Publisher: Earthling Publications
Publish Date: October 31, 2021
316 Pages
Genre: Horror

St. Vincent’s Orphanage for Boys.

Turn of the century, in a remote valley in Pennsylvania.

Here, under the watchful eyes of several priests, thirty boys work and learn and worship. They live their lives in a methodical way and get along despite different personalities and pasts. Peter Barlow, orphaned by a nighttime murder at his childhood home, has made a new life here. As he approaches adulthood, he has friends, a future…family.

Then, late one stormy night, a group of men arrive at their door, one of whom is badly wounded, his body covered with occult symbols carved into his flesh. Upon his death, an ancient evil is released that infests St. Vincent’s and the children within. Soon, boys begin acting differently, forming groups. Taking sides.

Others turn up dead.

Now Peter and those dear to him must choose sides of their own, each of them knowing their lives- and perhaps their eternal souls- are at risk.

My Review:

Locked-in orphanage horror? Take my money.  Priests, an ancient evil and creepy kids? Take ALL my money!  I couldn't help but want to read this one after I read the synopsis... though I was a little hesitant because sometimes these types of stories don't quite work for me.  Happy to find that this was more unique and, for me, felt like a cross of Lord of the Flies meet Children of the Corn meet the Exorcist.. you get the gist, no?

This is my first Fracassi and most definitely will not be my last.  His writing from first to last page is SO atmospheric... it felt ominous from the very first creepy smile. Fracassi gives us different POVs to where we see the struggle of the *priest potentials* not realizing they have a choice and then having to make one.  Faith, loyalty to God.... these are all tested here.  I will say that stories of faith aren't typically my thing and just because I'm me, I find myself feeling a bit meh during the parts where there's internal struggling of faith.  However, I do realize it's an essential part of the story and while I was riveted to the pages, I didn't realize how invested I was until I could breathe again after I turned that final page.

Also, can I just mention that I gave myself a paper cut turning a page and for just a teeny second thought the blood would resurrect some demon from the pages. Happy reading, folks!


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