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Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Review: Summer Sons by Lee Mandelo

Summer Sons
by Lee Mandelo

Thanks so much to Tor Dot Com and Night Worms for this gifted book.

Publisher: Tor Dot Com
Publish Date: September 28, 2021
384 Pages
Genres: Horror, LGBT, Fantasy

Andrew and Eddie did everything together, best friends bonded more deeply than brothers, until Eddie left Andrew behind to start his graduate program at Vanderbilt. Six month later, only days before Andrew was to join him in Nashville, Eddie dies of an apparent suicide. He leaves Andrew a horrible inheritance: a roommate he doesn’t know, friends he never asked for, and a gruesome phantom with bleeding wrists that mutters of revenge.

As Andrew searches for the truth of Eddie’s death, he uncovers the lies and secrets left behind by the person he trusted most, discovering a family history soaked in blood and death. Whirling between the backstabbing academic world where Eddie spent his days and the circle of hot boys, fast cars, and hard drugs that ruled Eddie’s nights, the walls Andrew has built against the world begin to crumble, letting in the phantom that hungers for him.

My Review:

I absolutely LOVE genre bending reads - and this is a mix of a few (?) of my favorites - horror, fantasy, coming of age, gothic, literary... and I'm loving seeing more queer reads! Also, Southern Gothic? I mean, Lee, did you write this for me?! 😉

Like with most gothic reads, this is a bit of a slow burn and is very atmospheric.  So prepare yourself to really dig into it.  As a fast reader, I did slow down to like a Mach 10 for this one. 😏 This is also a bit of a somber read as the characters throw themsleves into scenarios they aren't particularly prepared for.  The slow burn works in a way that you feel it as you read along.. that "WTF is happening" without the POP of your typical horror read.  After all, aren't we all afraid of what we don't know than what we do?  And how is this a coming of age since we typically associate that with the younger generation? Well, although these characters are older, they are still finding their own in oh so many ways.  

Now, you're probably wondering how I can keep stating it's a slow burn but now am going to say it's also full of action.  Well, you'll have to read it to completely understand why.  To be honest, the action scenes weren't my favorite and I could've done without so much car commentary.  But the main storyline, the queer representation, the atmosphere.... it more than makes up for it in my opinion.  But that's just my sole perspective.

This book definitely won't be for everyone.  At times it ran too slow for me.  At times the subject matter of grief/loss could be a bit stifling so prepare yourself.. and remember, you may think you know everything about your best friend but when it's all said and done, we all have our secrets - some are just darker than others. 


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