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Formats
Ebook Details
  • 11/2020
  • B08MCK9XQM
  • 120 pages
  • $5.99
Paperback Details
  • 11/2020
  • 978-0998645339
  • 120 pages
  • $23.99
JC Bratton
Author, Service Provider
Things That Go Bump in the Night
JC Bratton, author
Young adult horror master JC Bratton takes us on a dark journey where urban legends and childhood nightmares come to life. Things That Go Bump in the Night is a compilation of Bratton's short stories Who's at the Door?, Parasomnia, and Dollhouse — twisted tales that will keep readers guessing and wanting more.
Reviews
In Bratton’s short stories, teenagers go missing, dolls come to life, and saying “Bloody Mary” into a mirror isn’t going to make things better. The horror tales gathered together in Things That Go Bump In the Night are quick to read and often lightning fast in their pacing, especially the three shorter stories contained in “Dollhouse,” the book’s final section. Full of references to horror legends, urban legends, and fringe science, the stories cover a lot of ground in just a few pages, sometimes featuring nods to each other.

Despite being marketed for young adults, only the first story, “Who’s At the Door” seems fully crafted for a teen audience. Clearly influenced by RL Stine and Christopher Pike, authors that Bratton cites as favorites, this suspenseful tale of a teenager, a doorbell, and the supernatural is the collection’s most fully developed, offering engaging twists on a perennial ghost story. The Silicon Valley-set “Parasomnia” takes on the tension between science and the paranormal, with an edge of romance, but its fleeting attempts to explain scientific concepts key to the narrative (“hypnopompic hallucinations”) confuse rather than clarify. “Dollhouse” actually has three stories within it, tales so short that there’s not much room for a sense of unease or terror to develop.

Bratton favors dialogue-driven storytelling, often even revealing the narrator’s inner thoughts this way, an approach not ideally suited to horror, as the emphasis on what people are saying over what they’re seeing, feeling, and doing doesn’t offer much opportunity for dread or terror to mount. Still, readers may appreciate Bratton’s quick doses of horror if they’re looking for paranormal mystery or a quick adrenaline rush. Able to be enjoyed in one sitting, Things That Go Bump In the Night will spook teen and adult readers, whether they’re afraid of their alarm system, nightmares, or that old doll in the attic.

Takeaway: These quick doses of horror have enough jolt to engage teen readers.

Great for fans of: Stephanie Perkins’ There’s Someone Inside Your House, Katie Alender’s Bad Girls Don’t Die.

Production grades
Cover: B
Design and typography: A-
Illustrations: N/A
Editing: A-
Marketing copy: A

Formats
Ebook Details
  • 11/2020
  • B08MCK9XQM
  • 120 pages
  • $5.99
Paperback Details
  • 11/2020
  • 978-0998645339
  • 120 pages
  • $23.99

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