Arcadia Falls by Ken Stark. Kindle Edition
Something is wrong in Arcadia Falls.
The first boy vanished without a trace and with just as little fanfare. Even the second disappearance amounted to little more than a few passing remarks and another name skipped over in the classroom roll call. As far as Riverside High and the rest of Arcadia Falls were concerned, it seemed, it was as if nothing had happened at all.
Tyler John was no different. He had barely given the matter a second thought, but then a wrong turn sent him on a path straight into the dark heart of the mystery, and the deeper he peered into the shadows, the more he realized that something was looking back.
Now, the hunter has become the hunted and time is running out. With nowhere else to turn, it’s up to Tyler and his handful of friends to stop the evil thing that’s been preying on Arcadia Falls, and if they fail, they might just be the next ones to vanish.
Yes, something is desperately wrong in Arcadia Falls, and it’s like nothing anyone has ever seen before.
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Travis Borne’s Review:
Arcadia falls gets a double-barrel blast: 2 times 2 plus a star. 5 stars for all-out fun & teamwork!
Back in school, naked in class, sittin’ red-faced at your desk, hands over your… But nope, this isn’t a dream. Ken takes you there, puts you smack dab. If you’re a nudist you might not be utterly terrified about being naked in class but there’s something else, something eerily petrifying with this high-school, small-town nightmare. Ken’s story cements you in like a spider’s cocooning web. But at least you’re not alone. In the company of good friends, the best, an albeit incongruent bunch of misfits, you all decide to go for it.
Brainiacs sitting at the lunchroom table together, a new clan built upon a crescendoing happenstance of something otherworldly. Yet how can it be and why? Even with technology, the INTERNET and Google Earth, how in the world… But it’s there. Right smack in the middle of what we thought was our complete town. And I found myself there, chased in by perhaps the unreasonable fear of the teenage mind, and perhaps a scary black van. And then my curiosity took over. Looking at it all, paint peeling, a curtain moving here and there, crumbling road and wood turning to ash, a forgotten town that’d fallen into a desuetude understatement. It shouldn’t be possible, but then there it is. And it took something from them. They know that know.
Ken’s storytelling is masterful. His dialog is a *blast!* to read. And his method of setting the reader into the story is a whole new dimension in itself. When I read Arcadia Falls, I am there. I’m Tyler and I just received a kiss from the most beautiful girl in school and she really, really likes me. And there’s something else about her. She knows things. Then our crew knows things thanks to our erudite exchanges. Our team, which becomes even more incongruent later on, jives. It’s a cuckoo clock with freshly oiled gears, each clicking away beautifully at its particular purpose. Each person in our crew, be it seventy years old, or eighteen going for the doctorate of thinkology, has their own special talent. And each’ll take it in with them when they discover the truth…or so think they had.
This adventure is akin to riding a 1000-foot waterslide filled with hot bullets and hairy red-eyed spiders. Want to hold a makeshift flamethrower and blast the buggers to bits? From the newest, oldest member of the crew, want some history lessons that’ll send a cold metallic hand into your heart and jostle it, then squeeze the air from your lungs? Want to uncover the real, veritable piece of the pie, the plague, the unthinkable and the unremembered? Then tiptoe yourself right into Ken’s novel, if you dare. Creep into Old Town but carry a big stick. Then run for your life—or stay and fight! Be sure, though, to bring one thing. Bring your nerve, yes, weapons will come in handy too, but DO NOT forget the most important thing. Bring your friends. Bring your crew of lionhearted misfits. And if you survive you might just discover what you only WISH you could forget.
Arcadia falls gets a double-barrel blast: two times two plus a star. Five stars for all-out fun, twists and turns both figuratively, plus winding into spider-stuffed tunnels, and high-school days and jocks and nerds and hot-girl brainiacs, and creepy crawly fuzzy things with red eyes, and ultimately, teamwork leading to “blood-is-thicker-than-water” friends for life.