- Paperback: 348 pages
- Publisher: Alkemara Press; 2 edition (May 16, 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0986350869
- ISBN-13: 978-0986350863
- Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.9 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 111 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,136,219 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Paperback – May 16, 2016
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All this and more, as they say.
Clegg's protagonists are Joe and Hop, childhood friends who have lost touch since Joe left town after high school. He looks back at his formative years in Colony with something akin to hatred. Joe's mother is dying, though, so he packs up his wife, his children and his marital issues and heads back to his hometown. Joe's return sets the wheels in motion for the re-emergence of an ancient evil the men thought they'd seen the last of.
Why do children keep disappearing in Colony? How could a 12-year-old girl reappear at her parents' home, when she ought to be in her 30s, if alive at all? What has been living in the well hidden inside Old Man Feeley's barn all these years? What does it all have to do with Joe?
Clegg's novel jumps back and forth in time, which makes it difficult to summarize. As he works his way through the above material, he revisits Joe's and Hop's childhood, from the first time they came up against Abaddon, the demon in the well, and through subsequent encounters with it. I understand why he structured it that way -- a straightforward, chronological retelling would reveal too much, too soon -- but it makes the narrative occasionally difficult to follow.
Like "'Salem's Lot" -- and like many King books -- Clegg periodically cuts to the viewpoints of minor characters. We meet a college student dogged by his cruel past, a sheriff caught between his distant wife and his pregnant mistress, a teenager whose parents have disappeared; they all eventually fall to Abaddon. The scenes where the demon and/or his minions overtake those victims are the highlights of the book. And vampiric children! What a creepy idea. (Yes, they're the biggest similarity to "'Salem's Lot.")
"The Children's Hour" is an entertaining horror story, though it suffers from the genre's periodic flaws in logic. But if this is your kind of story, you're likely ready to look past that.
Welcome home, Joe. We’ve been waiting. …All of us.
SPOILER ALERT: At times I wanted Joe to do something and he would just lay down to It(devil/angel) waiting and wanting to die...really???? And b/c he did just that, he gets his family back....Again really??? They leave town after Tad said they shouldn't thru his father. In the next town everything is normal so they go to sleep instead of getting help. The end. That's it. So why should they have not left town? Why go to sleep instead of getting help? What happened to Virgil? The rest of the children? There were no answers to these and other questions.
I especially like her inclusion of the importance of the dogs within the family. This adds even more depth and reality to the characters. We all know that dogs "have opinions" about what goes on with their humans! This is, by no means overdone in the book, but the dogs'personalities add to the richness of the story's background.
I was sorry when the story was over.