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Ectostorm: Book Three of the Stanley Cooper Chronicles Paperback – May 1, 2012
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About the Author
Scott A. Johnson is the author of thirteen books including An American Haunting, Deadlands, Cane River: A Ghost Story, and City of Demons, as well as the mind behind the Stanley Cooper Chronicles. When he's not writing, he chases ghosts, teaches Kajukenbo Karate, and plays golf (poorly). He also teaches in the Masters in Writing Popular Fiction program at Seton Hill University in Greensburg, PA. He currently lives near Austin, TX, with his wife and daughters. To find out more about Scott, visit his website at http://www.americanhorrorwriter.net.
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One of the most distinguishing characteristics of Johnson's writing is his uncanny ability to perfectly portray the average Joe in not so average circumstances. His readers get, in no nonsense terms, the person and the person's feelings about all that is going on around him or her. Ectostorm took this talent to another place with the palpable feelings and emotions Johnson evokes. Stanley Cooper's guilt is a living thing that reaches from the pages and grabs the readers' heart. His devastation chokes the reader with its bulk. And Stanley's realization that his family feels the same about him as he does them is such a vivid moment that the reader feels as if the discovery is theirs along with him.
Johnson also plays on one of my personal mantras, in that "your family is who you choose them to be". It's quite difficult to drum up sympathy and support for the family we're born into, because we have no choice in that matter. However, when we create a family, feelings are vested in a way that bind forever. Stanley, Maggie, Andi and their living store are such a bonded family. And each member would go, and pretty much have gone, to hell on earth and back for the others.
Make no mistake: with all the talk of emotions and feelings, this book is filled with gory details and creepy un-dead, returned dead and strange creatures. The difference between Ectostorm and the average horror novel is that readers of all genres can enjoy the twists and turns of not so ordinary Stanley and his crew as they navigate the storm created by the newest supernatural bad guys along with everyday crises.
Stanley knew he wasn't the only person to return from the dead, but he had no idea how many others lived in Pittsburgh. When a mysterious man comes looking for Stan, claiming to represent a group of "like-minded individuals," Stan quickly steps onto a roller coaster ride with others like himself. When one of Stan's new friends turns up murdered, with his name written on the wall above her headless corpse and an evergreen tree written in supernatural ink, he knows he has a problem.
One by one, Stan's new friends turn up dead, each with a message for Stan himself from someone in Evergreen. As Stan and Maggie revisit their old friends in a race against time to find the traitor, we begin to piece together a picture of evil and power that threatens to take from him what he loves most and destroy the city of Pittsburgh.
Stanley must confront the ultimate traitor of Evergreen to stop the murders of others like him and protect his family. As always, Pittsburgh is a character herself, and da `Burgh comes to life through Stan's travels. The pace is fast, the stakes are high, and Johnson tells the story of these supernatural happenings with a voice that makes me think the sky above my city will be green when I look next.
I highly recommend Ectostorm as a fun supernatural adventure.