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Hallows Eve Hardcover – October 30, 2005

3.3 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Samhain, the scheming Lord of Death, is back for more Halloween mischief in Sarrantonio's lackluster sequel to Orangefield (2001). Thanks to misdeeds in the historical past, the quaint pumpkin-farming community of Orangefield is the locus for supernatural evil perpetrated by the cartoonishly drawn Samhain, earthly servitor of the nebulous Dark One. This year, Samhain sets his sights on Corrie Phaeder, a local boy who's returned home from the west coast to recover from his ruined career and love life. Also figuring in Samhain's dark design is Corrie's neighbor Regina Bright, a chipper seven-year-old whose innocence insulates her from weird incidents that slowly superimpose themselves on her world. The author casts his dark fable with crusty rustics on sabbatical from a Stephen King novel, and he sketches the town vividly with imagery as crisp as the first bite of an autumn apple. His plotting, however, has the stale aftertaste of the previous book. Once again, Samhain engineers the death of townspeople crucial to his plans in episodic and seemingly disassociated vignettes. A trip to Samhain's realm towards the novel's end adds a jolt of vitality, but takes the tale in the direction of a young-adult quest fantasy. The story concludes with the hint of other Orangefield adventures to come, and the prospect that they may offer more than this rehash of past Halloween tricks and treats.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Cemetery Dance Pubns; Limited edition (October 30, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1587670771
  • ISBN-13: 978-1587670770
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,511,856 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
If there's one positive thing I can muster about Al Sarrantonio's "Hallows Eve," it's that he conjurs atmosphere beautifully. Like other reviewers have noted, Sarrantonio truly knows how to capture the essence of our darkest and most rustic holiday. The spirit of Halloween is readily apparent in this book; it practically clings to every page as Sarrantonio sketches a refreshingly macabre, yet strangely picturesque, portrait of smalltown Americana amidst the cold Autumn chill of Samhain. Reading this book I could practically *smell* the candy corn and hear the rustling of the cornstalks as they emanated from the page. So, based on that aspect alone, I would recommend this book.

Unfortunately, the novel is saddled with a dull, contrived supernatural plotline that Sarrantonio must have dug up from a cobweb-covered box of CLICHES. Of course there's the emotionally scarred hero, returning to his hometown of Orangefield for the first time since something really bad happened to him as a youngster. There's the good-hearted but skeptical cop who gets caught up in the action, and the innocent little girl who holds the key to the mystery. And then there's a helpful wraith, disguised as a scarecrow, who pops up at random intervals to provide needless exposition for the audience.

Now, overused plot I could've dealt with, but the main problem with "Hallows Eve" is the simple fact that Sarrantonio doesn't have the talent to bring even this story justice. He may be great at writing atmosphere, but when it comes to characterization he's at a total loss. The heroes are one-dimensional and uninteresting, and the villains are just as bad.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I have always had a soft spot for Halloween in my heart, and even though I haven't read the prequel, Orangefield, I still enjoyed this story. Sarrantonio sucked me into his tale of the whimsical town that is known for its pumpkins. Halloween is the main event and celebration; everyone seems to prepare it all year round. This year however series of unexpected events reoccurs more often, and as we learn what caused them the tale grows chillier by each page. I loved the description of the festive mood, the corn husks under the shoes, warm winds, crisp harvested apples, pumpkin patches and town full of folklore.

Corrie Phaeder is back home because suddenly his life fell apart back in California and he is mysteriously drawn back to the place where his mother died. He didn't want to be back in Orangefield, but power beyond him have directed him back home. Right of the bat, we meet John, a mysterious creature that seems to know everything Corrie dreams about and who foretells him about horrible things happening, while Halloween is two weeks away. He and a little girl, Reggie with the help of a local cop, Grant, try to solve the unnatural happenings while battling mythological evil that has spawned stories about Orangefield. The trouble is that the stories start to look more like truth and when everyone who tries to help Corrie seems to have a fatal "accident" he has nowhere to turn but John, but can he fully trust a strange creature that comes from another dimension?

Sarrantonio did a great job writing phenomenal descriptions of matter that is not of this world, the shapes, colors, sounds, inflated bubbles, geometric forests, Technicolor waiting stations, ghouls, walking pumpkin men and dark clouds of destruction were really vividly pained and filled my head with images.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Sarrantonio always makes you feel like a part of the book when you read it. It's this character development that makes me a tremendous fan of his. Can't wait to read the final book of this trilogy and many other books from Sarrantonio.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Sarrantonio does an excellent job with descriptions, he pulls you into the town and you feel like you've actually visited Orangefield, and for the most part I enjoyed the plot. Where he lost me was the alternate universe, "purgatory", the characters he threw in there, to me, were just too far from the genre. The characters in purgatory seemed more sci-fi than horror. And the entire book leads up to this massive show down between Corrie, Reggie and the Dark One, that really never happens. He spends all this time writing about this vast, barren wasteland (which gets rather boring) that the two are making their was through, and then the actual confrontation is only a couple of pages of Corrie and the Dark One talking. After the battle that Grant goes through to keep them safe, the finally is very anti-climatic. I really enjoyed the book until the last couple of chapters.
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By Deedra on November 3, 2015
Format: Audible Audio Edition
This is a great series.This is the second in a series.I listened to the Audible version.I'm not sure why they changed narrators,but the difference is very noticeable . Jack Chekijian is a good narrator,but his female character voices sound like Mickey Mouse.It is hard to get past while listening.
In Orangefield there is a story that the king of the dead 'lives' there.SamHain works for him.
Corey left town years ago never expecting to go back,but he does.The town holds memories of demons and terror for him.Something is calling him back and he has to answer.
"I was provided this audiobook at no charge by the author, publisher and/or narrator in exchange for an unbiased review via AudiobookBlast or MalarHouse dot com"
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