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Small Things (Volume 1) Paperback – December 8, 2012
The Amazon Book Review
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"Small Things has a Stephen King feel to it...I was listening for things that go bump in the night!" - United Indie Book Blog
About the Author
Joe was born in Carthage, Illinois, and currently lives in Rogers, Arkansas with his artist wife Andee, their son Fletcher, and their cats Lucky, Milo, and Archer. Joe is a freelance writer, web designer, and substitute teacher. In addition to writing, he enjoys purchasing (and occasionally watching) copious amounts of Blu-Ray discs, listening to music, playing video games, and collecting Mego action figures from the 1970s. Small Things is his first novel. Threads, the sequel to Small Things and the second book in the trilogy, is also available for purchase. You can write to Joe at Joe@JoeDeRouen.com or visit his website at JoeDeRouen.com.
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Top customer reviews
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There are a lot of good things going on in this story. Mr. DeRouen has an excellent grasp of everything teenager-from language to situational awareness and problem solving – he knows what he’s talking about. At least, he was able to convince me that he knew what he was talking about. The starring characters Shawn and Jenny are typical teenagers that, in the face of several horrifying situations, make decisions and act in ways far from typical, and that’s exciting.
I read, primarily, for the pure enjoyment of the story, and I did enjoy this story. But I also believe and look for one element of storytelling that must always...always, be a part of the tale; verisimilitude, the semblance of realism, must be present throughout. Credibility applies to all aspects of the story; from plot to characterization to dialog...everything must have the feel of reality. I had that sense through most of the book. The single anomaly was in the characterization of Sheriff Ruskin. On the one hand, he was very cliché…the tragic loss of family, drinker, but a good man, etc. Okay. But he often came across as utterly incompetent, beyond the impairment of drinking would typically allow. Several of his decisions in working the case seemed to me to be so off-base that they appeared to be written in solely to extend the story…can’t be solving everything too soon, right?
So, I shot the sheriff, but I didn’t write off the story. In fact, I highly recommend “Small Things” to all fans of horror fiction.
We meet the cast of characters at the funeral for a teenaged boy, Tanner. As we experience the grieving process for this young man by friends and family, we learn from his sister that his death was at the hands of something not of this world. Tanner's best friend, Shawn Spencer, already suspicious, begins searching for clues into the death of his friend.
Small Things is set in a small town in Illinois, far enough back in time that TV shows like Love Boat and music from the late 70's take us to another era in our history. A time when we were not bombarded with paranormal creatures, high speed technology, and life moved at a slower pace. This is the perfect foil for the frenetic moments in the book, where your heart will pound and you will lose track of time.
Joe DeRouen has done a remarkable job in weaving words and imagery that take us on a time-travelling, lip gnawing journey, where we find both fear and tenderness on a hot summers eve. Other reviewers have likened his writing to Dean Koontz and Stephen King - I would whole-heartedly agree. Mr. DeRouen is definitely an author to watch... and read!
Get ready for a nerve-wracking story, mixed with suspense, treachery, humor and romance. I found the characters easy to relate to, and Joe has done a great job of mingling the past with the present. He also has an appealing style of writing, which I became immersed in from the beginning of the story, he has a way of making you wonder what’s going to happen next. Jenny and Shawn’s budding romance also kept me interested. (I love romance). All in all I found ‘Small Things’ a very entertaining and fascinating read.