I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.WE CAME BACK by Patrick Lacey
Published by Sinister Grin Press on April 15, 2017
Genres: Dark Fiction, Fiction, Horror, Occult & Supernatural, Psychological Horror, Supernatural, vampires
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Follow along the tour with these hashtags: #WeCameBack #monstersandcults #AmericanCancerSociety
**Patrick Lacey will be donating all his proceeds from this book to the American Cancer Society in memory of his dad, who lost his battle with cancer.**
We Came Back, Synopsis
* Print Length: 354 pages
* Publisher: Sinister Press
* Publication Date: April 15, 2017
Growing up dead. Melvin Brown sees things that aren’t there. Monsters with tentacles and razor-sharp teeth. Ever the social outcast, he is bullied to the point of suicide. And his hatred of those who did him wrong does not die with him. One decade after Melvin's death, something strange is happening to Lynnwood High School's smartest and most popular students. They begin to act out and spend time at the former high school, now abandoned and said to be haunted. And their numbers grow at an alarming rate. Is this just a passing fad or are the rumors true? Does Lynnwood really have a teenage cult on their hands?
WE CAME BACK is the second book I’ve read from author Patrick Lacey. His first, DREAM WOODS, impressed me with its originality and characterization, but WE CAME BACK expanded on both of these elements to produce an amazing tale of anger that grows stronger even after death.
“It was neither alive nor dead but something in between . . . “
Ten years prior, at the old–now abandoned–Lynnwood High School, a senior named Melvin Brown was ruthlessly bullied for years. The atrocious treatment was continuously ignored by the teachers, who were more concerned with their own reputations–and even when he sought out help, he was cruelly denied. Finally unable to endure his own existence, he shot himself in the full cafeteria–where teachers and students alike just stood there in shock.
But something fundamental changed in the building that day. Faculty moved everything into a new school building, hoping to ignore the uneasiness by boarding up the old; however, rumors persisted . . .
“. . . death isn’t always the end. Sometimes, when you’re angry enough, when you have so much hate in your body and soul, it jumpstarts you. Hate is the only thing stronger than death.”
Ten years later, Alyssa Tanner brings in a new boyfriend to meet her parents. Busty is tall, Goth, and more pale than anybody living has a right to be. It’s no wonder that Frank Tanner takes an instant dislike to the boy, but beneath that, something more uneasy begins to fester. . . Frank was the teacher closest to Melvin when he took his own life, and had since lost his own son. Now with only Alyssa to protect, his internal alarms start wildly going off about his particular boy.
“. . . Nightmares, as he’d learned, weren’t just for the sleeping . . . “
As one by one the honor students start . . . changing . . . into caricatures like Busty, it isn’t long before the entire town is forced to acknowledge the problem.
“. . . Last week he was a normal kid who tried to be discreet about checking out girls. Now he looks at them dead on but more importantly he looks dead.”
Lacey’s second novel hits hard with the first chapter, and forges ahead with lightning speed. At around the middle of the book, I found myself questioning what he could possibly do to further the plot . . . and that’s when Lacey went above and beyond. Things that were sinister enough at first glance took on a whole new, horrific meaning that spared nobody in its wake. The tension went as high as it could–and then some–until the very end. The unease quickly turned into an undeniable fear as the very atmosphere in the town began to change along with the ominous new personalities. With every page I turned, I began to brace myself for the worst, most unexpected scenes.
The character development was an incredibly important aspect to this novel, as well. Lacey did a fantastic job of introducing us to the key players, and making us believe in the mental transformations that were happening. No matter how implausible the changes, in Lacey’s hands, they become quite possible.
“There is a fine line between real and unreal. Sometimes the two become confused . . . “
As supernatural powers take hold of the town, Frank battles his own conscious in order to try and stop–whatever it is–that is happening to his family and friends. In the meantime, the power of the click dubbed the “Lynnwood Vampires” increases exponentially, their reign of terror overwhelming the small community.
“. . . the true meaning of a haunting. It wasn’t ghosts or ghouls but pure, unadulterated sadness, a place where hope and happiness had left for good, replaced with a sense of dread so heavy, it could suffocate you . . .”
Lacey takes on what was “left behind” in the old high school, and gives it life with his words. If you’re ready to tackle that which fermented in the darkness, growing as its hatred spread, then welcome to the pages of WE CAME BACK.
Don’t be surprised if some . . . thing . . . is already opening the door for you—