Tuesday, March 4, 2008

The Boys Are Back In Town

The Boys Are Back In Town, by Christopher Golden
$10.20 at Amazon.com
ISBN: 0553382071
This is a delightful piece of horror, fantasy, and the macabre. The author has been acclaimed for his writing on such projects as Buffy: The Vampire Slayer and Hellboy.
In this thriller, Will James is a twenty-eight year old newspaper columnist who returns to his small hometown outside of Boston. The occasion is his tenth high school reunion, and while he's there a series of odd events take place. 
For one thing, his best friend Mike has apparently been dead since senior year, even though Will remembers being with Mike at graduation and many times 
since. Friends who had children are suddenly single and childless. It seems the reality our hero has been living in since he was a teenager might not really be reality after all.
He passes through various stages of confusion and panic, until a series of clues connects him with a teenage boy named Kyle.
Kyle, as it happens, lives in Will's own childhood home, where the two find evidence that dark magic has been practiced on the premesis, ever since the days of the Salem witch trials. 
They find a book of spells which allows them to travel back in time, 
to Will's boyhood, in the hopes that they'll set reality back on its proper course.
Once the story gets its momentum, it's an absolute page-turner until the end. The lead characters are positively glowing with charm. As people begin to change due to the dark magic and time travel, it brings up questions about who we really are and how much of our identity is based on our experiences. Each turn of events is more mysterious than the last, and every answer creates a host of new questions.
Will reconnects with his high school pals in the past, and even meets a younger version of himself while traveling back in time for the sake of all humanity. What would any of us do, as adults, if confronted with our own selves as children? Don't answer too quickly: the slightest mistake could have catastrophic results in the future.
Terrific fun, with a surprise ending. The Boys Are Back In Town comes highly recommended if you're looking for an outrageous thrill.

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