By Ken Stark
Hands up if you can remember your high school days. Or maybe you are actually still in high school? Whatever the case may be, if those memories are fresh, meaningful and vivid, then you are going to love Arcadia Falls. It is a very clever tale which incorporates humor and horror in a brilliant fashion. This novel is perfect for the young adult crowd, however, anyone from ages 12 to 100 will enjoy and become engrossed in the story.
As is stated in print on the wickedly effective cover of the book: Something is preying on Arcadia Falls…And it is like nothing anyone has ever seen before… Indeed, people are disappearing in the little town and nobody seems to be taking much notice. How on earth could this possibly be? Why would people simply not care when their loved ones simply vanish? As the plot begins to unfold, the terrifying and disturbing answer to this question soon becomes apparent.
Stark does a wonderful job of delivering his story in a fun, yet chilling fashion. His use of words is powerful and able to produce vivid imagery throughout the pages. Such talent is mandatory in a novel of this nature. Also, Stark uses various features of text and literary devices throughout the story, but never in a way in which they appear for their own sake. They are there to enhance meaning and help with the fluid flow of the story.
While there is undoubtedly a solid and engaging plot to this book, the diverse and delightful characters steal the day. The characters in the story are a group of friends who are in their final year of high school. They manage to hit all the major cliques which you will tend to find in any school. There are nerds, jocks, geeks, as well as the “pretty” and popular girls. They are actually a very atypical group of friends who in most instances would never have anything to do with one another. For instance, in one scene the author makes you feel as if you are actually right there beside Tyler (the main character who is also a devout nerd), as he cautiously joins a group of popular girls at the lunch cafeteria so he can sit with the pretty new girl. You will feel the nervousness, awkwardness and self-doubt right along with him. Interestingly enough, these characters all become friends and learn to rely upon one another for their very existence. The banter which takes place between the characters is engaging and amusing and makes you feel like you are one of the gang.
There are many sub themes which can be pulled from this novel. For example, the good vs. evil theme is very prevalent. However, the overriding theme for me personally is about the power of friendship. Real friends will always see the good in you, and true friendship will conquer all.
If you are interested in an entertaining, thrilling and action filled story, then Arcadia Falls may be exactly what you are looking for.
5 out of 5 Thrilling Stars for this one!