"Greetings from Moon Hill" Book Review
Written by Steve Pattee
Published by Precipice Books
Written by Anthony J. Rapino
2016, 300 pages, Fiction
Released on October 11th, 2016
Before Greetings from Moon Hill, I've not had the pleasure of reading anything by author Anthony J. Rapino. I'm familiar with him, though, as I follow him on both Twitter and Facebook because in addition to writing, Rapino also does enjoyable unboxing and yardsale-find videos as well; plus, he also makes horror-themed magnets, light switch covers, plaques, and more because apparently he just doesn't sleep. But we're here to talk about his book, so let's get down to it.
Greetings from Moon Hill is collection of stories that all take place in the Northeastern Pennsylvania town of, you got it, Moon Hill. It has a very nice opening, setting the mood quickly; with a resignation letter from a grizzled reporter, Graham Darby, to his boss, angry that he was set to cover the ghost town of Moon Hill; mad because he felt the assignment was beneath him. Piper, another reporter from the same paper, is sent to Moon Hill an indeterminate time later (but it's made clear it's sometime after Graham had quit) to write some copy to spruce up tourism. Her editor provides her with all the notes, stories and interviews Graham had collected during his stay there, and there are some doozies. Using those, she hopes to uncover some of the mysteries of Greetings Moon Hill.
The book has a nice variety of the horror subgenre, ranging from the violent and uncomfortable "Loosely Enforced Rules", which follows three young adults as they prepare for a night out making an elderly couples' lives hell; to the action-packed demon battle of "The Topsy-Turvy Man" (one of my favorites); to the surreal "No Touching at All", there is, as clichéd as it sounds, something in here for everyone.
If there's a niggle I have with Rapino's prose, it's that his endings seem to peter out rather than close forcefully. With the exception of a few (I'm not a fan of some of the freer flowing ones), all start out quite strong, and many just saunter across the finish line as opposed to boldly sprinting. The best analogy I can use is that feeling you have when you go see your favorite band and they start by playing all of your favorite songs, so by the end of the show, they're down to stuff you only like. That's not to say you aren't going to have a good time, you will. But there will be times you want to be blowing through the end instead of waltzing through it.
While Greetings from Moon Hill is my first Rapino book, it certainly won't be my last. He shows here how capable he is juggling multiple genres without dropping any. If you want to check out what's going on behind the closed doors of Moon Hill, you're going to want to pick this up.