Apr 9, 2012

Book review: Grimsley Hollow

Grimsley Hollow is about a character many people don't get to read about often.

It's about a young boy without any friends, but he is smart. Gage loves Halloween and it's one of the holidays that break him out of his shell. While that may seem like many characters, it isn't.

Gage has autism.

The book dives into his emotions and it's interesting to see the perspective of someone with a disability some cannot understand. Put me in that category. I don't know many people with autism, and Nicole Storey helped me understand what a scary and brilliant world it could be for someone with it.

But even though Gage has autism, he has found ways to enjoy life whether it's through Halloween or playing make-believe games in his fort. The story starts with Gage finding a key that leads to a secret land where creatures he read about or saw in movies are real: vampires, werewolves, fairies and witches.

Even though Gage has limitations, the people of Grimsley Hollow need his help, and he doesn't seem held back in this new world. They don't care about his autism and treat him as they would any other child.

While the book is full of adventure, it's also about a boy learning to love himself.

I thought most of the characters were well done and Storey does a nice job if staying true to them throughout the book. My favorite character was a pixie named Puck. He definitely added a bit of comic relief and was one of the bright spots in the book with his dramatic flair.

The storyline was well thought out and comes with a little surprise at the end, at least enough of a surprise to get a series going if Storey decides to move in that direction.

I have two recommendations for Storey if she should continue writing – and I hope she does.

  1. Listen to people talk and how they say things. Some of the dialogue in the book felt a bit forced. It's how people say things or little nuances about the things people say that could actually help develop characters even further.
  1. The use of cliches was a bit much. There are ways to say things without having to use a phrase that has been used thousands upon thousands of times before. I'd like to see Storey come up with original ways of describing a character's feeling.
Overall, I really enjoyed the book and even told my 9-year-old nephew he should read it. It's a nice children's story and I look forward to seeing what happens next.

Grimsley Hollow could be purchased at Smashwords here.

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