Things We Fear by Glenn Rolfe
Summer has just begun, and fear is in season.
School’s out, and the faculty at Fairington Elementary School are free for the summer. Emily Young can’t deny her attraction to Aaron Jackson, the Ed Tech from her classroom, but she’s afraid of being hurt again. Meanwhile, Aaron is determined not to let his phobia of drowning prevent him from enjoying the sun and the sand of Maine’s best beach town.
But they’re about to learn real fear. Fairington is home to a monster. Phys Ed teacher Matt Holmes has more to offer the ladies than a perfect smile. He’s a killer and he’s got his sights set on Emily. Who at Fairington will conquer their fears? And who will fall to a psychopath’s hellbent rage?
I received a free copy of Things We Fear from the publisher in return for an honest review.
I usually enjoy Glenns books, his book Blood and Rain was one of my favourite reads of last year, but for some reason I just wasn't feeling this one. I think I prefer the horror Glenn to the more subtle thriller Glenn that is Things We Fear.
For me a good story has to be either character driven, plot driven, or preferably both, and I struggled to find that in Things We Fear. There wasn't enough substance there to draw me in. The plot needed expanding. I wanted more tension and suspense. I wanted to fear what was around the corner, to feel dread and anticipation for what was to come but it wasn't there.
I felt there was a lack of character development. I didn't get to know anyone well enough to make them stand out as individuals or care about what happened to them, and I also had a problem with the unbelievability of the characters reactions and their inability to see the obvious. It just didn't ring true for me. There was also a lack of imagery, I couldn't picture the environment very well at all. I knew where the characters were and what was happening but I couldn't visualise it or experience it.
I realise it's a novella and you can't squeeze great character development and visuals etc into just 85 pages, something has to give, but in this case I think it gave too much. There is potential here for a decent thriller, especially knowing what Glenn is capable of, but as it is it didn't work for me.
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Praise for Things We Fear
"Things We Fear is a compulsively readable tale of obsession and dark suspense, with one of the creepiest villains I've encountered in recent years." -- Tim Waggoner, author of The Way of All Flesh
"Glenn Rolfe's new thriller is addictive. A quick, compelling read. Rolfe creates tension with a minimal amount of words. His characters are so well-drawn they come alive (before they die)." -- Duncan Ralston, author of Salvage
"Fast paced and tense, with one of the most interesting monsters I've read about in recent times." -- Patrick Lacey, author of A Debt to Be Paid
"Glenn Rolfe is quickly establishing a name for himself as one of a number of excellent new writers to ensure the horror genre is kept alive and well. His previous books – Abram’s Bridge, Boom Town and Blood and Rain – have also served to show the extensive breadth of his imagination and Things We Fear carries on that trend. Quite simply, each story is fresh, new, exciting, and unpredictable." -- Catherine Cavendish, author of Dark Avenging Angel
"In this frighteningly real look at true horror, Rolfe manages to up the ante of tension while balancing genuinely heartbreaking moments, while showcasing his talent for creating unforgettable characters placed in equally unforgettable moments." -- David, Beneath The Underground
"There is a definite old school feel about this novella. It isn’t an over the top gore fest. Instead, what we have is a tense, psychological thriller that builds steadily towards a fitting climax." -Adrian Shotbolt, at Ginger Nuts of Horror
"Glenn Rolfe is an author, singer, songwriter and all around fun loving guy from the haunted woods of New England. He has studied Creative Writing at Southern New Hampshire University, and continues his education in the world of horror by devouring the novels of Stephen King and Richard Laymon.
He and his wife, Meghan, have three children, Ruby, Ramona, and Axl. He is grateful to be loved despite his weirdness.
He is the author the novellas, Abram’s Bridge, Boom Town, and his latest, Things We Fear (March, 2016), the short fiction collection, Slush, and the novels The Haunted Halls and Blood and Rain (October 2015). His first novella collection, Where Nightmares Begin, will also be released in March 2016. His next book, Chasing Ghosts, will be coming by 2017.
He is hard at work on many more. Stay tuned!