This is the diary of a nine year old girl who is experiencing the very beginning of the zombie apocalypse, although she doesn’t know that’s what it is. It starts with her classmates getting sick, and staying home from school. While these kids are home, even more are getting sick… school is becoming a ghost town. Kellie’s patents make sure she gets her flu shot, and she continues showing up at school, even when she is one of only six students left in her class.
While she is at school, the monsters come. Kellie has to figure out what to do to survive while there, and if she wants to leave. She needs a plan to get out of the school, and to make it back to her home & family.
Although this book is short, it’s only the first story in the series, and it’s available for free download.
It is in diary form, and the font used is a handwriting font. I couldn’t get it any larger on my Kindle.
The Lost Son
When newly weds Jason and Emily moved into their first home together they thought they had the perfect start to their new life together; a quiet house in the middle of the country away from the hustle and bustle of everyday city life.
Unfortunately for them, things take a supernatural turn when they realise the house isn’t quite as empty as they first believed it to be.
The book starts with an idealistic summer backdrop; idealistic if you don’t pay attention to the food burning on the grill, or the huge puddle of blood drying on the pavement. I knew I was in for a ride when I had tears in my eyes at the end of the first chapter.
Fast forward in time a bit to meet Jason & Emily. Newlyweds who put off their honeymoon to purchase their dream home. They arrive, with their dog Roald, just before the moving truck. (Fun Fact: Notice the dogs name? – Leave me a comment if you get it.) We notice strange happenings before they’re even moved in. Once they are, Roald picks up on something – like all pets are known to do.
Jason begins to take notice when doors in the house start slamming closed, but he can’t find the source of a draft no matter how hard he looks.
To weird him out a little more, he gets a surprise visit from Aimee, a strange woman who claims to have once lived in his house. He thinks she looks looney, but, her husband, Ian, comes to collect her – promising it will never happen again. He tells Emily about it, and gets her properly bugged, too. (This bit plants a seed for our minds to silently cultivate while we continue reading.)
While laying in bed with Em that night, having a tiff about how unproductive his days are while she’s off at work, they hear a commotion coming from downstairs. He goes to investigate & finds one of the boxes he neglected to unpack had fallen over, spilling it’s contents onto the floor. He returns to bed, leaving the mess until morning, (and further irritating his wife). The next morning, when Em thanks him for picking up, and knowing he did no such thing, Jason starts to freak out. Could that woman have returned in the night? Is she here now? Roald, you didn’t do this, did ya? (To which he replies O.o – then licks his butt).
By the time Emily gets home from work, Jason has it all figured out. They are sharing their home with the ghost of an eight year old boy, Josh Tomsett, the son of the houses previous owners.
In my best Steffon character voice…
“This book has everything! Ouija boards, surprises, heartbreak, and twists… That thing from the movie Poltergiest where the living play games with the ghost in the kitchen!”
This is another of those stories that dragged my emotions through the ringer. I laughed out loud, cried, got angry, got scared… And, as it always happens to me, during one key moment towards the end… great big huge scary noise from the other room! (Upon investigation, it was the ‘shower caddy’, the thing holding all the shampoos and soaps, it fell right off the side of the shower at a perfect moment. It’s strange how things like that happen!
The only other thing I’ll say is this – we’re in Matt’s world, there are no happy endings.
* The Lost Son also includes a bonus story from the recently published collection SHORTS, titled AS I LAY STILL
I’m a closet geek. Well, as I like to say… geek by day, nerd by night!
In geek speak, an easter egg is a secret message, credit or screen hidden in an application, game, or DVD. Easter eggs typically include a bonus feature or item but can include the names of the developers responsible for the application, extra levels, or bonus content.
Even though the term brings to mind electronic bonus material, I use it for literary bonus material. Those hidden gems authors slip in once in awhile. Matt is famous for them. I try to point out a couple of my favourites from every story, without spoiling things. A couple Easter Eggs in THE LOST SON…
Remember me pointing out the name of the dog?
Roald. I won’t ruin what I said earlier, if you ‘get it’, leave a note in the comments. Need a hint? Read my interview LOW TEA WITH MATT SHAW.
JOSH TOMSETT, our lead ghost in this story, borrows his name from our friend Kim Tomsett, (aka wistfulskimmie)! I’m sure you’ve seen her reviews on Amazon, or chatted with her on Matt’s Facebook wall.
I think it is really cool that Matt interacts and includes his fans throughout his writing process.
At one point, Emily, (while trying to get in touch with Ian Tomsett), was put on the spot when asked for her name. In a pinch, she uses the name Nurse Ratched, (made me laff!!). In case you can’t place the name, Nurse Ratched is the antagonist in the 1962 Ken Kesey novel “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” and in the 1975 movie of the same title. The overbearing, cruel, perfectionist nurse rules the asylum in the story with an iron fist.
Any book nerd like me has called at least one nurse by this name in their lifetime!! Used creatively, you can turn it into an insult on almost anyone!
Happy reading, lovelies!
Peace, Love, & Necrophilia ❤