Sunday, May 17, 2015

M. K. Theodoratus - The Ghostcrow: A Tale of Andor

22. The Ghostcrow: A Tale of Andor by M. K. Theodoratus (2014)
The Tales From the World of Andor Series Book 4
Length: 57 pages
Genre: Short Story
Started: 16 May 2015
Finished: 17 May 2015
Where did it come from? Many thanks to Dorothy from Pump up Your Book for sending me a copy of this book to read.
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 25 March 2015
Why do I have it? I like short stories and M. K. Theodoratus is a new author for me.

Thirteen-year-old Delores 'Dumdie' Swartz feels like an outsider within her own family. She's the baby of the family, and is truly getting tired of being treated like one by everyone around her. She hates the nickname that her older sisters have burdened her with since childhood; she hates the fact that both sisters take an almost diabolical glee in teasing and humiliating her at every turn. And if that wasn't the worst part of her life to begin with, Dumdie also has to contend with her ability to see ghosts; an ability she has had since early childhood.

Even though she's been able to see ghosts since she was four-years-old, Dumdie is still not entirely comfortable with her so-called gift. Her fear that she will somehow walk through a pile of sticky ghost guts - and come away with them smeared all over her - causes Dumdie to cringe every time she encounters a spirit. Her desire for a normal life leads Dumdie to avoid the spirits as much as she possibly can; yet all her attempts at avoidance don't turn out quite the way she planned.

Dumdie's life is extremely lonely - her sisters alternately mock her strange behavior and studiously ignore her at school. Her parents are clueless, and she has absolutely no friends; she is a social pariah at school: basically a zero on the popularity scale, but a one hundred on the weirdness scale. The only solace she finds is working in the garden she and her family shares with her elderly neighbor, Mr. Carson.

However, Dumdie's solace is badly shaken when a couple of teenagers from her high school begin stealing pumpkins from Mr. Carson's garden. During one such theft, Mr. Carson is badly injured and later dies. From there, Dumdie's life takes a dark turn. She begins to understand that there are much stranger and darker things to be frightened of than ghosts.

The two teenage vandals who stole the pumpkins begin stalking Dumdie when they discover that she witnessed their confrontation with Mr. Carson in his garden. Dumdie may be frightened out of her skull by the football jocks who taunt her, but it's the evilness that lurks within someone specific that truly terrifies her. She senses something malevolent dwelling within Kyle - one of boys who raided the pumpkin patch - an entity that becomes more and more pronounced as Kyle stalks her. The more Kyle threatens Dumdie and tries to bully her into silence, the clearer she perceives the entity possessing him.

An unlikely group of girls befriends Dumdie after she helps them with their costumes for a production at the annual Pumpkin Festival. Although none of the girls know precisely what is going on with Dumdie, she finally finds the support and friendship she so desperately wants. Dumdie's fears eventually explode during the festival, when the demonic force currently possessing Kyle decides that it wants to possess Dumdie instead.

This is the first of M. K. Theodoratus' novellas that I have ever read and I must say that I really enjoyed it. I love reading stories about normal people who are dealing with seriously abnormal situations. While the setting seemed to be a typical suburban area anywhere in America to me, reading the background of this series, I have learned that this is actually an entirely different world called Andor. This is a world where demons and other supernatural and paranormal activity exists, and seeks to disrupt the peaceful existence of humanity as often as possible.

I really felt for Dumdie, and hoped she would be able to overcome her various fears and phobias in some way. I would give this book an A! and I already have two other novellas from this series on my TBR pile. I look forward to reading them both sometime soon.

A! - (90-95%)

May you read well and often

2 comments:

M. K. Theodoratus said...

Thanks for featuring my book.

By the way, I think you have an interesting rating system. Read several of your reviews.

Emeraldfire said...

Thank you so much for visiting my blog, Ms. Theodoratus. It is wonderful to meet you! ;)