ARC: A Graveyard Visible by Steve Conoboy – review

I would like to thank Lodestone Books and Steve Conoboy for sending me this ARC via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.

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Expected publication: April 27th 2018 by Lodestone Books

The graveyard visible from Caleb’s bedroom window grows a little bigger each day. He sees funerals there every evening, but nobody is dying. Misha, the strange girl who lives there with her grandfather, takes an unwanted interest in Caleb, and he can’t shake her off. But he’s sure those peculiar mourners, the same ones at each graveside every time, are forcing her into rituals against her will… Caleb, still reeling from the death of his mother, soon finds himself deep in a world of the dead in this chilling YA horror novel; will it be too late for him to climb back out?

Surprisingly, A Graveyard Visible was an interesting read which I didn’t expect after seeing numerous reviews slating it.

I thought it was an odd book with regards to the writing style as it was very to the point and less descriptive than books I would usually read. While it took some time to get use to the style I found myself enjoying the book greatly.

Our main character Caleb is all alone in the world, trying to cope with his mother’s passing and avoiding his father. Calebs father hates the sight of his son, and without him saying it aloud wishes his son, rather than his wife, had died. My heart went out to Caleb. His father is just an awful person, every time he came back into the story he would belittle Caleb. I wanted to step into the book and throttle him.

I liked how Steve Conoboy used the graveyard as an obsession for Caleb, it showed that he is not ready or able to accept that his mother is no longer there and so he has this unusual fixation with the graveyard.

Caleb is clearly a timid child and is all alone in the world. His mother is a terrible loss but in addition he has lost a father too. I loved how the author was able to portray this through his writing as it enabled me to feel such a great sorrow towards him. I liked Caleb – his development throughout the story was important. At first he was a scared, lonesome boy but after realising that there is a terrible evil to overcome, he turns into a courageous young man.

Another important character to the story is Misha, who resides in the graveyard with her grandfather. She is relentlessly tormented by an sadistic boy named Vic and his friends because of who she is. I think that this has something to do with her deceased parents but it was unclear to me how they died and if they did anything unsavoury while alive. Similar to Caleb, she feels alone in the world and abandoned but has more of a ‘f*ck you’ attitude that Caleb doesn’t appear to have.

Caleb and Misha form an unlikely friendship to stop the evil that emerges from the graveyard. The mysterious doings of the graveyard which Caleb witnesses on numerous occasions involves Misha, her grandfather and other unusual characters. Though this developed slowly it was the main reason that I enjoyed the book.

With a void in paternal love and guidance both Caleb and Misha have their grandfathers to look after them. Whereas I found Misha’s grandfather overbearing, controlling and basically irritating as hell, Caleb’s grandfather was a more interesting character and had a strong connection to the graveyard. He cares for his grandson, not wanting him to come into harm’s way by spending too much time there.

The pace of this book started off slow. At first I found it difficult to keep on going because I didn’t feel as though the plot was going to move forward. It felt as it was going around in loops – Caleb forever obsessing over the graveyard but not much else happening.

Fortunately as I reached half way the pace began to pick up and I felt myself unable to put the book down as I desperately needed to know what happened next. Though I didn’t find the story “scary” I found myself scared for Caleb and Misha.

I felt that there were a lot of questions left unanswered which is the reason for my rating. Perhaps I didn’t focus hard enough or didn’t completely get it but upon finishing the book I was left craving for more as the story became so exciting. Needless to say I was captivated by this story and I urge others to give it a chance.

4/5

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