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When fifteen-year-old Jonathan Roberts goes out with his friends on a summer night, he doesn’t expect to be forced to enter a crypt by Francis Everton. To be forced to look at skeletons decaying in their graves.
To hear the voice, screaming at him. Screaming into his mind. Commanding him to leave.
What the voice in the crypt belongs to, he can only wonder. A demon? A ghost? It gives him nightmares for weeks afterwards. Of skeletons strangling him. And then, bizarrely, of a girl from his school, making the long walk across the graveyard and entering the crypt. Never to come out before his waking.
When he returns to school in September, he never expects to learn that something awful has happened to the girl, turning his fear to panic.
Panic which will force him to unravel the mystery of the crypt, and in doing so, many mysteries about himself.
I received a free, advanced reading copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to Alexander Lound for the reading and reviewing opportunity.
Rating: 4 stars
“The dark wasn’t physical, it couldn’t pull at me or warn me. It wasn’t alive. Right?”
The Spirit in the Crypt is a creepy ghost story that is quickly paced and full of mystery.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, short stories are hard for me to connect with sometimes because they are so… well, short… but Lound made the main character in this story pretty relatable from the first page. Though the book is set around the supernatural, there are other additional things going on as well that make the story more enjoyable as a whole. Before I realized that this was part of a series, I found some parts of the book to have a lot of “fillers” (AKA scenes to fill the pages) but once I realized this is just the first installment, I changed my mind about that. I love a quick, good ghost story, but since this is going to be a series, the author was able to spend some time really setting up the characters instead of just giving you the bare minimum. If this had been a stand alone, I wouldn’t have cared much for all of the additional stuff about Johnny fighting or hanging out with friends, but since the author is building an entire world for the next book(s), it worked.
Johnny, the main character, is honestly a pretty typical teenager: filled with angst, dealing with enemies/bullies, crushing over a girl, etc. The only difference is that he’s… psychic. Which, I’ll go ahead and say, is quite the difference. I’ve read other short paranormal stories that don’t show any type of character development, so I was glad to see that Lound took his time letting readers get to know Johnny and his life even beyond the creepy haunting that is going on in the town.
Now, on to the plot itself! It was very fast paced and extremely creative. The beginning was particularly spooky. I tend to see a lot of patterns in short ghost stories, but this story veered far from the norm that I’ve come to expect. It’s pretty clear that Lound put a lot of effort into making a unpredictable type of story. As I mentioned before, it’s not just about the haunting but that does make up a large, important part of it. I was pretty intrigued by where the story was going and really anxious to find out what in the world was going on with the spirit.
My biggest disconnect with the story was the huge time jump in between Johnny first going into the crypt and then going back to school. We miss an entire Summer here, and since it’s so short, I get why, but it does leave a lot to the reader’s imagination.
Overall, it was a quick, fun, spooky story that reminded me a lot of the TV show Supernatural (which I love, so that’s a great thing). I recommend it for anyone looking for short paranormal books, or even paranormal series, since the author is already working on the next book!