I recently read Sparkle by Arin Kambitsis at his request for a review on my blog. I might’ve mostly said yes because I thought his name was cool (and I first read it in my mind as Eren—the main character from Attack on Titan.) Anyways, I’m glad I read it (the author shot me a free review copy).
I thought Sparkle an odd name, but it made more sense once you start reading. Sparkle is the ironic name of the town where the story takes place. Similar to Arkham, MA or Twin Peaks, OR Sparkle is a normal place… up until it isn’t.
Derek’s quest to defeat the Bunyine (which is the great, mysterious evil of this book) begins with a journal and an adventure into the woods. He picks up a crew of other adventurers as the pages turn… after all, an old man in a cave once told us “It’s dangerous to go alone…”
The cryptic setting gave me a feeling like a modern day Dunwich Horror, although the antagonist is less force of cosmic horror and more voracious, calculating evil (like the creature from It.) The familial thread of the Windward family in the story kept reminding me of the Whatley’s from Lovecraft’s mythos… and that’s alright—it certainly adds an element of timeless mystery as the story unfolds across multiple storylines until the author begins crossing them over, making a braid out of individual threads.
The story is finely crafted and the writing is tight. It might be something like Clive Barker meets CS Lewis (specifically being a horrific kind of Narnia—the Bunyine’s origins are in a kind of para-biblical tale stemming from an Edenic creation story. Like Lewis, there are some moral implications we walk away pondering.) I recommend you hop on over to Amazon and pick up a copy for yourself!