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Reaper, by Jonathan Pongratz

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I have fond memories of my teenage years sat reading Point Horror books. I think that teens have a passion for horror, maybe because of the emotional and hormonal changes making them want an adrenaline rush. Horror is also grown up, something you’ve waited for through your childhood to access.
Reaper is firmly in that tradition. Gregory’s parents are going out in Halloween and leaving him in charge of his little sister Immy. They have always hated the spooky basement but during a game of hide and seek they end up down there.
A strange candle is burning and a monster appears. Greg tries to fight it off but is unable to prevent his sister being snatched. No one believes him but he investigates and finds other children have disappeared. Can he prevent it happening again…
This is a novella so only take about an hour for an adult to read. It is aimed at young adults and although I don’t count as that anymore, it was a good read as a short story.
Jonathan Pongratz understands the things that are important to teens so his characterisation of Gregory is realistic. I could really feel his frustration at his annoying little sister as well as his distress at her disappearance (my own little sister drives me nuts but I love her to bits, and we’re in our 30s!)
The plot covers the nightmare of missing children so Greg’s emotion at the loss of his sister leaves an emotional impact on parent readers.
The horror characters are creepy and grotesque, although as an adult reader I wanted more explanation and back story which is hinted at but not fully developed.
I would estimate that this horror story is suitable for ages 13+. My 9 year old would be able to read it but would get nightmares! As a teen I would certainly have picked this off the shelf and am so pleased I got to re-live my youth by reading it now!

 

Reaper

Who doesn’t love a good Boogeyman story? Well, I have a creepy little novella to share that will make you want to check your closet before bed!

Read on for more details about Reaper by Jonathan Pongratz, and a chance to win a signed copy of your own!

Reaper: A Horror Novella

Publication Date: April 19th, 2019

Genre: YA Horror/ Novella

THE BOOGEYMAN IS REAL

Gregory and his little sister Imogen love spending Halloween with their parents. But this year is different. If he proves he can take care of Imogen all by himself, he’ll finally have the allowance he’s dreamed of.

That was before the basement door opened on its own. Before the strange door appeared in the basement and Imogen was taken from him by the monster.

Now everyone in town is blaming him for her disappearance, but no one is listening to his story. Where did the door come from? What was that creature? And most of all, can he find his sister before it’s too late, or will he bury his memories of her along with his parents?

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Excerpt

Call me a scaredy cat all you want, but there was always something about the basement that I didn’t like. It always made me feel like I was being watched, like there was some

thing in the shadows just waiting for me to make a wrong move. Even now, the frigid air crept over me, creating more goosebumps on my arms and legs. I quickened my strides up the stairs, Imogen dragging behind.

We were halfway up the stairs when the knocks stopped. For a moment, I stopped my climb. The house was eerily quiet, and for reasons I can’t explain I felt a sudden urge to hurry back upstairs. I charged forward, trying to pull Immy along with me, but she resisted.

“Too fast!” she whined.

“If you hurry, we can play dress up sooner, now come on!” I yanked on Immy’s arm, practically lifting her into the air. Seven steps. Just seven more steps and we could look back on this night and laugh it off. Seven, six, five. Almost there.

I was just three steps away from the door when I leaped for the landing. I’ll never forget that jump. Time seemed to stand still, as if those cold icy fingers in the air had somehow found a way to slow time down. I remember that I had a smile on my face, a smile that disappeared when the door slammed shut in my face.

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Reaper

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About the Author

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Jonathan Pongratz is a writer and author of captivating horror, urban fantasy, and paranormal stories. When he’s not writing, he’s busy being a bookworm, video game junkie, and karaoke vocalist. A former resident of Dallas, he currently resides in Kansas City with his halloween cat Ajax. By day he works magic in finance, by night he creates dark and mesmerizing worlds.

Jonathan Pongratz | Facebook | Goodreads | Tublr

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