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Friday, December 2, 2016

The Halloween Host by S.M. Barrett

Arthur Brim owes a debt, and Halloween itself has come to collect.
If he fails to pay, every Halloween will become a bitter reminder of a broken promise to his son. To satisfy his debt, he must open his home to the spirits of the holiday.
Reluctantly, Arthur agrees, and soon meets the otherworldly members of the October Senate.
His guests, both frightful and fantastic, test his willpower and rattle his resolve.
They alter his house.
They shake his senses.
Soon, Arthur begins to doubt that he will be able to pay his debt as the Halloween Host.
There's a knock at the door.
Another visitor has arrived, and Arthur has no idea who, or what, is waiting on the other side.

I received a copy of this novel in return for an honest review

First off let me say this was a seriously cute Halloween book and I am sad I didn't get around to reading it until now. I always enjoy a novel that makes the seasons into living people and Autumn is exactly how I would picture her myself.

 The writing is good, but the cover art makes this feel like a kids novel and it isn't...not really. Too many big words and the world building is a little complex. My 12 year old who reads at a 12th grade level would probably get it, my 7 year old not so much.

I enjoyed the basic plot line and the characters, however there is a TON of info dumping in the first chapter, all about the October Senate and Halloween Committee and the rules and regulations each season has. It took away a little from the more charming aspects of this novel.

We probably don't need all that information right off the bat. Just knowing that Artie was in trouble with the leaders of the season and Halloween would have been enough. It's one of the reasons I wouldn't recommend a kid read this novel, I'm worried they would get bored by the technical aspects the author threw in and not enjoy the humor and fun.

The story had a Christmas Carol type feel to it except in stead of three ghosts there are ten.  Artie doesn't take his son trick or treating so in punishment the October Committee makes him Halloween Host and he has to deal with each of the senators of the season come the following Halloween.  Each senator brings a little something special and Artie learns a lesson.

This novel was fun, creative and like nothing I had read before. Something to certainly enjoy during the fall.