Angry Robot. Nov. 2021. 400p. ISBN 9780857669384. pap. $14.99. FANTASY
In Hanks’s (Captain Moxley and the Embers of the Empire) contemporary fantasy, Cisco Collins returns to his childhood home in Dark Peak, England, to raise his son, reconnect to old friends, and revisit the truth about the Halloween night in 1989 when Cisco, Doc, Michelle, and Jake saved Dark Peak from the evil Deadman’s Grin. Cisco seems to be the only one who remembers that night, though even his recall is spotty; now in their 40s, all four of the friends are dealing with their own kids and lost memories of their youth. When strange things start to happen again in Dark Peak, Cisco is convinced that the evil of Deadman’s Grin is back. Now the four friends have one more responsibility to juggle, as they try to remember how they saved the town decades ago. Quirky characters and worldbuilding, lots of 1980s pop culture references, and themes of childhood and friendship combine in Hanks’s interesting mix of sci-fi, fantasy, and coming-of-age-(again) story.
VERDICT A fun romp, ideal for fans of the cultural references and humor of Ghostbusters and Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One.
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