About Lakebridge: Summer:
In the aftermath of a tragic spring day, the people of Stansbury, Vermont, are unable to forget what happened, as they have all the tragedies of their past. After the media exploited their pain, they have become uneasy with the world beyond their town and with any outsiders.
In the aftermath of the media deluge, latecomers straggle into Stansbury looking to pick up the scraps of stories left behind. What they find, however, is that the powerful forces that have guided the destinies of the people of the town for hundreds of years are now at war with one another and in need of pawns.
In the aftermath of Spring, there is Summer.
My review of Lakebridge: Summer
I was highly intrigued to read Lakebridge: Summer when I was told that its genre could be described as "supernatural horror literary fiction." I love speculative fiction, and especially well-written speculative fiction, so needless to say I looked forward to my foray into the Lakebridge Cycle from author Natasha Troop.
Natasha establishes the tone for the book very quickly. Early in my reading, I got a good sense that I would be exploring a town like Stephen King's Castle Rock in the sense of that vibe of a small community filled with an array of quirky and interesting characters around whom lots of unexpected things happen. Natasha puts her own stamp on Stansbury, Vermont and its inhabitants, even including the non-human population, such as a moose and a cat that possesses an exquisite vocabulary (at least for those humans that bother to listen and understand the noble little Mr. Whiskers).
Another mark of a good speculative fiction writer is the ability to establish the ground rules in relation to the things that the reader (most times) must suspend belief about. Natasha comes through here as well, as I got a solid grounding in the way her supernatural elements worked, the basis for the magic elements involved, and the aforementioned talking animals.
We meet quite a few characters in this tale, from the roving writer that can talk to ghosts, Marcus, to others such as Gil, an eccentric man living under the burden of past tragedies, Jen, a no-nonsense state trooper, Tom, the town sheriff struggling with alcohol after losing his love, Steve, a rather heavy-handed deputy, Sean, another writer who has a penchant for following Marcus around, and many more. There are times when the flow of the story takes a few diversions with additional exposition regarding the worlds of many of these characters, but not so much that the plot derails.
The supernatural elements are very interesting. Natasha's afterlife for humans has a little of the melancholy finite tone like that in Phillip Pullman's His Dark Materials series, and the dynamic of ghosts flocking to talk to Marcus because he was a living being who could interact with them brought to mind a little of Brian Lumley's wonderful Necroscope novels. There are powerful supernatural beings that Natasha leaves some ambiguity to, such as the Others and the Travelers. It all makes for a very nice mix and their presence in Stansbury is explained thoroughly enough.
There is a balance of humor, horror, and quirky characters that makes me think Stansbury could easily take form a as a television series on something like the SyFy channel. It is the kind of read that offers twists and turns, and appearances can often be deceiving.
This was my first time reading Natasha Troop's work, and I definitely am looking forward to reading much more from her in the future. Lakebridge Summer: is a literary accomplishment; a highly-enjoyable read crafted with quality writing and a keen understanding of speculative fiction. I give it 4 stars without hesitation!
About the Author:
Natasha grew up in Southern California and received her Bachelor’s degree from UCLA in Comparative Literature. She also holds Masters Degrees in both Secondary Education and Creative Writing. Natasha currently lives in the Phoenix area with her spouse, son, daughter and menagerie of pets, including a Basset named Moose and a very overprotective collie dog. Aside from writing and teaching high school students to love theatre.
Lakebridge: Summer Tour Dates
11/5 - Lost Inside the Covers - Review
11/5 - Laurie’s Thoughts and Reviews - Interview
11/6 - Jess Resides Here - Character Interview
11/7 - From the Bootheel Cotton Patch - Excerpt
11/7 - Broadcast from the Bistro - Live Podcast (7pm EST)
11/8 - Author Interrupted - Interview
11/8 - Amber Stults - Book Reviewer and Writer - Review
11/9 - Bunny’s Review - Excerpt
11/10 - Come Selahway With Me - Guest Post
11/11 - Seventh Star Press Blog - Review
11/12 - WTF Are You Reading - Review
11/13 - Darlene’s Book Nook - Guest Post
11/14 - Book in the Bag - Interview
11/15 - The Cabin Goddess - Review
This virtual tour brought to you by:
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book for review from First Rule Publicity from the author as part of a virtual book tour. I was not compensated nor was I required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”