Disclosure: I purchased the e-book “The Bear Who Wouldn’t Leave” from Amazon. I don’t know the author personally. This novella is one of four novellas included in an anthology to be released later this year by my publisher. To ensure full disclosure, my own novella is also being included in this anthology.
The comments that follow are my own personal and honest opinion. Neither the author nor the publisher has requested this review. I’m writing this review at my own discretion. I have NOT received compensation of any kind, or from any one. I also have NOT received a free copy from any source, or done a review swap of any kind with the author.
I read this e-book in less than two hours and in general found it engaging and fairly well written. It kept my interest and given I hate reading e-books – that’s a big plus.
On the up side, this story was fun and an easy read. The bear was frightening in some ways and reminiscent of those scary childhood moments. The characters were well done. The protagonist, at ten years old, was very real and typical. The mom reflected people I’ve known and seemed real in her emotions and attempts to deal with the horrible situation caused by a spouse’s death – mistakes and all.
The story moved well and flowed in the manner it should when being told by a child. The writer did a good job overall. Pace, characterization and descriptions were clear and well balanced. Plot followed a logical sequence and the ending was effective in resolving the story.
On the down side, I found a few small issues. The stepfather was a bit over the top for me. He intentions were obvious and his scheming blatant. The hatred between stepson and stepfather came off as cliché. With the first attempt to discard the bear, I found the story became very predictable after that. The ending was obvious and in my opinion a little disappointing.
There seemed to be some confusion as to whether this is an adult novella or written for younger readers. Having read it through I can see the confusion. It does read like YA, possibly even Middle Grade. As an adult read, it didn’t really do it, but I’m sure many readers, would enjoy this short read as much as I did. I found some forgotten memories from childhood inside this book.
This book does not contain the heavy blood and gore of many horror novels. Personally, I prefer psychological terror, but this story didn’t really quite go there either. It told a story that concentrates on very typical childhood fears and is well suited to the anthology. This is a good story I would recommend it to anyone. It will bring back things you might prefer to forget.