Book Recommendation: Fear by Ronald Kelly

Good Morning Everyone!

It’s recommendation time! Today I’m sharing my review of Fear by Ronald Kelly.


I gave this book 4.5 out of 5 stars.

First and foremost, before I begin my review I’d like to thank the Goodreads community for recommending this book to me. It’s not often that I base my book purchases on other’s reviews (I usually make that decision myself), but I’m so glad I did!

Fear is a dark, suspenseful novel about the Sweeney family, who live in a rustic community in Mangrum County. 10-year old Jeb lives with his grandma and father Sam, who has suffered an injury from back in the war that makes his personality that of a child. That family dynamic in itself drew me in, such a tragedy.

Life sucks for Jeb starting out in this novel. He and his grandma try to pull the extra weight that his father would contribute to the family, while Jeb deals with the typical issues a 10-year old would have. Namely, bullying.

However, things take a terrifying turn when a number of unexplained animal deaths and human disappearances plague his hometown. To make matters worse, his grandmother’s health starts to decline.

With nothing to lose, Jeb embarks on a quest with Sam, his older friend Roscoe, and his dog Buckshot to a neighboring county named Fear (for good reason) to find solutions for the pressing problems that gather around him. Can Jeb find the answers and solutions he seeks, or will he ever see Mangrum County again?

I have to say, wow! This book had me drawn in from the prologue. Talk about terrifying. In the beginning of the book, any time there was a scene with the snake creature I was pretty scared. The horror aspect there was really great and authentic.

The ambience of Mangrum County also felt extremely real to me given the era it was based in, and Fear County? Don’t even get me started! That place is terrifying, kind of like the Upside Down from Stranger Things.

upside down
That being said, there were a couple of instances where I did knock my rating down a bit, and it boils down to two instances.Firstly, the explanation of hybrid creatures in Fear County didn’t make enough rational sense to me. The explanation given by Roscoe, while probably watered down so the 10-year old could understand, didn’t logically make sense. Most animals literally cannot breed with other species. It’s impossible. If they simply would’ve explained it in a more paranormal sense I would’ve totally been on board.

Second, the sheriff’s treatment of Jeb as well as the general townsfolk was beyond irresponsible (abusive of Jeb if you ask me), and while I can understand his disbelief in the snake creature, it seemed to be a little too far-fetched by the time he finally came around.

That being said, this book was a lovely little detour into the demented mind of Ronald Kelly. I have to say, I’m looking forward to reading more from this author. It’ll definitely be worth my time. This book is worth a read. Just keep that night light on, people!

Feel free to take a look at the Goodreads link below if you’re interested. Have a great day!

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