Stage Whispers – Kealan Patrick Burke Review

Stage Whispers: The Collected Timmy Quinn Stories Available for the first time in one volume, four novellas featuring Timmy Quinn, whose terrifying journey began in the 2004 Bram Stoker Award-Winning story THE TURTLE BOY.

Over the course of thirty years, we follow Timmy, a boy cursed with the ability to see ghosts and doomed to serve them, into adulthood, as he battles murderers and monstrous revenants in his struggle to find those responsible for violating the veil that separates the realm of the living from the land of the dead.

Included in STAGE WHISPERS, you’ll find all four novellas in the series: THE TURTLE BOY, THE HIDES, VESSELS, and PEREGRINE’S TALE, with an introduction by the author.

When it comes to horror books, movies, and TV shows, I have nerves of steel. I’m rarely affected by them, which is why I can’t judge horror novels by how scary they are. I can only judge them by how atmospheric they are and how much emotion they evoke in me. Kealan Patrick Burke is extremely gifted at creating a tense, foreboding environment and I really enjoyed this collection of novellas. You quickly learn that Burke’s writing is descriptive, vivid, and almost lyrical. He can transfix you in the moment and make you feel like you’re right there with the characters.

We start with a young, naive and innocent Timmy in The Turtle Boy. It was by far my favourite story of the four because it was so captivating and atmospheric. I could feel Timmy’s fear as if it was my own and I loved the ending. It was amazing how at the end of such a short tale, Timmy ended up far older than his eleven years. Personally, I found The Hides and Vessels were slightly less successful than The Turtle Boy. Both of them built to a frantic climax, but there were passages that dragged for me and the dialogue wasn’t always great. I did enjoy the change of scenery to Ireland though and it added a new level of melancholy to the stories. I also really enjoyed Peregrine’s Tale even though it was a different protagonist. It was the shortest story of the four, but still packed a punch and I found myself wanting to know more about Peregrine.

This is a solid book of horror and one of my favourites. I highly recommend it.

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