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Books

Book Impressions: The Niceville Trilogy by Carsten Stroud

Niceville, The Homecoming, and The Reckoning

The books in The Niceville Trilogy by Carsten Stroud are nothing short of amazing. Not too long ago, Stephen King gave a big shout out on Twitter about these books, and I’m sure glad I took the hint.

The plot across all three books is engaging, refreshing, and downright harrowing. I’m just going to say it. I love everything about all three books. That’s not something I say about trilogies. The 2nd and 3rd often fade and pale compared to the 1st. Or maybe the author tries a bit too hard to keep the momentum going. Trilogies are fickle that way. With The Niceville Trilogy, the pace, plot, characters, and everything in between are fabulous, from start to finish. What more can I say? I love this trilogy! Way to go, Mr. Stroud. You did it!

Niceville

In this age where vampires and zombies are all the rage, it’s a lot of fun to read a gritty ghost story infused with many real life (or are they?) bad guys. Carsten Stroud presents an astounding mix of good old-fashioned greed, revenge, redemption, and just plain scariness.

Niceville has no shortage of badass characters, and the next in the series promises to be just as exciting and full of ghostly hoopla.

Not all of Niceville’s secrets have been revealed, so I wait with the crows and look forward to reading the next one, The Homecoming.

***

“Evil invites retribution, evil generates chaos and cruelty.”

“She uses the mirrors.”

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The Homecoming

Oh what wondrous characters this book has! The subplots intertwine beautifully and effortlessly into one main plot. All the complex details fit together without becoming confusing or bogging down. The pace is perfect.

The Homecoming, the second in The Niceville Trilogy, is oh so clever and full of action, ghosts (or something), mayhem, greed, shootouts, plenty of horror to go around, and a creepy abandoned insane asylum that was used for despicable purposes.

The transition from Niceville to The Homecoming is smooth and seamless. Did I mention how amazing the characters are? They are well developed, full of life, and extremely memorable. To be quite honest, I don’t have a single negative thing to say about this series. The story has a good balance of dialog and description and is without long stretches of boring. I eagerly await the third! Please say there will be a third!

Don’t read The Homecoming without reading Niceville first. The books are not independent.

And what about those 15 cats? Good Lord!

***

“Young people in America have witnessed this sort of confrontation many times, although only on television or in the movies, but nothing ever happened to the hero, and all young people are heroes in their own movies.”

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The Reckoning

The final installment in this trilogy does not disappoint. With all three books (Niceville, The Homecoming, and The Reckoning), Stroud has taken a fabulous idea (no spoilers) and weaved it into a well-told story with memorable and well-developed characters. The many subplots all point to the main plot beautifully and seamlessly. I can’t say enough good things about this trilogy.

The Reckoning is saturated with F-bombs, but several characters and the harrowing situations often seem to call for such outbursts and flagrant language. Just a word of warning in case you’re not up for such a barrage.

While this last in the trilogy answers many questions and ties up several loose ends, Stroud ends it all with more questions and a major loose end. What in the world does that mean? I suddenly want more because Abel Teague is “still mostly alive, still in torment, his mind utterly shattered. But he wasn’t alone.”

Who ends a trilogy like this? Give me more!

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What do you think?

My Goodreads

 

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About Ruthie Jones

Reading by Moonlight

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