I almost put this one down at the 20% mark. Nothing had really happened, and I didn't feel a thing for the main character Aaron. Boy, am I glad I kept reading.
After his mother is found dead at the bottom of the stairs, Aaron returns to his childhood home to attend her burial and settle the estate. Some years prior, Aaron's little brother, Bobby, disappeared, and Aaron finds himself thinking back on their youth. Surprisingly enough, all this bored me. I usually love character development, but I simply didn't care here, and I don't know why. The writing was top notch, but I felt absolutely nothing for Aaron. I wanted the author to get along with the get-along.
I'm surprise the author chose to start this novella as slowly as he did. I'm wondering how many people will give up on the story for that reason alone. If any of you are planning on reading In the Shadow of Children, I cannot express this enough: it gets better. So much better.
When Bobby shows back up, I was finally intrigued enough to finish the story. What comes next is one of the more scarier scenes I've read in recent years. In a flashback, the boogeyman comes calling on the two boys, and its description is bone chilling. Alan Ryker put me in that room. I saw everything. And like the two boys in its presence, I was terrified. Bravo. A little late coming, but very well done.
And that ending. I must say, I'm impressed. I can't say any more than that because I'd be spoiling the coolest part of this book, but yeah, that ending fucking rocked.
In summation: A boring opening that I wouldn't even classify as a slow burn is soon left by the wayside as the horror kicks in. One of the best endings I've read this year. Four creepy-ass boogeymen out of five.