Raising Riley is a horror novella where Riley, as an adult in a reformatory, narrates his childhood and the events which led him to that place. He tells of his abusive father, his best friend, the bullies who harass him and something very, very scary.
I found the book a bit slow paced at times. However, the scary parts were pretty scary.
I found some parts inaccurate, particularly the dynamics of a mother who knows her son is being abused by his father. It seems to me that she would want to protect him at all times and, at the very least, not leave him alone with his abuser. And yet she kept going to the store and leaving them there and even took a trip to see her sister and then the thing with the dog when Edward was that pissed off.
I did not like that the kids were actually called Greasy and Red. I think it would have been better if they were just nicknames in Riley’s head and had proper names.
I was also not a fan of the ending. If what happened to Riley has any relation to what happened with those two women, then why did it start happening when it did? As far as I could tell, his family had not moved recently to that place. I felt we should have been given an explanation of a clear trigger to the situation.
The novella could use some editing; there are a few typos and misspellings. In dialogues, lines should be in different paragraphs if they are spoken by different people, even if it doesn’t always say who said what. Otherwise it’s very confusing and easy to lose track of who is speaking.
The synopsis is deceiving since there is no sexual abuse going on and the whole cliff thing really confused me – I kept waiting for a cliff to show up until I realized it was an analogy.
It also reveals way too much and should be severely shortened, only piquing the reader’s interest instead of revealing mostly everything about the book.
Overall, it’s an enjoyable tale of terror, it could just use some tweaking.
Read from February 13 to 14, 2015
I would like to thank the author for providing a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.