Raves for “Schoolhouse Number Five“
“As a genre fan, I am constantly amused by the references Ranson makes throughout his enchanting series. The winks in ‘Schoolhouse Number Five’ are no exception. I was particularly fond of the nod to ‘Short Circuit.’ In spite of these amusements, the third outing in the Spooky saga has a more serious tone to it then the previous two. I quite like that not all of Spooky’s attempts at humor are laugh-out-loud moments, sometimes the comedy stems from how realistically awkward those moments are. As the parent of a future class-clown, I know them only too well. Intentional or not, this character quirk only further endears Spooky to us as readers.
(The book) is confidently written, fun, and imaginative. Thankfully, it is not a typical haunted house story. It has a unique twist to it, a trait I have come to expect from this series. And hey, it’s Spooky! Gotta love him.”
Raves for “The Terminal People“
“Like all fine young adult fare, (the new book) is a more mature continuation of Kevin A. Ranson’s appealing series. The dialogue is more detailed and often quite funny. It draws us further into the connections between the characters and helps guide the story smoothly along. It is also darker, something else I very much appreciate. ‘The Spooky Chronicles’ is so unusual and entertaining I can’t help but imagine it as a television series.”
“… an interesting twist to the Spooky Chronicles as there is now a more involved underlying storyline than just Spooky and his adventures. This is where Ranson’s writing style really shines as the reader is introduced to The Terminal People.
“As I mentioned in my previous review of the first book in this series, it’s not exactly a zombie/horror/apocalyptic genre novella. The Spooky Chronicles is more a paranormal mystery series that has quasi-zombie elements to it. As an example, Spooky is technically a little dead boy who continues to grow up yet he’s not really a zombie. If he were a zombie based on the traditional lore and canon, he would be a rotting corpse with a thirst for human flesh and there would be no articulate speech or evolution. Kevin Ranson’s take on the genre brings out more of a mythological, paranormal mystery not a gore fest about survivors frantically trying to hold back hordes of the walking dead.
“That is what makes this series so much more interesting.”
“I was really impressed with Spooky 2. I thought… the story line was wonderful. I’m especially impressed with the development of Spooky’s voice and thoughts, especially his sense of humor that pops in so early in the narrative. He sounded far more human (well, okay…) and natural for being in such an unusual situation. The handling of his reconciliation with his father was really nice. The story flowed nicely, and I would honestly put it in the same class as the early RL Stine books for maintaining interest. I also like the intro to Schoolhouse Number Five. (Only one real quibble, and it’s minor if you read the first book: the term illuminations pops up without explanation here, and though I could get it from memory if a kid picked this up they might not get it.) All in all, a really good read.”
~ Dennis Wemm, Theater-Guy
“This is a really well written, really good second book in Kevin’s series. Spooky continues to find out more about himself and his kind, as well as learning how to deal with his new powers. Spooky encounters more bizarre goings on in this book. He even ends up thinking he is causing the strange things around him to happen, until he decides to investigate the truth, uncovering new people in his world… I found this book a really good second read in the series. It followed on nicely from the first book, pulling you along with Spooky… an endearing character… cant wait to see what the next installment holds for Spooky.”
Raves for “The Crooked Man“
“… a young child’s horror yarn, a gruesomely charming little tale told with all the delightful magic of a bedtime story… the story is easy to read, fast, and fun. I enjoyed the invoked images and the playful morbidity of the story. It could have easily been expanded and might have benefited from more detailed dialogue. Still, it was darkly cute and I look forward to the next installments of the series. If you are a fan of the ‘Cirque du Freak’ series, this is right up your alley.”
“Clever, original… and quite thought provoking. Ranson crafts this wonderfully original story about a boy who is, shall we say, unique, in many ways. What I wasn’t expecting was something as thought provoking and original as this tale tells. It’s not just for ghouls!!!! I don’t want to spoil anything, but I am looking forward to the next installment… Bravo!!!”
“‘The Spooky Chronicles: The Crooked Man’” is film critic Kevin A. Ranson’s short novel of horror that is just plain weird. Two of the strange characters are a dead little boy who crosses over to the other side and a crooked old man with a crooked stick and a crooked finger. Ranson deftly takes the reader through his dark world with a final conclusion that is very interesting. ‘The Spooky Chronicles: The Crooked Man’ is the first of many eerie tales from a very talented writer.”
“This is the first in a series of short stories by Kevin Ranson. This story starts off in a different way to mast as it is almost told as a fairy-tale then continuing onto a standard way of reading. I did not find this a problem as the story still flowed well. This story deals with Spooky dying and coming back to life, while his mother takes his place. This as you can imagine comes with the inherent problems that befall someone who swaps places in death. Spooky carries on along his path meeting new people and finding out powers that he didn’t know he had and how to use them… followed by problems caused by the Crooked Man and his cronies… How will he solve them?
“I found this short story a good well written quick read. I found the characters likable and the interaction believable. The story line flows really well and is easily followed. In all I will be going to look at the next book in the series to find out what else is going to happen to Spooky and what other powers he may have.”
“The story is well thought out and well plotted. The pacing is quick enough to retain interest but slow enough to allow the reader to absorb details. Spooky is a 3-D character, believable and relatable, a boy who has already overcome a tragedy in his personal life that has forced him to mature in ways most children wouldn’t until they were older. The mystery surrounding his purpose and the world he now lives in is an excellent touch to the story, another hook that drags the reader on through the book. By the end, you’re left with several questions, the main one being: what’s next?
“In an era where everyone is looking for a hero, where every child wants be one, Spooky is a welcome addition. I look forward to seeing more of the little dead boy who continued to grow up.”
~ Doris Ross, TrinityGateways.net
“Ranson’s writing is very much a modern fairy tale and somewhat of a proverb. Here we have a living dead child who grows up to protect mankind from the unseen evil that surrounds us daily yet is only visible to one that has literally touched death and returned. His story leads us into the supernatural and paranormal, into school libraries with dark shelves and mystical books. The reader is taken into the back room of magic shops to talk with wizened old magicians and all the way into hospital morgue. Along the way Spooky develops his powers more and more to match those of the evil forces he is pitted against.
“The Spooky Chronicles is an incredible read with never a lag in the storyline. The plot is intriguing and not full of clichés or stereotypes. What stands out is the lack of dialogue. This lack does not detract from the storyline at all but actually at times provides an incredible enhancement to the overall feel of the novella.”
~ J.R. Jackson, BuyZombie.com
“I was very impressed with Kevin A. Ranson’s new gothic fantasy. The story itself is written almost as if it where a dark fairy tale laced with underlying currents of malice and dread. Mr. Ranson starts out slow and deliberate with Spooky’s plightful existence and quickly sucks the reader in as we learn right along with the lead character his trials and tribulations and eventual decent into a world of darkness and magic. It isn’t often that I enjoy, or even watch for that matter, any material that would even remotely be suitable for teens or young adults and Mr. Ranson has succeeded in creating a new and exciting entry into the world of young adult fiction.”