by John K. Addis
September 25, 2015 by AE Press
The Eaton is the debut novel of John K. Addis. Spanning more than 100 years of mid-Michigan history, but told in the gruesome style of ‘80s horror classics, The Eaton tells the story of Sam Spicer, who purchases the dilapidated Michigan Central Railroad Depot in Eaton Rapids with the dream of opening a hot new martini bar. But when he and his friends discover an abandoned underground hotel directly beneath the property, they must discover what happened to the original guests—before their own time runs out.
If you enjoy old school horror along the lines of early Stephen King, then you might want to check this one out. This is a debut, self-published work that from a technical standpoint is as good as any traditionally published.
What Addis does best is convey to the reader the slow rising terror as the characters realize their situation. Sam just bought an early 1900s train depot. He is celebrating along with a diverse group of people that helped make it happen. And then they find a hidden trap door...and the elevator. At this point I'm already getting goose bumps for the unknown waiting below. The group finds a below ground, 12-story Victorian resort hotel. As they explore they realize the previous guests never left. Addis expertly draws out the mystery of why.
Once the new group of people are trapped, Addis weaves in the story from the past. Alternating between the people's POV in the present and the past, we watch history repeat itself. Will Sam and his group be able to learn from the other's mistakes before it is too late? You will be surprised at which characters break and which can rise to the occasion.
I don't want to give anything thing away because finding out what is in the hotel, where it came from and how it works is part of the creepy fun. With so many characters, present and past, there are a lot of backstories that, while part of the character development and motivation, added extra information I found myself wanting to skim so I could get back to the action in the hotel, but I tend to get impatient <G>.
This is definitely a book horror fans will enjoy.
4 "Going down?" Sheep
About the Author:John K. Addis is an award-winning designer and marketing professional in Lansing, Michigan. When not advertising the products and causes of his clients, Addis enjoys expressing himself creatively in as many ways as possible. In the past two decades, Addis has composed a variety of works for small music ensembles, drawn a daily comic strip for The State News (Studentangle), written & directed a microbudget feature-length film (The Bells of Beaumont Tower), and has seen his photography displayed at local galleries. He is presently the CEO & Creative Director of AE: Adventures in New Media, continues to perform keys and vocals in a Williamston-based cover band (The Black Barn Band) and has recently started writing his second novel, The Paper. Addis lives in Lansing’s historic Westside Neighborhood with his brilliant wife Leah, creative daughter Sophia, and adorable toddler Julian.