Title: August’s Eyes
Author: Glenn Rolfe
Release date: August 17, 2021
Over the last few years, I’ve read a number of Rolfe’s works and have fast become a fan. When I read and reviewed ‘The Window,’ I stated that it was amazing to read a novel that while reading it, you know you’re experiencing a book that will become a classic in the genre. I still believe that.
His last release, ‘Until Summer Comes Around,’ was a throw-back, coming-of-age vampire story. Vampire stuff has lost some of its appeal for myself, but it was Rolfe’s writing strengths that made that book enjoyable for me. I was excited for ‘August’s Eyes’ when it was announced. Big thanks to Netgalley, Flame Tree Press and Rolfe for approving this.
What I liked: ‘August’s Eyes’ opens up with two friends experiencing a horrible moment in a town’s history. Fast forward and we’re now following John, one of the two youth from back then, grappling with the ripples of that moment all those years ago.
Glenn does a great job of introducing the characters and giving them great depth (especially our teenager, Pat who had been dealt a tough hand) as well as making the small town of Spears Corner feel alive and real within a very short time.
Rolfe also introduces us to John’s dreams. More specifically Graveyard Land and his two friends there; August and One Eye. These two play an important role and, while August was fairly obvious to myself early on, Rolfe did a great job of teasing out their real identity and the place in John’s past that they hold.
One thing I always love with Glenn’s writing is that he always has characters that you feel like you’ve known your whole life, even within a few paragraphs of them arriving. No matter if they are good, bad or straight up creepy, Rolfe is a master at writing those folks who populate his books.
There’s a ton of emotion packed into this novel and the ending is both tragic, but fitting. One that’ll leave many readers gasping for air.
What I didn’t like: While the Indigenous storyline that plays out in the novel is necessary and really well done, I still don’t know if it completely worked for me. Or, more specifically, I can’t decide if it had a payoff moment for me.
As well, I found the epilogue to be a bit much and a bit too sweet. Not sure if it was a late addition, but it took some of the edge off of the ending for me. Some people will absolutely love it and theoretically it could set up a future sequel, but it was a bit deflating for myself.
Why you should buy this: Rolfe is really humming along and while this doesn’t read like some of Glenn’s traditional books that he’s released in the past, this one shows a really nice progression in how Glenn’s telling his stories and frankly, when a really great writer continues to better themselves with each and every release, the readers are in for a treat.
A book that’ll be a favorite of many readers this year, ‘August’s Eyes’ definitely delivered a fantastic read from start to finish.