When I was a kid, I absolutely loved long fantasy series. My introduction to the genre was The Lord of the Rings, and I feel like that is extremely telling for my reading habits that came afterward. But as I’ve gotten older and time has gotten scarcer, I’ve been drawn more toward anthologies and short story collections. What authors and editors can do with either can fail or fly. Greetings From Moon Hill certainly flies—spectacularly.
Moon Hill is a quiet town nestled somewhere in the dark heart of Pennsylvania. Here it’s always autumn. Here is where you’ve always lived. Something evil slumbers at the roots of this picturesque Pennsylvania town, and it goes unnamed.
Told from the perspectives of a number of Moon Hill’s residents, Greetings From Moon Hill is a collection of short stories that draw the reader in in a way that makes them never want to leave. (Not like they could, anyway.)
The reader’s journey begins with memos from the desk from Graham Darby, an investigative journalist sent to Moon Hill, where everything and nothing is exactly what it seems. This narrative frames the collection, and it was remarkably well done. From there, horror rubs shoulders with daily life in Moon Hill, in a kind of miasma of strange that is somewhat reminiscent of Twin Peaks. Before you know it, you’ll feel like a resident of Moon Hill yourself.
It should be noted that while this collection has Halloween in mind, it captures the spirit of fall in the northeast to a T. It can be enjoyed at any time. I was fortunate enough to be able to start reading this a couple of weeks before Halloween, and it really added something special to the holiday for me.
First and foremost, what stood out to me about this collection was how Rapino made Moon Hill come to life. Each short story is told from the perspective of a different resident of Moon Hill, but the narratives connect and overlap, giving this creepy town a living, breathing aspect that really drives the dreamlike quality home. I think it’s safe to say that Rapino has a deep love of horror, and it definitely shows in the quality of his writing.
In a similar vein, Greetings From Moon Hill was also just plain fun to read. A persistent trend I’ve noticed lately is that someone is always “upping the ante”. While that has its merits, too much of it can lead to what I call “reader’s exhaustion”. Terrible things happen in Moon Hill, but Rapino has a talent for making these things fun to observe. Sure, there are pumpkin guts and blood all over the walls, but it’s awesome, and I always kept coming back for more. And on an entirely personal note, Rapino’s writing really brought back the fun into reading for me. With the teaser for the next installment included of the Moon Hill saga included at the end of this book, needless to say I can’t wait to revisit my favorite fictitious town.
For those like me where every day is Halloween, Greetings From Moon Hill definitely captures that spirit and helps it come to life.
Find Greetings From Moon Hill on Amazon.
Note: I purchased this book independently.