In my never-ending quest to consume all the different forms of horror, and to get these endeavors covered here on The Deadhouse I have previously put out feelers towards all different sources through social media. Earlier this summer, after sending out a tweet about any newer authors who were looking to have their work covered, I was contacted by Mitch Sebourn, an up and coming author out of Arkansas, inquiring if I would be interested in checking out his newest novel. The book, entitled Lamentation, is an old-school ghost story within a modern setting. I excitedly jumped at the opportunity, but life happens sometimes and I didn’t get to the book as quickly as I had initially anticipated. But earlier this week I picked up my trusty eReader within its awesome case adorned by Halloween III: Season Of The Witch and DieMonsterDie stickers, and set out to throwing myself into the world built by Sebourn.
Lamentation is the story of Jake Boyd, an English teacher who moves to a small town in Kansas after spending several years in Colorado writing a book about ghosts and encountering some strange paranormal events of his own. Upon his arrival in Shelley, he is given the task of working with a group of “troubled” kids in a special class, which happens to take part in an old building of the school where years ago a young girl committed suicide by drowning herself in the sink. Strange things inevitably begin to happen, with some of the kids becoming involved with the malevolent spirit, and Jake’s past encounters with the paranormal catch up to him and it becomes evident that he may be the only one who can unravel the mystery of the cursed Roh’s building.
Sebourn‘s ghost story doesn’t have the largest cast of characters, which benefits the story well, as he is allowed to give us a glimpse into the worlds of the core group of characters. The novel focuses mainly on Jake and the mystery of the truth behind the tragic suicide, but ties all of the characters together in a well thought-out manner. At times the book may seem like it jumps around, but once you get further into the story you see that nearly everything and any characters that are introduced all play an important role in tying everything together by the end of the novel. Due to the way life can be crazy at times, I ended up essentially reading Lamentation in two chunks, covering the first half of the book almost immediately after receiving it, but then not being able to finish it until a few weeks later. Because of this, at the halfway point I wasn’t sure where everything was necessarily leading, but as I have already mentioned, once I hit the second half of the story, it was almost like the curtain lifting to show how well put together everything that takes place was. Certainly something I admire.
With Lamentation, Sebourn also showcases a style of writing which I greatly admire, in that as you read it you can almost picture yourself sitting around a campfire at night and being told the story. Sometimes with horror novels, writers will spend a good amount of effort almost talking down to the reader with an overabundance of words that seem to scream “look at how intelligent I am, I am using big words”, or they will spend an absolutely ludicrous amount of word count describing parts of the scene which is unneeded (look at any of the books in Anne Rice‘s The Vampire Chronicles series for a perfect example of this). Thankfully, Sebourn stays away from these writing clichés. And I would say the story is the better for it.
I can say for certain that Mitch Sebourn is an author to keep an eye out for, as he already does have a few works under his belt. After reading Lamentation, I will be looking into the man’s other works, and I urge any readers of this site to do the same. You can find a copy on the Canadian Amazon site here for only $1.30, and I assure you it would be foolish to not take a look at that low price. And you can follow the man himself on his Official Twitter account.