My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Plot: His two older brothers will do anything to keep him safe.

A crazed killer will do anything to see him dead. 

When Dack Ashkettle witnesses a neighbor’s murder, he’s left with two grim choices – run or die. That’s when older brother Bo steps up and spirits Dack away to the mountains where safety, sanity and their oldest brother awaits.
Deep in the wilds of the Adirondacks, the boys find safe haven. Have they finally earned their freedom? Or is any place really safe when a madman wants you dead? 
Fans of “Stranger Things” and Stephen King’s “The Body” will appreciate this new, nostalgic tale of epic camaraderie between brothers.

An inspiring story of survival and the battle between good versus evil, this psychological thriller keeps fists clenching and emotions cartwheeling from the very first page. 

My Review: The one trait I hate more than anything in books are Cliches, the complete lack of original thought or idea. I’m pleased to say that Ashkettle Crazy was definitely not a book filled with Cliches. Goetz has done a marvelous job at descirbing things in ways I have never thought of and it was a breath of fresh air. For example, I don’t know how many times I have read in a book about someone having kind eyes, but Goetz was able to convey that same idea in a new way:

“And she had green eyes that could laugh at us without being cruel.” – Bravo for innovative thinking. I loved it. 

The book is fast paced, but not in action, things just happen quickly and Goetz gets to the point. There’s not a lot of build up to some big reveal. In some areas I liked this, it didn’t feel like wading through mud to get to the main point of the story, but in other areas I felt like it took away from the story. There were times that the reveal was too quick and I wouldn’t have minded a little more trudging before getting to the big moment. Those slow builds are sometimes what really pulls you into the characters and it’s the opportunity to feel what they feel so that when that big reveal happens its that much stronger. So due to this I had to dock it 1/2 a star. I wanted more.

That brings me to the characters. Goetz sets up the bond between the brothers beautifully and you all know I have a thing for stories about brothers, so all I can say to Goetz is “Nailed It!” Now digging a little deeper, the story starts from the middle brothers point of view, and I have to say I liked him, he had a unique voice and he made a good hero of the story. Then I came to Dack, the youngest brothers point of view. Again another well written character however I did find that he seemed to talk in almost the exact same voice as his brother, Bo. There was nothing that really separated the voice style. This also was the same when it was in the oldest brothers point of view. I would have liked it if they had individual tones, something that made them each sound different. They were different ages and would have experienced things in different ways so this should come out in their interactions and the way they talked. Each section just sounded like it could have been written by either one. They talked exactly the same and they used the same phrases. Individuality is what I wanted more of here.

Ok the last thing, and this is what knocked it down another 1/2 star for me, is there is a lot of Telling rather than Showing throughout the story. And in some places the same scene is told twice. As a reader I have already read about what happened and don’t really need the details repeated to me, even if one of the characters in the story doesn’t know the situation yet, it would be better if they were filled in some other way than restating the story. When I’m showed what is happening, I feel like I’m part of the story. Telling just pushes me farther away.

After all this, I still really did enjoy the book, and most of all I loved the creative writing style. I think it’s a promising look into an up and coming author. I will be reading the sequel to this one when it comes available.

There are some mentions of physical abuse and cursing but overall not a terrible amount. It does have a darker theme, but Goetz does a good job at lightening up the mood with humor and allowing you come up for some fresh air from time to time.

Overall I give it 4 stars, and I do look forward to reading future works from this author. 

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