by Brendan P. Myers
$3.99 Kindle version
At first delighted by the disappearance of the town bullies, Dugan and his outcast friends soon realize they must do battle against a growing vampire army led by the town's long dead Civil War hero. Along the way, they'll find clues in the diary of a young boy not unlike themselves, and strength in their own unique bonds of friendship. But victory, if it's even possible, will come at a terrible cost. Some, like Dugan, will never be the same.
Brendan P. Myers has written a story that features a group of young boys, not unlike Stand By Me, with a horror a bit like Phantasm. Applewood has a slow beginning, but it didn't take long for me to get into the story. The novel begins with an unusual murder in present time, then flashes back to the childhood of the main characters, which draws readers into the heart of the story and surrounds them with drama, suspense and horror. Also, the background of the characters makes everything more emotional.
The writing style of Myers is excellent, blending two mysteries into one fantastic vampire story. There is a sequel, Fledge, which follows the character Scott, but Applewood easily functions as a stand-alone. Even if you aren't into vampires, I recommend this story to all horror fans, including readers of YA fiction.