Epeolatry Book Review: The Ghost Tracks by Celso Hurtado
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Title: The Ghost Tracks
Author: Celso Hurtado
Genre: YA, Horror
Publisher: Inkshares, 350 pages
Release Date: 11/2/2021
Synopsis: Erasmo Cruz is from the wrong side of the tracks. His dad was a junkie who overdosed. His mom chose to run off rather than raise him. His only passion is the supernatural, and his only family is his grandmother, whose aches and pains, he soon learns, aren’t just from old age but from cancer.
Desperate to help his grandmother pay for treatment, Erasmo sets up shop as a paranormal investigator. After witnessing a series of inexplicable events, he must uncover the truth behind his clients’ seemingly impossible claims. From hauntings to exorcisms, Erasmo soon finds that San Antonio is a much scarier place than even he knew.
Coming-of-age stories are probably among the most popular in any genre. Especially horror. Books like Shadowland by Peter Straub, My Best Friend’s Exorcism by Grady Hendrix, The Talisman by Straub and Stephen King, or the big one: It by King. All make for engrossing reads. Coming-of-age done right draws me in and reminds the reader of transitional periods from their own youths.
In The Ghost Tracks by Celso Hurtado, Erasmo, the main protagonist, is a teenager on the verge of adulthood, raised by his grandmother. Both of his parents were addicts and left him behind early on. Later, his father was found dead and now his grandmother has cancer. Money is tight and, due to his experience with the supernatural, he and his friend decided to put up an ad as paranormal investigators to make a little money.
The narrative flowed well with the end of each chapter begging me to continue reading. The story surprised me at every turn. Each time I thought the narrative would go one way, Hurtado threw in a curveball and zigged rather than zagged. However, I wanted more on one particular narrative thread, but instead, I got something wonderful. Maybe a sequel is in the works? (Please let there be a sequel coming sometime in the future!)
The Ghost Tracks by Celso Hurtado is spot on for the coming-of-age sub-genre. Erasmo is incredibly relatable, and throughout every horrible thing that happened, I rooted for him to succeed, for things to go right for him and his friend.
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Joe lives with his wife and son in the Pacific Northwest where the Cascade Mountains meet the Salish Sea. He enjoys writing in the weird, horror, and fantasy genres.
Growing up he enjoyed R. L. Stine’s Goosebumps books as well as classics like Dune, and Lord of the Rings. In college he discovered Stephen King, and later Mark Danielewski’s House of Leaves and authors like Clive Barker and Laird Barron.
Joe’s short story, ‘Gustav Floats’, was published in Dim Shores Presents Volume 2. In the spring of 2021 his story, ‘The Pigeon Lied’ comes out in Howls From Hell.
You can follow Joe on the following social media sites:
Twitter, Good Reads, Facebook, and Instagram!