ARC BOOK REVIEW: Boys in the Valley by Philip Fracassi

Publication Date: July 11, 2023
Format: E-book
Genre:  Horror

Publisher: Tor Nightfire
 352 pages
Buy: Kindle | Audio


Turn of the century, in a remote valley in Pennsylvania.

Here, under the watchful eyes of several priests, thirty boys work, learn, and worship. Peter Barlow, orphaned as a child by a gruesome murder, has made a new life here. As he approaches adulthood, he has friends, a future...a family.

Then, late one stormy night, a group of men arrive at their door, one of whom is badly wounded, occult symbols carved into his flesh. His death releases an ancient evil that spreads like sickness, infecting St. Vincent's and the children within. Soon, boys begin acting differently, forming groups. Taking sides.

Others turn up dead.

Now Peter and those dear to him must choose sides of their own, each of them knowing their lives ― and perhaps their eternal souls ― are at risk.


I received this book free from the publisher through netgalley.  I am leaving this review voluntarily. 

I didn't like this as much as most people seemed to - I felt it was a little drawn out and predictable for me. While not all of the violence was graphic (I don't mind graphic if it fits)- the aftermath of it was. 

I'm not a huge fan of these orphanage schools run by the church because I feel they were horrific without adding any supernatural stuff. Hundreds of kids died in these schools from being beaten and starved that to me is scary in itself.  The creep factor wasn't there for me in this one either.  

There were definitely some really good parts to the story, the friendships between the boys was excellent and really sort of set the stage for some of the drama. I also really liked the struggle of Peter to decide whether to become a priest or to have a life with Grace. 

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