The Saturday Night Ghost Club by Craig Davidson is a heart warming coming of age story about a club of adults and kids investigating local paranormal haunts. I put this on the TBR list this month because it was getting compared to Stranger Things meets Stand By Me, if you go in thinking that then you will be disappointed it is way more Standby Me than Stranger Things. This book looks at paranormal activity on a small scale, does it find ghost? the answer is sort of. This is not you typical ghost story, it is way more coming age than ghost story. The novel has a lot of heart and a pretty cool twist that explains a lot. I wanted something scary but what I got was something heart warming, real, about family secrets, and becoming a young adult.
The Plot: Jake Baker is a chubby kid growing up in Canada near Niagara Falls in the 80’s, his town is full of tourist shops. But their are people like his uncle that are unique and own an occult shop that is right next to the video shop that only carries beta. The shop owners are best friends and the owner of the occult shop is Jakes Uncle Calvin. Jake doesn’t have many friends his uncle has taken over the role, when Billy Yellowbird a young 12 year-old that had recently moved here, Calvin saw an opportunity. Billy came in about his Grandma wanting to know if she had gone over to the other side. They end up sneaking in to the funeral home to give herbs and protection. This makes Billy feel better and makes Jake have a friend. Billy, Jake, Calvin, and Lex who owns the video store, and sometimes Billy’s older Sister Dove that Jake has a crush on form the Saturday Hight Ghost Club. They go chasing down local legends, but there’s something wrong and his uncle is acting stranger than usual.
What I Liked: Uncle Calvin as a character is great, in how he acts almost child-like, but has this huge heart and is always willing to help. Calvin naming his dog Sceptic is perfect. I liked the stories at each chapter about older Jake being a brain surgeon, and how much sense it makes for him to choose that profession. I did like the end there were hints where the story was going, but realizing they were all connected was pretty cool. The cover to the book was beautiful and one of my favorites. The 80’s references are nicely placed through out, and are great. The fight scene was great. The monster in the closet scene was great and made me instantly like Uncle Calvin.
What I Disliked: Pacing was rough in some spots. I disliked that the Dove and Jake relationship went nowhere. I would have wanted to see more of the town is was set up so well at the beginning, and then we get nothing else about the unique little town. I would have liked more supernatural.
Recommendations: If you want to read a story that is all heart and coming of age then you will enjoy it. If you are looking for something a little scary then it is a pass. This book has some nice moments and some good scenes, it all comes together at the end. I’m a little bit torn in my review, I thought a lot of the parts would have worked better in a short story, then as a full length novel. I rated The Saturday Night Ghost Club by Craig Davidson 3 out of 5 stars