Book Review: Sour Candy

SOUR CANDY | Kealan Patrick Burke
11.06.2017 | CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Rating: 5/5 stars


This is the story of how Phil Pendleton and his son Adam came to be. To the outside world they look like any other father and son duo. Phil and Adam spend their days visiting museums, checking out animals at the zoo, heading to the park, and any other normal activity you can imagine. Perhaps Phil is slightly disheveled looking, but what single parent doesn’t feel a bit exhausted sometimes? It’s clear that Adam is a bit of a handful, as he is prone to sudden screaming outbursts in public that leave bystanders judging Phil’s parenting abilities. Then of course there’s the fact that Adam’s diet seems to be solely made up of sour candy. Let’s also not forget that Adam in the decision makers on his daily activities and his bedtime. Phil could clearly stand to be a bit of a stricter parent.

Four months to the day he first encountered the boy at Walmart, the last of Phil Pendleton’s teeth fell out.

What happens behind closed doors that the outside world doesn’t see? Well for starters, Phil didn’t know Adam even existed until a couple of weeks ago when they met under bizarre circumstances at the local Walmart. Now everyone in Phil’s life is convinced that Adam has always been around and Phil has to pretend that things in his life have not gone severely crazy. Phil is now Adam’s prisoner, but how has this happened? How is this boy able to do what he has done?

Somewhere along the line his life had jumped the tracks and he had found himself in a nightmare, and like the worst kind of nightmare, he could no move, the people around him too busy chatting, redirecting traffic, or filming the scene with their iPhones to realize the very real and possibly dangerous drama taking place on the edge of it.

One of my goals for 2018 was to read more horror literature and if you’ve been on #bookstagram anytime recently you’ve certainly seen the positive buzz surrounding Kealan Patrick Burke’s work. I decided to buy myself a few books for my birthday and instantly tossed this novella in my cart. Well ladies and gentleman, I can tell you that the hype is real. SOUR CANDY was an exciting, unnerving, and entertaining read! If you’re worried that 74 pages isn’t enough to tell an amazing story, worry no further. Burke is able to quickly construct fully developed characters in this limited page count on the same scale as a full sized book. SOUR CANDY brings a creep factor reminiscent of a episode of The Twilight Zone, where the story is just believable enough that you start to wonder if you could end up in Phil’s shoes the next time you encounter a screaming child in a store.

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