NOTE: The Evil Gazebo was a free review copy provided to Luke Reviews by Dark Quest Books.
In between big books, I like to try and mix in some shorter stuff. I like longer works as much as the next person, but sometimes you need a breather. That, and I think, in the current market driven by novels (novels pay better than short works, and authors have to fill their belly somehow), especially gigantic, overstuffed novels, the shorter works need to see the light of day and a bigger audience. Thus, when a copy of The Evil Gazebo by Bernie Mojzes was slipped in my mailbox, I made sure to dive right in.
In a dreary house, two girls keep watch on the evil gazebo, and nothing ever happens. So when something does appear, they have to go find out what it is. They discover that this creature may be friendly, and may not bite, and they aren’t sure what to make of it. From this, an adventure of sorts grows, as the girls and their new acquaintance explore the girls’ house, and decide what to do about the thing.
That likely isn’t a very cogent description of the plot of the book, but to say any more would be to take away from the pleasant surprise that is The Evil Gazebo. The story seems to flirt with the line between children’s tale and the fairy tale for adults, playing with dark themes, yet in such a way that it is accessible to all ages, and certainly no more gruesome than the Brothers Grimm and their set of tales. Mojzes has crafted just such a story, and it fits the style of dark fairy tale well, without losing any of the style distinct to Mojzes. It reminds this reviewer very much of Neil Gaiman’s Coraline, both in style and quality.
Also of note is the plethora of illustrations that round out this volume, adding a bit to each short chapter. They are sufficiently weird to fit the tale quite well, although they may be a little too odd for some peoples’ tastes.
This is a short read, but very much worth picking up. It won’t take long to read, but is a nice way to spend a bit of captured time one quiet afternoon. And it will be one of those books you will want to read again. Numerous times. If you enjoy fables, fairy tales, stories with a lot more going on than you might imagine and that capture the magic in words, don’t hesitate to pick up a copy of this book.