Boom Town begins with a prologue of a UFO depositing something into the ground of a rural Wisconsin community in 1979. Fast forward thirty years later, and we learn that the community has been rocked with minor earthquakes ever since (hence the “boom” in Boom Town). When two 12 year-olds discover a pipe from the ground that has surfaced due to the tremors – they find a gooey blue substance that is leaking from the pipe. Without going into any more detail, touching the blue goo is not a good idea – but, still, folks do come into contact with it. When that happens, look out.
As I mentioned earlier, this reads like a 1950’s science fiction/horror story. The pacing is fast and the scenes involving the blue blob are gruesome fun. In fact, there is one extensive sequence of what happens to an older man who comes into contact with the substance that is worth the price of admission. The main characters are the kids who provide the backbone of the story. They are the investigators and their sense of wonder and willingness to suspend belief is a perfect match for the story. There is also the subplot of first love which adds an extra character dimension. The resolution of the story was a little unexpected which enhanced my appreciation of Glenn Rolfe’s willingness to take chances. There are not many negatives beyond the common error of attributing thought processes and emotional awareness to kids which is beyond their developmental level – so not a big deal.
A great read.
Disclosure: I received a free copy of the book in order to write an honest review.