Book Review: “Summer’s Over” by Em Leonard

Summer's OverI’ve had this book on my TBR list for some time, but it was Lydia Schoch’s review that motivated me to read it. I wish I hadn’t waited so long—this is a fantastic collection of creepy short stories centered around California amusement parks.

Let me give you an idea of the strange and disturbing worlds the book presents: There are cultists who ride roller coasters. There’s a creepy family of Disney fanatics trailing people around Disneyland. (I may be in the minority here, but I think almost everything about Disney is creepy anyway, so this seemed quite plausible.) A trip to Knott’s Berry Farm and an attraction that transports visitors into an apocalyptic nightmare. A young man whose father takes him to a mysterious section of Seaworld with a distinctly Lovecraftian flavour. And finally, an opening day at Universal Studios that takes immersion in the world of movies to an extreme.

All the stories are short and engaging, with narrators who are instantly interesting and relatable. There is a smattering of typos, but nothing that obscured the meaning or detracted from the story.   

These are exactly the kind of short horror tales I enjoy: weird, mysterious, eerie and—with the exception of the Universal Studios one—not too gory. Think The Twilight Zone and you’ll have a good idea of what to expect. While the stories are short, I felt each one gave me a good sense of who the characters were, while leaving a bit of a mystery to ponder as well.

Highly recommended for fans of weird fiction. And now is the perfect time to read it!


  1. Thanks for the shoutout. So glad you enjoyed this book. And, yeah, this is the perfect time of year to read it.

    I have another indie review scheduled to go out on Thursday. 🙂

  2. The stories sound intriguing. I’ve never been to Disneyland but I did see a doco once about all these miles of tunnels under the theme park where the employees zip around, I think on buggies. I always that was super creepy.

      1. Yeah, the camera shots of these long, empty tunnels was very creepy. I understand the need for them, but I could also see how they’d be the perfect setting for a murder. 😀

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