Presumed Crossed Over is a collection of ghost stories, spiced up with memories of legends from the author’s homeland Romania. The stories are perfect for Halloween fans, and I can just picture teenagers swapping them, reading them aloud with the flame of a flickering candle close by.
The stories are unconnected, except in genre, and each carries within a different setting and different characters. My favourite story was definitely The Haunted House, which made me think it had the potential of becoming a novella or even a novel, and when the end came, I wanted more. The atmosphere in each story is quite well-depicted, and I found it very interesting and impressive how the author used sounds and smells to add to the eerie mood. The feeling of fear is further emphasized because the human characters are average, everyday people: a medical student, a taxi-driver, a single mum, etc., whereas the ghosts remain just illusive enough to add the fear of the unkniwn to the picture. Although there were times when I felt some stories could have and should have gone further, I found them all interesting, easy to follow and envision, and I would say the author’s style is at its best in descriptive passages.
I am sure, as is often the case with scary stories, they inspire different levels of fear when you read them alone, or when you read them out loud, with dramatic pauses and voice changes, in the company of friends eager for a fun&fear-filled Halloween party. This book is perfect for that.