This novella didn't speak to me. I'm not sure why.
I love the carnival setting -it's worked for me in several of my favorite books, but only a small piece of this took took place at the carnival.
I also loved the portions from 1985, but I didn't get a lot of the pop culture references because most of them were English. I was familiar with some of the bands, but not many. In reference to an old radio(?), a character said it reminded him of Blake's 7. I have no idea what that is.
I couldn't help but make comparisons to Stephen King's IT. I remember the kids playing in the Barrens in that book, in this one it's the Batters. I also couldn't help but compare it to Something Wicked This Way Comes. In both comparisons, this novella came up a little short.
It sounds like I disliked this story, but I didn't. The characters were decent, the pacing was good, and I did like the horrific premise. It's just those comparisons I couldn't help but make, that brought this rating to 3.5.