“We're losing control… Maybe we never really had it.”
She saw it coming. She knew it would happen―but no one believed her.
Almost a year after tragedy shattered her family, sixteen-year-old Paige Thomas can’t break free from her guilt. Her mother ignores her, doting on her annoying little sister, while her father is a barely-functioning shell. He hopes a move to the quiet little town of Shadesboro PA will help them heal, but Paige doesn’t believe in happiness anymore.
On her first day at school, a chance encounter with a bullied eighth grader reawakens a gift Paige had forgotten, and ingratiates her into a pack of local outcasts. For weeks, they’ve been trying to cast a ritual to fulfill their innermost desires, but all they’ve done is waste time. After witnessing Paige touch the Ouija board and trigger a paranormal event, the girls are convinced another try with their new fifth member will finally work.
Once the darkness is unleashed, it’s not long before they learn it will give them exactly what they asked for―whether they want it or not.
I was provided with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Before I go into discussing this book, I would first issue an open statement to the author.
You seem to have no respect for a good night's sleep. I didn't really matter whether I stayed up past a reasonable hour or not, because sleep would elude me regardless. The story's veiled secrets created endless conjecture and second-guessing which kept my mind alert. There were times where I couldn't decide if it was me or the protagonist who was paranoid. Keep up the good work Matthew! I don't like to be comfortable for too long at a time.
I was fascinated and somewhat horrified by the family dynamic. It shouldn't be so shocking to me as I had experienced something similar, but I never gave it close examination. Cox produced this broken family with eerie precision. Especially for the effects it has upon the protagonist. It is effectively employed as a premise for the kind of desperation that can drive someone to drastic measures.
The idea of “be careful what you wish for” is used in a somewhat unique way. Instead of having a sadistic genie twisting one's wishes beyond their intentions, or not knowing the full consequence of your desires fulfilled, the story focuses on the way an underlying darkness can rise to the surface and pervert the best of intentions.
For some, the beginning may seem to drag while the characters, setting, and such are being established. But, as I was somewhat enthralled with the family dynamic, and then early on getting hooked by a bit of a surprise about the family, I had no problem with the pacing. In fact, I am glad for the time that was invested as it creates the opportunity to examine the way their family changes in the course of the story. If a reader is the type to want to get into the action, you won't have to wait for long though.
Again, like the most recent of Cox's books I have reviewed, I was immersed in the details of the world. I took my time in taking in the subtleties of settings, and sensory clues. Forays into otherworldly settings were nicely conveyed through contemporary analogues to portray terror and decay.
While every story must be allowed to coalesce naturally, it is my sincere hope that there may be a continuation of this story. I know it's cruel, but I don't think Paige should be afforded a long reprieve. I would recommend this book to anyone who has a taste for paranormal, occult, or general suspense. I would also recommend this to arachnaphobes, because I'm occasionally wicked.
I am super excited to be a part of the upcoming release of this book! A review will be published on Chiaroscuro's release date July 18, 2016. In the meantime, Matt has posted the blurb here on Thunderclap. Please go read it and see why I am so excited. Also support the Thunderclap so we can get this awesomeness to even MORE deserving readers.
I love books! For most of my life I have been reading them, and giving my insights to friends and family. This blog is for sharing that passion with the many others that love books too.