NATIONAL BESTSELLER • A family returns to their hometown—and to the dark past that haunts them still—in this masterpiece of literary horror by the New York Times bestselling author of Wanderers
“The dread, the scope, the pacing, the turns—I haven’t felt all this so intensely since The Shining.”—Stephen Graham Jones, New York Times bestselling author of The Only Good Indians
Long ago, Nathan lived in a house in the country with his abusive father—and has never told his family what happened there.
Long ago, Maddie was a little girl making dolls in her bedroom when she saw something she shouldn’t have—and is trying to remember that lost trauma by making haunting sculptures.
Long ago, something sinister, something hungry, walked in the tunnels and the mountains and the coal mines of their hometown in rural Pennsylvania.
Now, Nate and Maddie Graves are married, and they have moved back to their hometown with their son, Oliver.
And now what happened long ago is happening again . . . and it is happening to Oliver. He meets a strange boy who becomes his best friend, a boy with secrets of his own and a taste for dark magic.
This dark magic puts them at the heart of a battle of good versus evil and a fight for the soul of the family—and perhaps for all of the world. But the Graves family has a secret weapon in this battle: their love for one another.
I may amend this review after completing the book but this is what I can tell those who may have this in their ‘want to read’ category before you purchase.
The book is voiced by both male and female readers. This isn’t something I am accustomed to and it feels jarring more than supportive. I also am unsure as to how the reading is divided. The female does not take the women’s voices nor the male the men’s. Instead they seem to trade off on chapters. I feel as though the author asked two friends to read rather than asking professional voices to do the work.
The male recording has a tin-like quality as though the microphone had feedback. You won’t notice it until a few minutes in but when you do it becomes annoying.
As far as the quality of the novel, those who have compared it to a King novel are way off - at least in terms of the quality of the prose. The writing is a bit more juvenile and relies on common turns-of-phrase and tropes rather than language creation - something King warns new writers about. The character monologues and dialogue are tough to feel as the reader does not shift voice pattern nor correctly carry the emotion in his voice. (Though the female does a little bit better). The result is that scary sentences or sinister actions are read with a casual friendliness that avoids the weight of such language.
As I said, I will edit this review after completing the read but I want to warn listeners who may have experienced professionally read stories in the past that this is not one.