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I'm not one for paranormal and or ghost storyline, so was a bit skeptical about this audiobook. But the unique perspective was intriguing without being dark. I really enjoyed this excellent mystery and the multiple suspects, and didn't have it figured out until the very end!
30 of 32 people found this review helpful
Where do I even begin on this book. First of all, I bought it in one of those daily sales for 4 dollars and still feel like I got ripped off. The description would have me believe that this was a legitimate detective story, with some hint of supernatural, of something dark and fantastic, story of madness and imagination. Well let me tell you right off the bat it's none of the sort. It's a kid's book. The kind of "group of friends solve crimes together" kid's book. The characters are very one dimensional and rather lame. There's the hero of the story, who's your average Merry Sue, who not only is an excellent athlete and mathematical genius of Rain Man-like abilities, he also has a heart of gold and protects innocent kids against evil bullies. And on top of everything, he's been chosen to posses the power of communicating with the netherworld. Then there is his best friend, who is a musician or something. His best friend's girlfriend who writes a novel. And a girl who has a crush on our hero and also is really nice I guess? The narrator read her parts in such an annoying voice, I instantly imaged some fair haired inane creature who only cares for magazines and shoes. Together they solve a mystery of what happened to a deceased girl nobody cared about when she was alive using such profound methods as: Checking out her grave. Breaking in teacher's house and stumbling across some vital evidence that was almost in plain sight (and nearly getting caught in the process). Listening to ghosts. And... Looking at photos! Awesome.
Meanwhile the main hero sees the dead girl (it turns out she was murdered!) who is prompting him to avenge her (what famous movie does that remind me of...) and we were promised his slow descent into madness, when he stops being able to distinguish between reality and dreams. What do we get? He digs up a dead dog and puts its carcass on his dad's car. Which was pretty good, I admit. At that point even I got pretty excited and couldn't wait for what other dark and sinister deeds might lie ahead. The answer? None. That was as dark as the book ever got. I mean, even the main villain. Despite being a vicious serial killer, who killed young girls, there wasn't anything sexual or perverted or twisted about it. He did it just because. He felt like killing someone, so he did it. Yeah, right.
The ending also couldn't have been more sunshine and rainbows. Our hero defeats the villain, saves his girl and becomes the star of the high school. Epic.
But I have to give credit to the author for coming up with some pretty good and poetic images. There was something about carrion birds picking at the corpse of our hero's dreams, and that was pretty good (what a shame nothing like that really happened). And the narrator was okay. Well, as I have mentioned before, he totally butchered one of the characters, but overall not bad. I think my criticism may be mostly the result of comparison between those which cannot be compared. I went straight from reading Stephen King's It and Tommyknockers and The Shining to this. That was a bad idea. Comparing the work of one of the masters of modern horror to some random mediocre novel I snatched at audible for 4 bucks can only ever have one result, not a very nice one. I suppose objectively this book was alright, especially for the younger audience, but I expected a little something different.
You just never know with this daily deal thing. It's a box with a question mark printed on it and sometimes it's a dirty sock inside, and sometimes it's a snickers bar. And sometimes it's a large tumbleweed that leaves you with a big "meh". Like this book.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful