HEX by Thomas Olde Heuvelt
Published by Tom Doherty Associates
Publication Date : April 26th, 2016
Available as Hardback & eBook – 448 Pages
Source : Purchased!
Whoever is born here, is doomed to stay ’til death. Whoever settles, never leaves.
Welcome to Black Spring, the seemingly picturesque Hudson Valley town haunted by the Black Rock Witch, a 17th century woman whose eyes and mouth are sewn shut. Muzzled, she walks the streets and enters your homes at will. She stands next to your bed for nights on end. Everybody knows that her eyes may never be opened.
The elders of Black Spring have virtually quarantined the town by using high-tech surveillance to prevent their curse from spreading. Frustrated with being kept in lockdown, the town’s teenagers decide to break their strict regulations and go viral with the haunting, but in so doing send the town spiraling into the dark, medieval practices of the past.
This was fantastic. There is something to be said for a book that starts off with a seemingly harmless ghost (people threw dish towels on her face they’ve gotten so used to her) and ends with the complete breakdown of society and handles it all beautifully. This is one of those books that has a so much deeper message lurking underneath that initial premise that when you see it you’re going to want to shake your finger at the author going ‘Oh youuu…’. I just couldn’t get over how clever how how damn spooky he managed this.
The story consistently had me guessing, somehow certain of what was coming but always being wrong. This is a terrible habit I’ve got, if anyone who reads many of my reviews may know. I can’t even help to stop it, I always try to guess where a story is going, and if I can I’m disappointed. With this one I eventually gave up trying to guess and just went along with the ride.
Our characters were wide and varied, and let me tell you – none of them were without flaws. They were the people Black Springs were built on and it’s interesting to watch how the fallout of everything affects them all. Everyone handles things in different ways and they’ll surprise you. The only real issue I had was that I wish we’d seen more of the main female wife/mother figure. She was left in a dramatic position then we get only a bit of a glancing return in a climatic point for our protagonist.
This one kept me from sleeping well last night so chalk that up as a great horror read. It also managed to give me those chills everyone is always seeking. The ones where you’re sitting in an armchair but holy shit, your shoulders aren’t pressed against the chair so something might grab them. Highly recommend this one, it especially put me in mind of great Stephen King horror. If you enjoy his work don’t pass this one up.