Quick Review – Hex by Thomas Olde Heuvelt

I remember the day I walked into Waterstones in a particularly spooky mood. I was looking for a good horror book or something that would make me low-key nervous about turning over the page and finding out what would happen to the protagonist next. I came across and the blurb on the back instantly struck a chord with me.

Hex TOH

Based in the fictional town of Black Spring it tells the story of the Black Rock Witch, a 17th Century woman who wanders the town with her eyes and mouth sewn shut, thestory goes, if the stitches come undone, the whole town will die. She is monitored by various cameras around the town and most of the residents tend to forget she is there most of the time. 

But there’s always one bad egg, when a local boy starts attacking the witch, her behaviour turns erratic and she starts acting differently.Pretty soon, the whole mood of the town begins to change with some people, as well as the witch, acting completely out of character.

I won’t go too in depth about what happens, in case you want to read it but I found a gripping read and there were some moments that were slightly uncomfortable to read. It also offered up an interesting look at mob mentality.Saying that, the ending was somewhat anti-climatic, but all in all not a bad little read.

I’d recommend you read this one when the weather starts turning and you’re gearing up for Halloween.

Star Rating out of 5: 3.5

Have you read this book? What were your thoughts? I’d love to hear, please comment below.

Happy reading.

G.
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Book Review – The Wasp Factory by Iain Banks

The Wasp Factory by Iain Banks is one of those books that has always been on my list of books ‘I must read’ partly because the title intrigued me and partly because of how often I have heard people refer to it as ‘such a weird book’ So when I embarked upon settling down and reading this, I really didn’t know what to expect, if anything.

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Meet Frank, a sixteen year old who lives in a secluded part of Scotland, and doesn’t technically exist, according the official paperwork. From the first Chapter it is clear to see that Frank isn’t your typical teenager and instead of favouring football and girls, he prefers to make sacrificial poles made from the heads of animals, to ward off intruders.

As the book progresses Frank confesses to how he has killed three people, two boys and a young girl, all members of his family, and all for reasons that, for me, never became fully clear. He describes each murder and how he managed to escape suspicion, despite being present with each of the people when they met their untimely and cruel demise. I think it was perhaps the second and third murder that I found particularly difficult to read, so heads up if you haven’t read it and plan to. You may find yourself recoiling somewhat.

Throughout the book you learn about Franks childhood, his relationship with his father and his ‘crazy’ brother Eric, who also has a dark and dangerous streak and sets fire to dogs (sorry dog lovers, you may not like this book) The setting for the book is perfect, this little bubble of an island with dunes and bunkers and plenty of land where Frank can play out his little macabre hobbies. As the book develops Eric has escaped the hospital where he was being held and is making his way back home, this adds to the tension in the book and helps build up the climax for the latter part.

Frank consults his Wasp Factory for answers to questions – as an aside The Wasp Factory is basically a maze of death for Wasps that Frank captures and kills, with each path resulting in a different death. He keeps being warned by the Factory about a Fire. Again, this adds to the tension being built as events start happening that indicate his brother is getting closer to home. For those of you who like some closure, you do find out what made poor Eric turn ‘mad’ and I think out of the entire novel, this particularly was the most gruesome imagery I came across. Be warned it isn’t for those with a sensitive stomach.

The book climaxes to a pivotal moment when more secrets are exposed and the truth about Frank is revealed, but not in the way you might think. An evocative novel, which is incredibly gothic in its tone. I found the ending a little flat, but overall not a bad read. I’d recommend this to people who want something macabre and for those who like to be entertained by the darker aspects of life.

Star Rating out of 5: 4

Keep your entrails and sticks and dice and books and birds and voices and pendants and all the rest of that crap; I have the Factory, and it’s about now and the future; not the past.

Happy reading fellow bookworms.

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