Let me just cut to the chase here and say this book has so many flaws that I almost feel bad putting this review up. Yeah, that’s right, I feel guilty, when I had no qualms about putting up reviews like this or this or even this. And I’ve absolutely no clue what to begin with.
Genre: Thriller… kinda, Suspense… maybe, Paranormal… ifyousayso.
Summary: Hmm. Well, okay, here goes: Joelle Kent had an affair with a man named Colin Conroe which did not end well, as Colin (an ambitious man) moved to a different state when a good opportunity presented itself. This turns Joelle into a weepy woman, and Colin is described as a selfish, greedy douchebag. It has been three years, but Joelle has not gotten over Colin and is a little unnerved when she sees a car with a Colorado numberplate (the state where Colin moved to from Texas) while stuck in traffic. Why is she unnerved? Because a gypsy fortuneteller said she had a connection with someone two states away. Oh well. Anyway, so Colin is still ambitious and shown as this apathetic, horny guy. Which is funny cos – no, wait – I’ll get to the characters later in detail. Whoever Colin sleeps with gets (not so) mysteriously murdered and stuffed into an equipment bag. This is being done by a man/evil minion/demon named Clark Cresil/Skin Stalker who has sold his soul to the devil. After murdering the women, he punctures an area behind their ear with a blue pen. Joelle is convinced that Colin is murdering the women (though she had no clue that Colin was associated with them; she only knows they are from Colorado) because while they were dating, he played a prank on her and stabbed her with a blue pen behind her ear when she was sleeping. Then she begins to pray so that Colin’s demons are exorcised.
Characters: Before I talk about the characters individually, let me just mention here that they are all lunatics! All of them think out loud, or mutter under their breaths at all times. They simply do not keep their thoughts to themselves. Joelle even gesticulates quite a bit (then looks around to see if anyone saw). Now, where do people walk about talking to themselves out loud? An asylum. Anyway, so let’s look at them individually: Joelle Kent: She is so weepy that she makes Weepy Dwarf look like a raging warrior. The woman simply has no control over her emotions. Every time something strange (her own choice of adjective, not mine) happens, she has to call her best friend Suzette – with no respect to Suzette’s time; she could be at work, or sleeping, but Joelle would jump at her every time she came up with random theories about good and evil. Colin: Colin is described as “selfish”, “greedy”, “arrogant” and “apathetic”. In addition to this, he sleeps around with women with no intention of getting into a relationship with them because “monogamy isn’t for him” All this is contradictory to whatever he does in the book. He behaves quite like the serial monogamist. Although described as apathetic, he is full of concern when he hears a news report about the murder of an unknown woman. He also has some friends whom he genuinely cares about. Selfish asshole, yeah right! He even called up a woman he dated THREE years ago, who lives two states away, to see if she is safe. Clark Cresil: This guy as the devil’s minion is hilarious! He is introduced in what should have been the prologue, but is the chapter 1 of this book. It is not described why he sells his soul (hell, nothing in this book describes the “why” of things). He stalks Colin because – sinful douchebag. He also stalks Joelle, cos – I really don’t know why. He is not a man with a plan. He just makes them as he goes along. The only thing funnier than this character is a scene where one of the murdered women is transported to the morgue by angels.
Layout: Reading this book is almost like reading it twice. Confused? In a lot of places, this happens:
He was really worried for her. “Oh, I am really worried for her,” he thought out loud.
Some of the chapters are way too detailed. The story is rife with inaccuracies, which I will get to in the next section. The whole plot seems way too “convenient”. As I said, Clark never has a plan, but always succeeds in murdering the women. In this one scene, he wonders if two women are lovers; they kiss all of a sudden to remove his doubts. Also, the first two murders take place in an identical way, because lucky for Clark, the women were outdoorsy, rode bikes and carried conveniently poisonable water-bottles. Also, whenever he dumps the bodies, the very public places where he dumps them are conveniently empty. Joelle is convinced because of the blue dot that Colin is the murderer, and it is just convenient because the women were related to Colin in any case (in the story). She then convinces the police department that a demon has possessed her, Colin, Clark, blah blah blah and after a lot of good cop-bad cop kinda dialogue, everyone is convinced.
There is this one scene where Clark thinks Colin is losing his “selfish” edge. So he rushes to prison cells to breathe in some negativity and strengthen himself. (I will make no further comments about that)
Inaccuracies: Let’s begin with the first chapter. A lot of people think the pentagram is a symbol of the devil, when actually the pentagram is a symbol that protects one from the devil’s forces.
Another common misconception is that the word “secular” means atheist. An atheist is a person who does not believe in God. Secularity or being secular on the other hand refers to detach oneself from “religion” not necessarily God. It also refers to respect the religions of others around you.Being secular does not make you a devil worshipper.
Clark breathes in carbon dioxide that others exhale, because you know, he’s all evil and all. So basically, all plants are evil and worship Satan.
Clark can read thoughts of Joelle who is two states away, but needs to watch Sascha and Maria kiss to know they are in love.
Clark also is invisible at times (his presence demonstrated only when people feel a chill), but if he goes to a pub, he has to order a drink to not appear conspicuous.
Also, Clark poisons Hannah’s drink and no one notices him because the place is “so crowded”. But the bartender notices all his moves cos he is a “weird dude” and even remembers him later, though the place was crowded. And no one, simply no one, notices a weird dude poisoning someone’s drink.
Also, because of all the evil inside him, his soul is black and his skin keeps darkening. Racist much?
Anyway, believe in the power of prayer, cos though murders may happen, if you’re good like Hannah, angels will lift you up to the heavens, and bring the “physical vessel” of your soul to the morgue themselves. Also, do not indulge in “carnal frenzies”, cos the devil’s minions just wanna make you single every time you do that.
Those are the lessons from this preachy, not-your-edge-of-the-seat religious thriller. A lot of times, it’ll make you go “Why?”… sometimes, “But how?”… and others, “Huh???”… If you still wanna pick it up: Amazon
Disclaimer: I downloaded a free Kindle copy of this book. A review was requested by the author. This review is honest and unbiased (clearly).
Whenever I read a book I regret reading, I read something good as a palate cleanser. After this, I am not quite sure if I should pick up a book or a bottle.