Whoever is born here is doomed to stay until death. Whoever comes to stay 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. Blind and silenced, she walks the streets and enters homes at will. She stands next to children's beds for nights on end. So accustomed to her have the townsfolk become that they often forget she's there. Or what a threat she poses. Because if the stitches are ever cut open, the story goes, the whole town will die.
The curse must not be allowed to spread. The elders of Black Spring have used high-tech surveillance to quarantine the town. Frustrated with being kept in lockdown, the town's teenagers decide to break the strict regulations and go viral with the haunting. But in so doing, they send the town spiraling into a dark nightmare.
©2016 Thomas Olde Heuvelt (P)2016 Hodder & Stoughton
A really interesting idea let down by painful narration. Every man sounds the same, every child sounds the same, and every woman sounds like a teenager making fun of his sister.
The premise is very interesting, and the author takes a heavily, Stephen King-inspired approach, with a fairly large cast of characters and an 'everyman' protagonist.
Unfortunately, the characters are too bland and the slow-burn story takes too long to bring to the boil. There isn't enough characterisation for us to empathise with anyone, and when chaos finally does hit, it's nowhere near as dramatic or chaotic as it promises to be.
The narrator's voice is too annoying and dry. It has a sarcastic and "who cares" tone to it throughout the book and there is an absence of tension in his interpretation, especially in the climactic moments of the book.
"Very Stephen King but in a good way "
Remember when you saw 'the cabin in the woods' and thought that it was a wry ironic knowing twist on the over familiar beastie in the woods story - well this does the same with the 'Blair witch'. It's fast and well written and keeps you listening in a manner familiar to the fan of the early Stephen King horrors. There's problems and missteps but nothing that spoils the experience. But in truth, like 'cabin' it works well the first time but doesn't really linger in the mind.
"Brilliant new concept"
Excellent fresh new take on a horror novel involving a witches curse.
At the very beginning I wasn't sure what was going on as you are kind of dropped into the story without any background information and I was kind of confused (you will understand when you listen) but I'm glad I stuck with it as I was rewarded greatly.
It was a real rollercoaster of a novel, extremely scary at times, also funny and in places very moving, it was difficult not to feel for the main characters.
The narrated did a wonderful job at telling this tale, and I applaud such a terrific audiobook.
"A pretty scary witch story"
Original and pretty scary.
There are elements of a particular Stephen King book within but that would give too much of a spoiler. The author though takes that story in a different direction to the Stephen King book, so it's not a copy!
Jeff Harding is a superb narrator. Some reviewers say his voice isn't the easiest but I loved it. He does various voices well and has an echo conversation down the telephone technique that made me sit up and take notice about half way through.
Stephen King recommended book.
Overall the book is a great concept and pretty scary. The first half is sensational, the finish not as good as the first part had me expecting. I think this is an author to watch out for more from.
"An odd book."
I didn't love this story.
It did have potential and the performance was ok - interesting voice.
The story tried to make the extraordinary ordinary in a small town. But it didn't work for me. I couldn't suspend belief enough to make this enjoyable.
It's translated and that sometimes seemed to give it a strange cadence. But this changed and the changes jarred with me.
It reminded me of Wayward Pines. And they did it better.
Wanted to like this and didn't.
"Full of originality and a tense atmosphere"
I have to say that I was kept hooked throughout in this very eerie nightmarish tale. It took a few chapters to get into it but once there I was enthralled. It started out almost like a black comedy with the author's humorous narrative driving the story. It was not told from one character's point of view which enriched the story and as it builds up to a really horrible climax, I just could not stop listening. This is a really creepy tale for those who love horror, a real scared fest in traditional sense.
"Wow - creepy !"
What a clever story . Well narrated . I Really enjoyed it will look out for this author again.
"great book would recommend"
Would make a terrifying film.......Don't listen at bedtime !!!!!!!
a little bit like wayward pines but still fantastic.
This was a weird wee tale. A small town has a witch from olden times still present in its houses and surrounding woods. Despite the fact this would scare the pants off me, the townsfolk have decided to live alongside her as long as neither upsets the other.
Of course things never run that smoothly and the witch starts wrecking the joint, nae luck!
"Interesting concept, pitiful writing style"
Maybe people who don't like to read would like this book...people who usually go for check-out lane pulp magazines instead of novels.
I would have enjoyed the book more if it hadn't been written in such a cliched style. The prose, especially the dialogue, was so wooden as to make one wince.
O, God! ANYONE! Jeff Harding is TERRIBLE at women's voices and makes everyone sound largely similar. He also reads everything with an undue sense of drama, like he was narrating a movie trailer, not reading a book.
The concept is an interesting one, it's too bad it was so terribly executed.
you can't be frightened by what you find laughable. This book isn't horror it's accidental comedy.
"Promising start but went downhill from there!"
This book started off quite well and was starting to build up the creepiness factor, then it all went totally crazy and was so far fetched I found myself laughing when I was supposed to be terrified!
I bought this book because some reviewers had compared it - favourably- to Stephen King who is one of my favourite authors. THIS IS NOTHING LIKE STEPHEN KING!!! Please, if you are a constant reader do not be fooled into buying this ridiculous book!
I wish I had given up and returned it - absolute waste of a credit, but hey, you live and learn!
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