Before I start, I would like to say that having spoken briefly with Mike, he seems like a really nice guy and I’m sure there is an audience out there for this book. I’ve seen good reviews in other places so it’s obviously had a good impact on the reading world.
This book isn’t really for me, it didn’t grip me, I didn’t find it “unputdownable” and I wouldn’t read it again. That’s not to say you won’t like it, I just didn’t. I’ve put this book down three times whilst trying to read it and it’s only a short book, but here’s why;
The book centers around our main characters Neal, Annie and their baby daughter Natasha. It starts out well with Neal standing on the edge of a building, holding the baby and threatening to jump, this is something that will make any reader get comfy. If a book starts with something like that it generally holds promise of a good back story. The whole idea is that 5 month old Natasha is evil, but she’s not realistically evil. I think this book would have worked better with an older child, maybe a toddler or something. Toddlers are generally creepier than babies in my opinion.
My big problem with this book is that none of the characters are likeable. For me, I would find a book much scarier if I gave a damn about the characters and unfortunately for Mike, I feel like he just went too far with building them up to be just so.. unlikable. Their attitude to everything is just arrogant, I get that they didn’t really marry for love but come on.. be decent at some stage! For me this premise has been done, and it’s one that gets tired fast.It put me in mind of “It’s Alive” (1974) which in my opinion is a better way of doing things, rather than making a 5 month old baby do things way in advance of its age it keeps it simple and in that, it’s more enjoyable. Even the cover art is very similar to “It’s Alive” so I would figure that Mike saw that and used the basic concept as inspiration. So if you have already read this book, and you liked it, go watch “It’s Alive” you’ll love it.
I would read other Mike Wells novels, I’m not so shallow that I’m going to base my whole understanding of Mike and his writing style on one book, so expect to see more reviews here for Mike, I’m hoping that his book Lust, Money & Murder will have a better effect on me.
So would I recommend you read this book? Not to anyone with my taste, but I have seen people saying they’ve really enjoyed it so if you don’t want realistic, go for it, but I do really think this book fails for a reader like me. It’s not scary and it didn’t really have me hanging on for what would happen. I won’t be reading book two because book one just didn’t hook me.