I was quite excited to start this book and then when I did start it, I hated it. It wasn’t what I expected it to be at all and absolutely loathed the characters. There was nothing I liked but then the author began to describe a video that two of the characters were made to watch, this caught my attention.
Our two man characters, Sam and Jimmy are forced to sit and watch a snuff film, the author sets to it, describing what is happening to the characters on the screen but then when it comes to the Woman, I felt like it was glossed over. I took this as a lack of commitment from the author and I thought that he wouldn’t describe it because she was a woman.
This annoyed me and down went the book. For a month.
One day, I decided to pick it up again and have another go at it. So with a rested and freshly open mind I picked it up again.
I am so glad that I did.
Just a little way on from where I left the book, the story really picked up, things were happening. I still didn’t like the characters but the story gripped me. After a train journey to Bath, I found myself at the end of a very different book.
Let me tell you know, you are in for a ride. I do think the book could have done more for me at the beginning, but I found it had a hell of a middle and end. We meet more characters which are very interesting and I would say the real story starts around the 40-50% mark.
In short, this is a very good book with a series of twists which will leave you unsure of what the hell just happened. I loved it.
The research on this book is absolutely amazing, the author must have dedicated a lot of time to it because everything is correct. I googled all of the stuff that came up, including the “Pan Book of Horror” series (which I now have book 1 of!) and many myths/legends surrounding hell. I love that everything was spot on, it’s brilliant when you think “is that made up, or is it real?” and not only is it real but it’s perfectly researched.
I will definitely be checking out more by Jasper Bark and I would suggest that you give this book a go. Just don’t put it down. If you feel you’re not gelling with the characters, you’re not supposed to be. Sam and Jerry are not in this book to be liked, they are simply pawns to the story’s whim.