I like the lead-in to the book. It’s catchy, it makes you wonder and more importantly it makes you want to read beyond the memorable intro. However the book should have probably simply been called Malevolence. Why? Because it packs a heavy punch of malice.
There is just so much to talk about when it comes to reviewing this book. I want to give it the attention it deserves without giving away all the twists and turns. I will try to just focus on the parts that left the strongest impression on me.
One of those has got to be the living dead aspect of being in a coma. Just imagine being able to hear and feel everything around and yet being completely unable to open your eyes, move, speak or react at all. Leaving you vulnerable, panicked and scared.
What a horror scenario, a complete lack of control, whilst being aware of everything the entire time. On top of that Amber can’t remember how she ended up in hospital. She remembers pieces and fragments, enough to confuse her and make her frightened. At this point in time she doesn’t know who to trust, because this wasn’t just an accident or was it?
The author takes us in and out of the past and present. It’s a constant spiral of childhood flashbacks, recent memories and interactions in the present. When I say interactions, what I mean is Amber hears and everyone else interacts around her, over her and with her physical body.
Amber suffers from OCD, anxiety and a general mistrust of the people around her. She finds it hard to fit in and make friends. She does however have a really strong sense of survival, sometimes to the detriment of others. She believes her sister is a wee bit too flirty with her husband and in turn her husband seems very comfortable with Claire, then again it could just be her over-active imagination.
I could go on and on about the superb twists in the plot and about who the real culprit is, but the truth is there is no black or white answer. Where one thread of guilt, anger and fear ends another one connects immediately, which is why the reader is left in a constant state of uncertainty.
Feeney writes a wicked tale and I hope this is the first of many to come. It is enthralling, rancorous and controversial. Why is it controversial? Read it and find out.