By: Thomas Olde Heuvelt
Last week I had the time of my life meeting Thomas Olde Heuvelt at Bear Pond Books in Montpelier Vermont, after reading his wonderful American debut novel Hex! This book genuinely scared me to
|We are in front of the Vermont Capital Building|
Paul Tremblay (Left), Me (Middle),
Thomas Olde Heuvelt (Right)
About The Author: "Dutch novelist THOMAS OLDE HEUVELT (1983) is the author of five novels and many short stories. His work has appeared in many languages, including English, Chinese, Japanese, Italian and French. In 2015, his story The Day the World Turned Upside Down was the first ever translated work to win a Hugo Award. Two more of his stories have been nominated for both Hugo and World Fantasy Awards.
In 2016, Olde Heuvelt's critically acclaimed novel HEX, which became a bestseller in The Netherlands, will be launched around the globe (In the US by MacMillan/Tor and in the UK by Hodder & Stoughton). Warner Bros. is currently developing a TV series based on the book." (Goodreads Author Bio)
Plot: "Whoever is born here, is doomed to stay 'til death. Whoever settles, 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. Muzzled, she walks the streets and enters your homes at will. She stands next to your bed for nights on end. Everybody knows that her eyes may never be opened.
The elders of Black Spring have virtually quarantined the town by using high-tech surveillance to prevent their curse from spreading. Frustrated with being kept in lockdown, the town's teenagers decide to break their strict regulations and go viral with the haunting, but in so doing send the town spiraling into the dark, medieval practices of the past." (Goodreads.com)
- This book is funny, creepy, and WILL keep you up at night.
- The atmosphere that Thomas is able to create throughout the duration of the novel is impecable; he really is able to make you feel completely immersed in the story.
- The characters are quirky, cool and relatable, all of which adds a tremendous amount to the stories enjoyment.
- The cover of the book is very well designed. I like the idea of showing the small house on a foggy day, alluding to some creepy events to come from within the pages.
- Omniscient point of view gives the reader a wide scope and understanding of the story as it begins to unfold, this is something that worked very well in this story.
- Tyler: The main person we follow throughout the novel. His family, the Grants own a house where Katherine frequents often on the outskirts of town. Tyler is your typical teen who wants to hang out with friends and show off his skills, which he does via his YouTube channel where he vlogs his daily life. I found Tyler to be incredibly relatable and charming throughout this novel, as he went through the typical teens issues along with the horrors encompassing Katherine's rath. He has the teenage personality and spunk, while he lacks the angst and whiny nature that I dislike when reading about teens.
- Steve: Steve is Tyler's father, he plays a major role in the book later on. I loved the fact that Thomas Olde Heuvelt decided to put a father and son relationship in this novel, because family ties are often overshadowed by romantic feelings in novels. I found Steve to be endearing and a comforting presence in the midst of the horrors which un folded within Black Spring. He encompasses all that a father aspires to be in a very realistic way, even throughout his grief and loss he remains "real" and not greatly glorified.
- In general I love each and every one of these characters, however I do not want to spoil any of the others for you. I will say that the revenge and teenage habits that are portrayed are the most true to life that I have read about in a fictional story.
- While I agree that the characters were very strong in this book, the plot it what made this book shine!
- The plot of this book worked brilliantly well with the setting of the Hudson Valley.
- The Hudson Valley is known as a place of mystery and folklore for the New York state, which lent its hand well to the eerie Katherine Van Wyler (witch in HEX).
- The region is steeped in mystery and horror tales of the past. I cannot wait to go back to school in the fall and experience the Upstate New York way in a new eerie light.
- The atmosphere of this book is incredible considering the fact that Thomas had not been to the Hudson Valley before he changed the setting in the US edition. He captured small town America flawlessly and added the right amount of horror to scare anyones socks off!
- This story is fast paced and fun, definitely one that EVERYONE should read especially if they will be new to the horror genre.
- As many of you should be aware of, this book has been translated from Dutch to English. The translator's name is Nancy Forest-Flier, and Thomas has said he worked very closely with her to ensure a great translation, which certainly shows in the book.
- Thomas had the chance to edit and change the ending of the American edition from the Dutch edition, which he took full advantage of. He says that the switch was for the better, and I surely enjoyed the English ending but I am immensely curious about the Dutch ending.
- Thomas actually wrote the ending of the US edition himself in English and then edited for errors, and I am proud and happy that he got a taste of writing fiction in English. Mostly I am happy because it may speed up the time between his releases.
Scare Factor: 4/5 screams
Rating: 5/5 stars
I want everyone to read this book so badly that I am going to be hosting a giveaway for this book over on my YouTube channel! You will receive a signed copy of the book along with an "eye sewing kit" that was given to me from Thomas Olde Heuvelt!
- This giveaway will be open Internationally! So as long as you live on this planet I can send it to you, interplanetary mail is still so unreliable that I do not want to chance sending something to Jupiter.
- Begins: Today, July 18th
- Ends: July 31st at 11:59:59PM EST
- You Must:
- Subscribe to my YouTube Channel
- Comment on my video Interview of Thomas Olde Heuvelt, and recommend me some of your favorite horror books.
- Let me know in that same comment that you want to enter the giveaway!
The Giveaway Book!
|Look at that awesome Author scribble!|