Written by: Wesley Thomas
Unusual start. Strange but captivating. Certainly makes the reader wonder where this will go and how it’ll be explained. There is a gradual progression into an enthralling and addictive story. Characterization is flawless in this fiction, along with excellent depictions of scenery.
A bizarre gypsy tale soon becomes malicious when a young boy is killed. His mother, a gypsy, wanting revenge, curses the one responsible for the death of her son. A curse so deadly, that the husband intervenes and interrupts the cursing ritual. Neither know how it will affect the curse, which only makes the reader more anxious to find out.
This is a true page turner from start to finish. You are compelled to read on as things go from bad to worse to disastrous with a speedy, well constructed flow. A bullet like pace maintains a strong momentum and keeps the reader bound to each page. There is never a dull moment, as the author continually has the reader on their toes, gasping in shock and horror.
Many authors have pages in their novels that bulk out the book and aren’t really essential to the story whatsoever. But are often used nonetheless. However Robert, the rebel that he is, has broke from tradition and gave us a no-nonsense style. Mr Pence blesses us with a writing style that features only necessary information. He gives the reader what they want, a great story with a super fast pace, and some realistic, intriguing characters. Among other things.
This fiction makes us question how many coincidences make bad luck, and how much bad luck does it take for us to believe we are cursed? Otis, the protagonist, comes to this conclusion rather quickly, which you think would help the situation. But knowing you’re cursed is surprisingly useless, and only adds to the anxiety and fear.
This was reminiscent of the Bram Stoker award winning novel ‘The Travelling Vampire Show’ by the talented Richard Laymon. Not by the plot or issues, but how his novel, like Robert’s, features a group of young characters that are equally bewitching as they are believable and relateable.
An interesting part of this novel was the disturbing, yet amusing connection between Kathy and Harvey. This is one of the many dimensions within this book, producing a multi-faceted read.
This is one of few reads whereby I was already questioning the fate of characters within the first few chapters. I wanted to enjoy this book, and I did, but always wondering how it would end. Because the sub-genre within horror of curses, is not uncommon. It is all about how the story is told and what an author can bring to the table that is fresh and new. But luckily, Robert achieved that. For all the reasons explained, and more, this goes so far beyond an unsettling, obsessive tale. It makes you question, it startles you, and in a way this book is a curse itself. In the way that once you start reading it you simply cannot stop. You are bound to the pages as if some gypsy commanded it to be so. That was unforeseen and unexpected. Satisfying yet disconcerting.
Conspiracy, hidden agendas, and plenty of action, gives this novel some teeth!
But alas, there are many nice moments of comedy to break up the tension and allow the reader short-lived relief.
When things become unlivable for Otis, he’s forced to find a way out of the curse. With the aid of best friend Harvey they get started. But only to discover you cannot get rid of a curse.
This fiction takes science vs superstition to the next level! By the end things are completely out of control, bringing a fantastic conclusion with immense turmoil.