John works in his family's mortuary and has an obsession with serial killers. He wants to be a good person but fears he is a sociopath, and for years he has suppressed his dark side through a strict system of rules designed to mimic "normal" behavior. Then a demon begins stalking his small town and killing people one by one, and John is forced to give in to his darker nature in order to save them.
As he struggles to understand the demon and find a way to kill it, his own mind begins to unravel until he fears he may never regain control. Faced with the reality that he is, perhaps, more monstrous than the monster he is fighting, John must make a final stand against the horrors of both the demon and himself.
©2009 Dan Wells (P)2010 Tantor
This book is just as disturbing as you think it is. It's also a good story, and the beginning of what could be a good series.
... If you can stomach having it read to you by someone who sounds like Robert Stack of "Unsolved Mysteries." The narrator would be perfect for a hard-boiled detective book, or some kind of adventure/war story, but his choppy, monotone narration grates the whole way through this book, along with his strange EMPHASIS of CERTAIN WORDS for no apparent REASON. This book needed a quiet, expressive voice to read it, somebody who could have pulled off a more "believable" serial killer.
Still, the book was worth it for the story, if nothing else.
This story was great, however the narration was absolutely painful. The main character is supposed to be a young teenager, freshman in high school young, and the narrator sounds about fifty. Another reviewer likened him to Robert Stack, and I whole heartedly concur with that comparasion. I really wish I had merely read the book and not listened to the audio version. But the story is still great.
I really enjoyed the story, and think the plot was well written and the characters excellent. What keeps this from getting five stars from me is the narration by John Allen Nelson. While he has a decent voice for narration, he did not AT ALL fit with this story. The character is supposed to be a sociopath, devoid of emotion and empathy, and yet Nelson's voice for him sounded angry. He gave his words too much emphasis, and didn't even soften the phrases or words that should be softened. The way he stressed some things changed the meaning of sentences, and overall his tone was just not at all right for this storyline. I hope that Wells writes a sequel to this book, because it was really enjoyable - but I hope he finds a new narrator for the audiobook.
Had I read the reviews, I would never have selected this book. The narration was very distracting and not believable. Some readers are able to characterize genders, age, and ethnicity so adeptly...not this one though. The story wasn't my favorite either, but I'm not a big fan of demons. Next time, I'll look more carefully before pushing the "buy now" button.
The dichotomy of the viewpoint character and the villain was astounding. The author successfully made the main character much more creepy than the villain. I can't say that I've ever read anything quite like this. I would recommend this to a friend if that friend was able to endure a creepy viewpoint character. This was a very good book. The only problem which I had was that the narrator was very much a monotone.
Another vote for a bad choice of narration, the 'Robert Stack' reviewer was right on target. This is supposed to be a 15 year old boy and because of the disconnect between the narration and the story I had a hard time keeping that in mind.
Overall, kind of a silly story that had a good Dexter-like premise.
I'll purchase the next one if there is another, but that will be the last chance for me.
I have found several great books by first time authors, but this is an okay book, maybe my thoughts were colored by such a BAD voice actor. It is hard to listen to and follow the story. I have tried several times to finish this book but alas I can't
My favorite genres are absurdist humor, Sci-fi & modern fantasy, but, as you can see, I'll read just about anything. Don't mind the typos.
I liked it. The main character comes off more like he's on the aspergers spectrum than a sociopath but it still works. You'll learn way more about the embalming process than you planed. All 3 books are interesting so don't be afraid to keep going if you like this one.
This book reminded me of the Darkly Dreaming Dexter books which I really enjoyed and this book was just as good. I didn't stop listening until it was done or I had to get some get some sleep. I really like to see Mr. Wells write another story about John and his interesting take on life.
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