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Publisher's Summary

The English-language debut of the best-selling Dutch novel, Hex, from Thomas Olde Heuvelt - a Hugo and World Fantasy Award-nominated talent to watch

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 homes at will. She stands next to children's beds for nights on end. Everybody knows that her eyes may never be opened, or the consequences will be too terrible to bear.

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, they send the town spiraling into dark, medieval practices of the distant past.

This chilling audiobook heralds the arrival of an exciting new voice in mainstream horror and dark fantasy.

©2013, 2016 Thomas Olde Heulvelt, Nancy Forest-Flier (P)2016 Macmillan Audio

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Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Dark Story...Odd Narrator

As horror stories go, this one is pretty dark. And I write this as a hardened horror novel addict. The premise is promising, intriguing and different, and the story stays strong despite a slight lull in the middle. But fair warning, it gets pretty grim. The writer continues to allude to it and you, the reader, keeps saying, "Worse? It gets worse for these people?" and it does. it just keeps getting worse for the fair residents of Black Spring. So if you like your horror stories mottled with actually horrifying things, you will be satisfied.

Now, the narrator...pretty rough on the ears. Nasal at best, it's the characterizations that are brutal. Half of the characters are women and each one sounds whinier and more repugnant than the next. I would prefer he just varied his cadence as opposed to trying to sound...I don't know...feminine? It was not a great audio experience.

40 of 41 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Wow i'll be sleeping with the lights on for a bit!

I am a huge fan of the horror genre, any medium, i.e. movies, audiobook, etc. Of course my all time favorite writer is the King 👑 but after you've read them all a few times you start to notice that there are only a few authors in this genre who are anywhere close to the level of talent of SK. Until I found this book!!

character development was great! at the end of the book I was left wondering about the fates of many supporting characters. This, to me, is a sign that I actually cared about what happened to them! You are only able to connect with so many characters when each of them is drawn in vivid color.

The concept of the book was awesome and really original IMO. I love the idea of the town living with the knowledge that they are haunted by the BP Witch and even cover her up so that the rest of the world doesn't SEE...pun intended.

Do yourself a favor and get this book. it's worth two credits in my opinion!

28 of 29 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A movie worthy book

I gave this book 5 stars all around due to not being able to stop listening to what would happen next.The "witch" creeped me out,yet intrigued me at the same time.This one is right up there with Stephen King's scary books.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Narrator problems and a story that didn't deliver

I had hoped for more from the ending given the slow buildup. Unfortunately the reveal didn't fit so well with the rest of the plot pieces. Also, the narrator chose to make all women sound like poor parodies of a New Jersey accent and teenagers sound like voice cracking cartoons. Really ruined the atmosphere.

17 of 19 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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One of the worst books I have ever listened to...

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

Honestly, this book was unsalvageable. As a horror novel, there was only one scene where I felt dread. Other than that, it plodded along with no direction or point. The characters are incredibly one-dimensional.

I mean, to give you an idea of how horrendous this book was, towards the end, it actually includes a line that reads "the pate flowed from her womb like afterbirth." This is in regards to a female butcher character.

The threads of the story do not connect to create a cohesive story. And it was boring. More often than not, I found myself zoning out while I was listening, only to find that I didn't miss much, nor did I care that I was missing anything.

Would you be willing to try another one of Jeff Harding’s performances?

I like to think I'm a fair listener, but one of my biggest issues with this book was his performance. All of his female characters were read as if they were naggy 80s cartoon characters. It's hard to take a character named Griselda Holst seriously when she sounds like a villainous witch from some Disney cartoon. This same inflection is then given to all other female characters. His characterization of teenage boys is not much better - giving them the quality of a cliche cartoon bully.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

No. This is probably one of the worst books I've read/listened to in recent memory.

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A masterful tragedy

Don't expect a happy little ending, but do expect a fantastically woven tale about the deprave depths of the human heart and its everlasting consequences.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent impulse purchase!

Bought this on a whim and loved it. Only thing stopping it from getting 5 stars was that the narration wasn't excellent. Not bad, but not excellent. Very absorbing listen...i listened in 2 sittings while clearing out my closet!

9 of 11 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Disturbing

Very interesting and riveting story, which made me listen to the end, although I really have to admit that often enough I found the rather detailed description of some scenes very disturbing. And at no point in time would I have foreseen the end of this story and am rather stunned still (just ended it ;))... Not to spoil it I will not comment on that further.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Maybe it's me?

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

Yes. The elements that worked well were very effective. I enjoy seeing a work that could have been great in addition to great works.

What could Thomas Olde Heuvelt have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

I'm not sure. I suspect that his version was a bit easier to read for a native Dutch reader.... The translator's decision to set the story in America but to erase any Dutch character to the tale and force ordinary suburban life upon us, for me hurt the story.

What about Jeff Harding’s performance did you like?

Was able to become each character. Even the women.

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

Yes.

Any additional comments?

It could be me! There are so many people who love it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Original and engaging but strange hurried ending

Would you be willing to try another one of Jeff Harding’s performances?

Depending on the book. His woman and teen voices where high pitched and sometimes very irritating.

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

yes

Any additional comments?

I was really into this book. It has such an original plot with a modernism that makes it feel so real. I couldn't wait to listen again and found myself actually feeling creeped out at times which is tough for a book to do for me. Till the last 3 chapters I really felt it was the best book I had ever read. Then the ending was a strange and contradictory happening. It made no sense in regards to the entire rest of the book.It didn't feel like it was even written by someone who had read the book up to that point.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful