This is the first time I have been asked to review someone’s work! How exciting!
When Ben messaged me on Instagram I was very shocked and flattered that he would trust me with his work. (He must’ve never listened to my comedy/horror podcast.)
Luckily for him, this is a completely different format! I promise to take much better care of his book, and anyone’s book, as opposed to how I usually make lots of trashy funnies about people’s films. 🙂
It wasn’t easy for anyone to grow up in Clever Rock, which is the murder capital of country. However, it was especially difficult for Natasha, who was only 13 when her innocence was stolen from her by a grown man. Threatened by her rapist, Natasha stayed silent out of fear for her and her loved ones safety.
Thirty years later, we are introduced to Natasha as she is now; a 43 year old recovering drug addict suffering from mental illness. Plagued by her assault, Natasha finally reveals the identity of her rapist.
Almost immediately after her confession, the people around her begin to be murdered, and she is being stalked. Who could be coming after her? What do they want? Will Natasha be able to identify her attacker before he comes for her? Or will her demons get to her first?
I believe this is one of the first “novellas” I have ever read. It is roughly 84 pages, so I was able to get through it in just under an hour.
The story moves quickly and seems to be very straight forward. I found this both enjoyable and frustrating at times, since there were moments where I wanted more detail. However, this may be because I am not used to a shorter story, so I can’t say this is entirely the book’s fault. In contrast, because of its bluntness, I felt like the book progressed at a steady pace and never once felt like it was dragging.
The plot turns and twists ended up reminding me of the types of movies we review on our podcast, so I was not surprised at all when I went to Ben’s Instagram account and discovered that this had been turned into a script.
It very much has all of the makings to be a horror movie that you’d randomly watch with your friends on a Friday night. Some parts seemed a little silly, and other parts were very relate-able, but overall is was a wild and fun ride.
However, I must be honest… The biggest shock for me was that the end of the novel included heavy suggestion of religion and Christianity. When reading horror novels there are a few things you can expect, right? Blood, guts, ghosts, spooky stuff, probably a little sex here and there. However, I am rarely ever expecting religious suggestion!
I fully understand that this is Ben Hoene’s book! He can, and should, do whatever he wants with his story. This includes adding in his beliefs and principals of his religion. However, since they are not exactly my beliefs, I have the choice to not favor that element of the story, as I usually avoid topics like religion and politics like the plague.
Overall, the potential I see in this author is considerable. I will be interested to see if he moves forward in writing any full length books, as that is usually more my speed. I will definitely be keeping an eye out for Ben’s future works in both film and writing and I wish him the best of luck with his screenplay. 🙂
My Rating: ★★★★☆
The book is available on Amazon! $3.99 for paperback and free to Kindle Unlimited.