Describe this book in just two words.
Hmmm.... Unexpectedly Creepy! Yup, that about covers it.
This is a tantalizing story that takes the reader into different head spaces and different emotionalities simultaneously. Andy takes full advantage of some seductive storytelling techniques to hook you into turning page after page. First, he demands that you question sanity... that of the characters', and your own, too. Then, he drops you into what should be a safe place, only to ramp up the uncomfortableness of it all. You'll learn that sometimes, safety is simply a foil to reality. Then, he engages you with an old standard, 'Children are often more insightful than the adults'... Yet, how is it that the reader can't understand what they reveal? That should be an easy one, but Andy doesn't make anything easy; and you're thrilled for it. Finally, in an environment where so much time has presented it's secrets, how is it that no one has ever listened long enough to find the alternative solution... or act on it?
This is a story that will keep you on your toes. You won't want to close your eyes, even to rest them in between chapters... don't you dare... you might miss something essential. The layers of characters that live in this book are a wonder to behold. Just when you think you understand the impetus for one's quirks and the motivation for their action... or silence... a new door opens, shoving you headlong into another Empty Hallway you weren't prepared to walk. It's a bit unsettling.... and oh, so rewarding.
Andy Lockwood traverses the edge of spooky just close enough to make you wonder if he'll pull you back to safety in time. When he doesn't, it's a delightful shock to the system. This book is a fascinating study into what might happen if, instead of ending things the way our English teachers taught us, we simply allow the characters to do what they will and take notes to share around the campfire. The comfort in this reading was not found in the delivery of expectations, but in a plot progression I could never have imagined. How nice to discover unsettling creepiness wrapped tightly inside characters I thought I knew.
This is a book I highly recommend!
Learn more about Andy Lockwood at his website.
Check out my two-part interview with Andy Lockwood and his editor wife, Bailey on our Indie Reads TV Program!
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