Author: Graham Joyce
‘Indigo is a color the human eye can never truly see, a slice of the spectrum imbued with the promise of invisibility. But in the dark world occupied by Jack Chambers’ father, indigo will also lead to places of unknown treachery, and ultimately, to madness.’
Despite having met Graham a couple of times now, I realised at Alt Fiction that I’d never read any of his books. I did promise myself I would when I met him at Leicester Writers all that time ago; feeling that it would be a nice thing to read his work knowing he was Leicester based and a writer of fantasy. It took getting to Alt Fiction to finally get around to grabbing a book of his and he’s the one who recommended I try this one.
So… Jack Chambers, estranged from his father, is called to the states to work through a list of tasks from the will. He meets his half sister, his nephew and a colourful array of other characters who join him on his journey in search of the elusive colour indigo. A colour said to exist only to the eyes of a special, trained few.
Weird. That is my best description for this book, very, very weird, but I did enjoy it. It was a step away from fiction that I might normally read, but I think I enjoyed it more as a result. The story bimbled along at comfortable pace – I wasn’t about to get lost – and the characters were colourful enough to keep me turning pages. Though Jack’s infatuation with his sister was just a little bit odd for me.
Anyway, if you like weird and more than a little bit spacy, pick this book up for a read. It will certainly keep you entertained.
Author: Shaun Hutson
‘Your next words could be your last…’
I saw this book on my shelves and found myself really confused. I didn’t recognise the cover, the blurb or the opening line. Then I realised, with stunned horror, that I owned a Shaun Hutson book and hadn’t managed to read it! What the hell?! This give is my favourite author ever and I’ve forgotten one of his books?!
So, in true Illy-Style, I picked it up, put it in my bag and spend the next two days reading about Paul Crane, the recently redundant copy writer who wakes up in a coffin; kidnapped by the bereaved couple who believe he has murdered their daughter.
Now… were this not one of Shaun’s books, I might have lost patience early on. The beginning was a bit fragmented for my tastes: jumps in time, parallel, seemingly unrelated storyline that had no mesh point and a protagonist I didn’t even like all that much. I don’t think I’ve encountered Shaun writing like this before, but his plan all became clear like a slap in the face not too far into the novel. And boy was it worth it!
There is a special skill in being able to grab and hold a reader’s attention with just one character trapped in a tiny space. Its a skill Shaun obviously has by the bucket load and Epitaph is another example of his ability to grab readers by the throat and hold them down.
I couldn’t stop reading. I didn’t want to, and, as ever, I found myself speed reading because I was just so desperate to know what came next. Even when it all sent chills down my spine and made bile bubble in my gut.
Awesome read. Totally fantastic; would recommend over and over (and over!).