Book Review: The Mark of the Damned

in #steempress2 years ago


I could never watch a horror film without suffering nightmares for days. Weeks even. Still can’t. And so, for a long time, I thought horror as a genre wasn’t meant for me. But only a few months ago, I discovered that I can listen to horror. I can read it. As long as I don’t watch it, my brain will happily refrain from torturing me. My brain is very visually focused and as long as I take care not to get the wrong images in front of me, I can enjoy as many horror stories as I want. I could never watch a horror film without suffering nightmares for days. Weeks even. Still can’t. And so, for a long time, I thought horror as a genre wasn’t meant for me. But only a few months ago, I discovered that I can listen to horror. I can read it. As long as I don’t watch it, my brain will happily refrain from torturing me. My brain is very visually focused and as long as I take care not to get the wrong images in front of me, I can enjoy as many horror stories as I want. This led me, through a long and twisted journey, to The Mark of the Damned by Daniel Willcocks. I was lucky enough to receive an eARC copy. And I do mean it when I call it luck.
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I’m a picky reader. Especially when reading an advanced copy, one can expect to encounter a few errors that have yet to be caught in proofreading. I usually have a hard time looking past things like that, but I was pulled along in the wake of Quinton as he grapples with a situation in which he’s given little or no choice. The book leans a wee bit towards a male gaze now and then but with a main character like Quin, and a best friend like Gabe, it’s not that odd. There are times when I felt sorry for him, times when I was rooting for him. And times when he pissed me off. That, to me, is the mark of strong, immersive writing. If a character is getting on my nerves, it means they’re real to me. And if I read on, even though they’re being a mansplaining git, it means I care enough to suffer the annoyance for the sake of a good story. All jokes aside, with this as a first foray into long form horror, I can honestly say it won’t be my last. I can’t say whether it does everything a horror story needs to do, since I’ve not been reading the genre for very long. It’s not flawless either. No book is. Only dead things are flawless and dead is one thing this story is not. It has me rooting for these characters, against the odds, against the inevitable. And when it happens, it does so in a way I somehow didn’t see coming despite being inevitable. Bottom line: I liked it a lot. Hugs Jasmine    

Posted from my blog with SteemPress : http://jasminearch.com/index.php/2019/10/31/book-review-the-mark-of-the-damned/
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