Monday, June 4, 2012

Review: The Sorrow King

The Sorrow King
The Sorrow King by Andersen Prunty

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Book Info: Genre: Dark Fiction Reading Level: While the characters would make it YA, the content makes it Adult

Disclosure: I received a free copy from Amazon on a sale and am happy to provide an honest review.

Synopsis: "There are no happy endings in hell."

The papers call it “The Suicide Virus.” The teenagers of Gethsemane, Ohio, are killing themselves at an alarming rate.

Steven Wrigley is trying to survive his senior year of high school, still reeling from the death of his mother and adjusting to life with his father. While sleeping, Steven writes names in a notebook-- the names of dead teenagers before he can possibly know they’re dead. These messages fill him with dread, clues to some mystery he must try to unravel. Along the way, he meets a girl who becomes another kind of obsession: Elise Devon.

Elise’s secrets keep her distanced from everyone. She has a special place she calls the Obscura. She goes there when she is depressed or angry. The Obscura makes her feel like nothing she’s ever felt before. She soon realizes the Obscura may be partially to blame for the suicides. When she loses herself to the Obscura, she fears she also gives herself to something much darker, something much more powerful. Something calling itself the Sorrow King.

Who is the Sorrow King? He is carved from wood and bone. He smells like wax, dead leaves, and memories. He travels by moonlight and drinks the sorrow of others. And, drunk from this sorrow, he must always create more.

Can love exact vengeance on a monster made from madness, depression, and misery? Or will the Sorrow King bleed the town dry before satiating himself and moving on?

My Thoughts: In a book that calls itself suspense or horror, there should be at least one moment where you are startled enough to voice an expletive out loud. There were a couple of those in this book. While it is very dark, I would not call it horror because of the ending, so I’m calling it Dark Fiction.

Prunty does a good job with characterization; you feel as if you really understand the characters in this book. There are plenty of twists and turns as well – you never know exactly what is going to happen next, except for a few instances in which some foreshadowing is employed. The plot moves smoothly while keeping the reader in the dark about the mystery behind the scenes. Fans of dark or bizarre fiction should enjoy this.

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