You pour kerosene over the Dead-Eye. You rub it clean. You put it in your mouth and suck off the kerosene, then spit it into your palm. You hold open the lid of your left eye, and you shove the Dead-Eye into the empty socket.
Something is released inside you. The pain of losing your eye is gone in a breath. You are filled with electricity, and when you open your Dead-Eye, you see the world for the first time. You see a Boogerbear with such detail that you could count its feathers.
Wink has been compared to a Stephen King novel, but I've read Carrie and The Shining and this is a bit more "tame." However, it's definitely one of the weirdest/most "unique" books I've read lately, and because of that, it might be geared towards a specific audience.
In this thriller set in a rural Gulf Coast town, twelve-year-old Marty Jameson finds refuge in the attic from his mother’s abusive rages. But only during the day. At night the attic holds terrors even beyond what he witnesses in his home. With a family made up of a psychotic mother, a drug-dealing father and a comatose older brother withering away in the spare bedroom, Marty feels trapped.
Next door, wheel-chair bound Sadie Marsh obsessively watches Marty’s comings and goings from her bedroom window, despite her mother’s warning about the evil in that house. Evil which appears to Sadie as huge black-winged creatures.
Marty, emotionally torn by the violence and dysfunction in his family, is drawn to Sadie and her kindly mother. But if he is to save his new friend from the supernatural horror threatening them all, Marty must transform himself from victim to hero. And to do so, he must first confront what lurks hidden in the shadows of his attic.
This novel reminded me a LOT of Betty's Child, which I recently reviewed, at least before it got more in to the supernatural side of the book. Marty lives in an abusive household, and his mother doesn't really care about him; his father knows his mother is a wacko, basically, but keeps her around for sex. He had a brother, Gerald, who he accidentally shot when he was younger, and who lives in the house but is barely alive - he's on a breathing machine and is fed via tube. Marty's neighbor, Sadie, who is in a wheelchair, likes to watch Marty from her house, as he's always up to something interesting.
One of the things I liked about this book is that it let us see different POVs (points-of-view) throughout. Marty used to be close to his Uncle Cooper, and even though Cooper is now deceased, we get a few excerpts from his POV. In addition, we get to peer inside his crazy mother's head too - I thought this passage was especially poignant, about Marty's shooting:
Your youngest son, the mistake, the goddamned stupid mistake from one night of careless sex that wasn't even that great is sitting in a chair on his knees, holding that .38 pistol your husband calls Mad Annie because it is a woman's gun with a woman's one-pound pull on the trigger. The smoke from the shot lingers around the mistake like a gray, smoldering halo.
On the floor beneath the mistake is your oldest son. He is eighteen. He is beautiful. He is a god in a god's body. He rests on the floor beside the chair the way a puppet might fall if you cut his strings and let him drop, arms flayed with his chest on his knees.
"I didn't mean it," your mistake says.The ending and also an incident in the middle of this book were especially crazy, and the author (Eric Trant) must have an especially vivid imagination in order to have written it.
3.5 stars out of 5.
*Disclosure: I was provided with a copy of this novel for reviewing purposes. The opinions expressed here, however, are my own.
GIVEAWAY:I have one copy of Wink to give to a lucky reader. Enter via the Rafflecopter form below. The contest will end next Monday, August 12th, at 11:59pm EST, and the winner will be emailed on August 13th and have 24 hours to respond, or an alternate winner will be chosen.
Open to all countries but U.S/Canada winners will receive a print copy; all other residents will receive an e-book copy.
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