Whoever is born here, is doomed to stay ’til death. Whoever settles, never leaves.
Welcome to Black Spring, the seemingly picturesque Hudson Valley town haunted by the Black Rock Witch, a 17th century woman whose eyes and mouth are sewn shut. Muzzled, she walks the streets and enters your homes at will. She stands next to your bed for nights on end. Everybody knows that her eyes may never be opened.
The elders of Black Spring have virtually quarantined the town by using high-tech surveillance to prevent their curse from spreading. Frustrated with being kept in lockdown, the town’s teenagers decide to break their strict regulations and go viral with the haunting, but in so doing send the town spiraling into the dark, medieval practices of the past.
Hex by Tomas Olde Heuvelt. Book #1 in the Robert Grim series. Narrated by Jeff Harding. Audiobook published by Macmillan Audio, 2016. Originally published in the Netherlands, 2013.
* Trigger Warning: Pet death.
Hex is a book I had been eyeing on the bookstore shelf since it arrived in the USA. I didn’t know the author, but the cover just kept drawing me to it! The premise just sounded intriguing.
So why’d it take me so long to get around to reading it? Well, while I enjoy non-fiction novels about the history of witches / witchcraft, I just don’t care about witches in fiction. I don’t know why? I feel the same way about wizards and magic, too. Just kinda MEH. This summer, while browsing audiobook options, I ran across Hex again. Annnnnnnd…. I finally gave in! Why not give it a try?
Since witch themes aren’t my fave, my expectations were pretty low. I gotta admit, though, I really enjoyed this book! Now, the social commentary in Hex has been done before, but the witch herself feels incredibly fresh! I was extremely fascinated with this unique take on the cursed witch. It was such a curious route to go with her. I was 100% hooked from start to finish!
I do want to bring up a trigger warning for the animal lovers / dog owners. There is a pet death in Hex. It is not overly graphic or detailed at all, and it only happens once. There is brief animal abuse, then the death happens off page. However, the body is found and described briefly. It is easy to skip past that part though.
Now, buckle up, because this is a GRIM story! Holy crap- that ending?!! GEEZ!! 😮 It was BRUTAL! This author does not mess around…
I do kinda wish (and this is not a complaint!) that there had been a little bit of a follow up after the end. Like, did anyone survive?? What did the neighboring towns think?? Did they even go check on the town?? How long did it take for anyone (from out of town) to figure out what all went down? You know? Give me the neighboring towns news report or something!
The narrator is alright. He was a good fit for the main adult PoV. Not as good of a fit for the teen PoV though! All the teens just sounded exactly the same. I absolutely hated how the young kid sounded. 😛 Not. Good. The narrator got the job done though. Not too bad. Didn’t hate it, but didn’t love it either.
Hex is a very enjoyable witch theme horror novel. I had a great time reading this book. I was really surprised by how much I loved it. Witches just aren’t my thing, so, yeah… I was pretty impressed. Very entertaining. I am looking forward to reading something else by this author. 🙂