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Ratings and Book Reviews ()

Overall rating

4.5 out of 5
5 Stars
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All Book Reviews

  • Horror with a lot of humanity

    Peter Gardner’s dreams have been taken away from him, until he’s left with only dreams of revenge. He’s decided who’s to blame for the tragic derailing of his young life, and for stealing his hopes of love. But how can he get even from a hospital bed? Then Peter finds a way, and his pursuit of personal justice will twist reality into a horrifying vendetta. A dark story, sure, but you'll be touched by Peter's predicament because all of the human elements are here, as well as a stark look into the shadows. Sean Costello’s rock solid writing can make the impossible as real and visceral as a car accident. You can’t look away, and you can’t stop reading until Costello decides to let you go.

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    4 person found this review helpful

    4 people found this review helpful

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • A punch to the guts

    Don’t read any of Sean Costello’s books if you’re looking for one of those novels that sends the egghead crowd Ooo-ing and Aahh-ing. You know the type of book I’m talking about, the ones reviewers refer to as ‘multi-layered’ and ‘luminous’ or then tell you to ‘linger and savour’ the ‘quiet passages’. Damn, if it’s lingering and savouring you’re after then grab a slice of cheesecake and a nice cup of tea … but forget about Costello's novels because each one begins by laying down a long strip of rubber and then screams toward the far horizon. When you’re strapped into the passenger seat of one of these babies, you better hang on to the By-the-Jesus handle because you’re in for the ride of your life. And while the vector may seem like 180, you'll find the plot takes a sharp 90 before you can say boo. If you’re looking for an old-school good read, turn to Costello. Like Raymond Chandler, Elmore Leonard, Georges Simenon or John D. MacDonald, his prose is tough, his dialogue is tight and his action is swift. But hold on, just because I’m saying you can easily read his work doesn’t mean you can turn off the old brain box. I’m not accusing Costello of creating a cowboy world of white hats and black hats. Just like Stephen King, Costello creates believable protagonists with some likeable traits … and some very dark stuff happening inside their heads (dare I say, ‘souls’). Take Peter Gardner (Captain Quad), the high school wunderkind who after being paralysed descends into a hellish world of rage and blood-soaked revenge. Or how about Scott Bowman (The Cartoonist), the psychiatrist who kills a child and then falls victim to the worm of guilt that chews through his sanity? Or Peter Croft (Here After), whose obsession with finding his child’s kidnapper leads him into an alternate reality? All these guys (and they are all guys) started out ordinary but then something happened to them. But what? That’s the silent question Costello poses, just as he asks if you can draw the line between normalcy and insanity, between the brightly-lit everyday world and the nightmare. How much does it take to push us across that line? I don’t know, do you? Costello suggests all it takes is a porcupine crossing the road (Captain Quad), a sudden winter storm (Squall), a moment of inattention (The Cartoonist), or a call in the night (Eden’s Eyes). Like the anaesthetist in Eden’s Eyes, will you find yourself looking down at an inert body you’re keeping alive only long enough for the scavengers to swoop in and take the eyes, the kidneys, the….? As with Edward Albee, Costello asks if we live our lives in a delicate balance and, if so, how little might it take to tip us to the dark side?

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    2 person found this review helpful

    2 people found this review helpful

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Brilliantly Chilling

    Costello paints a terrifyingly brilliant picture of the downfall of Peter Gardner, star athlete, musical genius and all around Big Man on Campus and how a tragic accident suddenly turns his world around. His descent into misery and rage is chillingly realistic and his discovery and use of supernatural abilities is reminiscent of Stephen King's Carrie.

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    2 person found this review helpful

    2 people found this review helpful

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Chilling, intense, unforgettable.

    This is what I go for when I want a psychological horror story. Chilling, intense, and unforgettable. I have read this book twice. Costello expresses emotions with words remarkably well. Definitely would recommend.

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    2 person found this review helpful

    2 people found this review helpful

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Great Read!

    Really enjoy reading Stephen King stories and I found Sean's writing style to be similar. Great story!

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    2 person found this review helpful

    2 people found this review helpful

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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