So it’s the third day of the ten day review challenge and I’m holding up pretty well. Having a couple of books read or almost read and ready to be reviewed has helped to speed up the process and I’ve found myself worrying less about getting every single detail into the review. I’m focusing on getting more of a feel of the book as a whole and I think it’s working. Today’s review is of a book I started last week; sat in my inbox it had been somewhat overlooked. Whilst sorting through the many emails that flood my inbox I pulled up the first chapter to read and I was on the edge of my seat from the very first couple of chapters. How could I have missed this? Here I bring you a stunning book and a stunning review from mylittlebookblog.
Who is Ethan Cage? Is he just a troubled 17-year-old high school student? A quiet, intelligent kid with a bad home life? Or is he a shattered human being, a boy who lost his faith in the world when he discovered that his loving father was secretly a psychotic serial killer? As Ethan’s world suddenly spirals out of control, he must confront the reality of his dark past and finally make the decision that will either define his life – or cut it short prematurely.
The book follows Ethan Cage an angst ridden character who finds out, at a young age that his darling father is a murderer, a serial killer in fact. Named the Mutilator and known for his brutally violent and distressing kills, with his father locked away and his mother addicted to popping pills Ethan hasn’t had the greatest start in life. But now, aged seventeen his sweet girlfriend Whitney by his side things may be looking up. Until that dreaded phone call explaining Carter Cage has escaped and the killings have begun again. Using a secret code his father is contacting Ethan but why? What is the reason behind the killings? Ethan must stand his ground and decide which side of his father is the real one; friend or foe?
As I’ve said before the book immediately struck a chord with me. The first chapter is set in the past not only helps set the scene but plunges the reader straight into the action and the original relationship between Ethan and his father. Doting father and inspired son; suddenly the rose tinted glass is broken and the satanic murders of Carter are revealed. From this moment the story darts into action, moving with pace interweaving a number of different story lines; the relationship between Whitney and Ethan, the abusive relationship between his mother and Mary his little sister, the interweaving relationships of his friends as they learn more about Ethan and of course the grizzly murders. At first I thought it might get messy but each is handled carefully and they interweave perfectly so you’re constantly slamming through the pages desperate to find out more.
The character profiles are built up brilliantly and developed consistently throughout. Ethan displays a split personality; both desperate to open up but also terrified of giving too much away. Whitney plays a minor role but she is strong willed and determined. Not afraid to say what she thinks and make her own decisions I found her rather endearing. Anthony is a stereotypical lad but underneath he is a loyal friend; I could honestly go through and detail describe each character main and supporting. The author has obviously a lot of skill in writing characters.
The plot moves with pace and creates suspense throughout. The killings are brutal and frequent and the author dodges why they have been killed until right till the end. I thought that the communication between Ethan and his father really helped to add a human side to the story. You are constantly reminded that this is a father and son relationship. Additionally the storyline revolving around his mothers abusive relationship with Mary creating an interesting contrast and at the end created a very personal and emotional ending. I thought the mirroring story line between Whitney’s mother and her boyfriend Ed was also an interesting plot line and added another connection between Ethan and his loving girlfriend.
The only critique I have is difficult to explain without spoiling it but the author constantly plays with the idea the idea that the urge to kill is an illness and Carter Cage is killing to try and cure his son of said illness. For me at the end I thought it could have been better explained how the killings were going to cure Ethan or whether it was a presumed cure. It was difficult to tell and I thought it could have been described a little better. Maybe it is for the reader to decide?
Overall I really really enjoyed this book; the writing is strong and well developed. The character profiles are strong and really help to move the story along. They also helps to make sure each of the plot lines stays defined rather than get messy. I don’t read a lot of thriller/horror books but I would love to read more from this author and his wonderful characters. This is definitely an author to watch!