“Simple reviews from a simple reader…”
Zakk reviews “Through a Mirror, Darkly” by Kevin Lucia. 240pgs published by Crystal Lake Publishing
Overall score: 5/5
“The problem I’m having is this: If I allow myself even the slightest bit of wiggle room for the veracity of Father Ward’s story in this journal, the door is opened wide for all sorts of other things.”
After a career as a teacher, Kevin Ellison is resurrecting his late father’s used/ rare/ antiquity bookstore, Arcane Delights. When his part time assistant finds a mysterious box of items, including journals, Kevin gets a dark and horrific glimpse into the secret lives of people that he knows from town.
A priest battling PTSD and his own personal demons, testing his faith. A cab driver experiencing missing time. A young man looking forward to the county fair is reminiscing over missed opportunities and a lost toxic love. And a group find themselves trapped in a state utilities payment center during the storm of the century.
What transpires in the four novellas, fours lives touched by the same dark influence but manifesting in different ways, is taken from the mystery box of journals. And Kevin is faced with nightmares that he is not sure he does or wants to believe. But these nightmares are just a reflection of a day in the life in the sleepy Adirondack town known as Clifton Heights.
“The road ended abruptly at a wide lake. It’s glass surface shimmered under the black moonlight as yellow, misshapen things frothed in its waves, lurching from the waters and onto the shore…”
So kind for the town of Clifton Heights to welcome me back, with open arms. And it’s good to be back. As “Through a Mirror, Darkly” is a highly enjoyable read, and probably the most engaged I’ve been during a Kevin Lucia book. Either he is honing his craft to a razor’s edge or he has found a way to tap directly into my subconscious to learn what makes me squirm.
TaMD follows in the footsteps of “Devourer of Souls” (also pretty fantastic) & “Things Slip Through” (which I haven’t yet read), depicting shadows from the same small town with familiar locales and recognizable inhabitants. It’s almost like returning home, to a questionable family.
All four novellas, and the accompanying wrap-around story, ooze a thick atmosphere. With each page you are experiencing the dread and the menace along with the cast of fully rendered characters. Well written, highly addicting and instantly accessible. TaMD was difficult to put down when life was pulling me away from my kindle. This is definitely the kind of book that makes you, the reader, yearn for the companion of a dark and stormy night.
“It was like a memory of heaven which felt like a slice of hell.”
Zakk is a big dumb animal!