Zakk reviews “Protection” by Kyle M. Scott.
Overall score: 5/5
“The world is cold and unconcerned with the meagre misery of a man like me.
Nor of any man.
It’s hostile, and full of fear and pain. It wants us to fall. So far down that the wounds cannot heal, and when we hit the floor and the tears burn our eyes and we wail our anger and our disappointment out into the void, I imagine it’s pleased.”
James Kimber, horror writer, widow, father of an eight year old, Edward, has sworn to protect his son from the pains of the world. But how far will he go to keep his word?
Life in the Kimber’s idyllic Oregonian town is rocked by the news of a missing girl. A girl from Edward’s class has been missing for nearly a week, and now it appears that someone is watching the Kimber’s home, sneaking around leaving messages, with the target being Edward and the message being… “You cannot protect him. No one can.”
“The first possibility is that I am losing my mind. It’s that simple. It can happen to any of us at any time, and the call of it may be so persuasive that we know not the moment when the world of the real crosses into the world of the hysterical. The line between worlds is paper thin and fragile as an infant. All we are is wrapped in the colors of our perceived sanity, and the idea…the fact…that at any moment we may slip, and our thoughts and perceptions may no longer orbit the same reality as others, is a fear both primal and altogether too palpable.”
Hands down, “Protection” is a gem of a read and I loved every wrenching page of it. I’d like to tell you that I devoured this in one sitting, dammit I wanted to, but work got in the way and I spent my shift itching, fiending to back into this world, to learn its secrets, to learn the depths of it’s heartache.
This book is going to hurt, it’s going to sting, it’s going to upset. So be sure to steel yourself, set a stiff upper lip. Chances are the facade will chip and crack, like the face of the doll on the cover, before you’re through.
The characters presented here are flesh and blood, the settings are picturesque, the emotion can’t be faked. “Protection” is less a read and more of a vision quest.
I’ve read a handful of pieces from Kyle M. Scott, and I have enjoyed them all. But here he seems to have upped the ante. His prose fluid and hypnotic, and I found myself invested from page one, concerned for the well being of main characters James and his son Edward, even concerned for the missing girl.
I’d call “Protection” a must read title, something that I’ll want to revisit soon and probably add a physical copy to me bookshelf. Thank you Mr. Scott, Ioved this read and I’d be willing to say one of my favorite pieces this year.
Note on the text: This book is peppered with an unconventional indentation. Meaning that every paragraph’s indentation is a little different from the previous and the next. A few spaces shorter here, a few spaces longer there. I don’t know if this is intentional or not, but It seems to give the work an air of chaos, an instability (as if it needed it). It’s a simple thing that put me a bit on edge, as it seems to be hinting at, or providing a nearly imperceptible clue as to a character’s mental state. It’s a neat touch (I’ve been meaning to ask but I don’t want to point out the inconsistency because I don’t want to find out that it is a flaw, I don’t want loose the bit of magic I discovered in the staggered presentation.) Just a little thing that added to the reading spectacle. For me anyways.
“Perhaps there is a higher power; one that looks upon us not with only cold disgust but with sympathy. Or perhaps the gods just enjoy watching the game.”
Zakk is a big dumb animal!