The Eyes of Madness presents “Simple reviews from a simple reader…”
“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.”
Lilith Sinclair has disappeared.
Two days have passed since pretty nine year old, Lilith, vanished without a trace, shaking the once peaceful seaside town of Arlington, Oregon, to its very core. The locals are scared, the community fears the worst, and a terrible dread has nestled in the hearts of the town’s mothers and fathers .
The parents are terrified that their child could be next.
James Kember is one such parent. An author of horror fiction, James is no stranger to the macabre, but when strange messages begin appearing around his home that seem to target his beloved son, Eddie, he begins to understand true fear.
Someone, or something, is coming for his boy. It wants to take his only child down into the darkness. Now, to protect little Eddie, James will have to embrace a darkness that is all his own.
For the others are waiting, where the dead ones play.
**PLEASE NOTE: This title is a re-release of a book previously titled Protection. The cover is different, the title is different, but the inner workings are the same. I prefer the original title & and cover, it provides a bit more ambiguity. But alas, this is not about me. This is an updated review that I wrote for Protection, henceforth Where the Dead Ones Play, my absolute favorite read of 2015**
“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, Where the Dead Ones Play is truly a gem of a dark fiction read. I loved every wrenching page of it. I’d like to stand here and tell you that I devoured this in one sitting, dammit I wanted to so badly, but work got in the way, page blocking every step of the way. I spent my entire shift itching, fiending to back into this bleak world, to uncover its secrets, to learn the depths of it’s heartache.
This read 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, and brace for impact. Chances are the hearty facade you’ve thrown up will chip and crack before you’ve finished.
The characters presented here are flesh and blood, you feel every emotion that James is experiencing, his uncertainty, his fear. He has an air of chaos around him, an instability from past choices that the supporting cast helps to brings back to earth. It’s an emotional carnival ride providing nearly imperceptible clues as to a character’s mental state. These emotions can’t be faked, can they?
Where the Dead Ones Play is less a read and more of a vision quest. A journey into a dark cavern where your primal worries live and breathe. Hunt and devour. It goes where you fear it will, but at the same time where you couldn’t imagine. A brick smashing through your wall of safety.
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, gliding along at a feverish pace, strumming your nerves like strings of a puppet. 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. When a personal connection to a fictional character comes along it is to be cherished, and nurtured, until it breaks your heart.
I’d call Where the Dead Ones Play a must read horror title, something that I’ll want to revisit soon and probably add a physical copy to me bookshelf. Thank you Mr. Scott, I Ioved this read and I stand behind my statement that this is one of my favorite reads.
“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.”
Overall score: 5/5
Zakk is a big dumb animal!
**NOTE: I had purchased and read it in its previous form of Protection released in 2015. This is an honest review. These are my unbiased feelings.