This is one of those books that I’ve picked up in the book store probably a dozen times, then set it back down without even reading the back cover. I admit it. Even after having seen it probably a dozen times, I still didn’t have the faintest idea what it was about. Then one day I finally just sat down and started reading it. Yes, right there in the store. I was recovering from a half-hour long walk (after a 45 minute workout that morning) so I really needed to sit for a bit, and finally I let my curiousity for “that colored candle series” overtake me.
Within a few pages, I was hooked. I could tell right away that this narrator (first person, btw) was a cut above the average. Firstly, I could almost hear her voice in my head from page one. I knew fairy quickly that I liked her, and that she was a fairly smart cookie.
And, oh yeah, it was scary.
I mean… spine-tingler suspense movie scary. I don’t remember the last time I was this creeped out by a book. There were nights when I’d finish a chapter, then have to read something safe (I mean, really safe, like Anne of Green Gables safe) just to uncreepify myself enough to turn the light off and go to sleep.
The main character, Stacey, is a witch who gets premonition-like dreams. But she’s not an eye-of-newt kind of witch, or even the type you’d see on say, Supernatural, with hex bags and whatnot. Stacey’s spells are all fairly homeopathic, including things like incense, olive oil and herbs. So while hard-core Wiccan stuff freaks me out a bit, this was… okay. This was something just about tangible stuff. She knows her dreams—of someone trying to kill her best friend and roommie Drea—are possibly leading up to an actual event, since she’s had the unfortunate experience of dreaming murderly dreams before, but all she has to go on are her somewhat incoherent dreams. Dreams, and the creepy messages and packages that keep appearing from the would-be killer. All she has to help her figure all this out is her magic, and a little bit of guidance from her [dead] grandmother, who also had the gift.
Stacey’s dreams are really horror-story nightmare stuff, and I was flipping pages in this book faster than my norm by far. The only disappointment I had in this book (no spoilers, I promise) is that the big confrontation scene at the end isn’t half as scary as the dreams leading up to it. Possibly this is a good thing—and I guess it really does make sense now that I look back, because reality is rarely as bad as the things we can imagine, and the doubt of the unknown, but it seemed a little anti-climactic in the novel.
Still, I’m happily reading the sequel as we speak, and am already looking forward to finishing off the series with Stacey and her friends. Very nice characters mixed in with the drama and scary stuff!
My rating overall: A very strong A-