Published: April 16th 2016 by Tor (English Translation)
Whoever is born here, is doomed to stay ’til death. Whoever settles, never leaves.
Welcome to Black Spring, the seemingly picturesque Hudson Valley town haunted by the Black Rock Witch, a 17th century woman whose eyes and mouth are sewn shut. Muzzled, she walks the streets and enters your homes at will. She stands next to your bed for nights on end. Everybody knows that her eyes may never be opened.
The elders of Black Spring have virtually quarantined the town by using high-tech surveillance to prevent their curse from spreading. Frustrated with being kept in lockdown, the town’s teenagers decide to break their strict regulations and go viral with the haunting, but in so doing send the town spiraling into the dark, medieval practices of the past.
I saw this book on a list of Horror books to read during the month of October and the premise had me hooked instantly. I absolutely had to know what was going on with this town and why! However, I didn’t enjoy this book as much as I thought I was going to and I ended up DNFing it.
I’m not sure if it is due to the translation of the book or just the way in which it is written, but I often felt confused as to what was going on and from who’s perspective we were actually reading. The events themselves didn’t particularly flow very well and there was no real explanation happening as to why the Black Rock Witch haunted the town and the people. I felt pretty lost throughout most of what I read, which led to me putting the book down to do something else.
The book is told from various POV’s – ranging from people who live in the town to the people who are tasked with controlling the town and making sure that no one moves there (other than the people who already live there) and making sure that the witch remains a secret from the rest of the world. I didn’t feel like the various POV’s had their own voices, but rather blended together, which made it difficult to differentiate between the various characters. It was easy to forget who was who and where they belonged within the story.
I’m not sure if I just didn’t read far enough or whether it was just me, but the creep factor of this book was basically non existent (it may also have something to do with the fact that I had no idea what was going on). I went into this book expecting to be so scared that I didn’t want to go to sleep, but that just didn’t happen. Even the description of the witch didn’t really creep me out…
All in all, I was left feeling pretty confused throughout this book – whether because of the translation to english or the writing itself, I’m not sure. I wasn’t particularly creeped out, which is a shame because this book sounded so promising! I gave this book 1/5 stars.