BOOK REVIEW – Forsaken by J.D. Barker


I received a copy of this book from the publisher in return for my honest review.

I had no idea what type of book this was, so with a very open mind, I plunged in. How thrilled I was at the early mention of Stephen King’s Needful Things! It took me right back to my (much) younger days when I devoured this author’s books, loving the mystery, darkness, and downright horror that was part and parcel of his brilliance! So I settled in for the long haul.

Rachael McAlister wanted to give her husband, author Thad, a very special gift. She was searching for just the right thing that would shift all the obstacles blocking his writer’s imagination. She finds a beautiful leather-bound book at Needful Things, and blithely makes a terrifying trade-off in return for giving the book to her husband.

Alternating between Rachael and Thad’s perspectives, we also follow a book within a book, with chapters from Thad’s book ‘The Rise of the Witch’, based on the Salem Witch Trials. Even some of the names used are names are some of those involved in the trials all those years ago. It weaves in and out of past and present, and the reader is left mystified as to what is real, and what is fantasy?

Thad himself admits that he felt like he was not even writing the book himself: the words simply flowed through him and onto the pages. He feels the strength and control of ‘Her’ and just knows she is closer than she has ever been before to getting what she wants. He has unleashed a demon! But what is she after?

As Thad leaves a heavily pregnant Rachael and young daughter Ashley in order to travel to New York and finalise his book (and hopefully a film) deal, they tumble into a nightmare of epic proportions that will spare none of them! The twists and turns are unpredictable; the intrigue is addictive; the horror is all-encompassing! It’s really quite superb!

The fight is on and Rachael must preserve her sanity and the very lives of those she loves. As her home is invaded by insidious minions and she realises that the despicable hag she dreams of is dangerously real, you can literally picture the crescendo that the story reaches, complete with sound and smell; the author has described it all in perfect, minuscule detail. I was dumbfounded at the end – literally left speechless at the ingenuity with which it was delivered!

This book is a must for fans of Stephen King, Clive Barker and Dean Koontz. It’s not for the faint-hearted and once you start make sure you’ve cleared your calendar because you won’t be able to put it down. This is the first in a series. I can’t wait for the next one.

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