So I see an upcoming book that will be published by DarkFuse in September and has an extremely creepy cover of a picture of a girl with her eyes darkened with blood and a third eye carved into her forehead and of course my first thought is that I need to read this one as quickly as I can get my hands on it. Well, I did exactly that when I got a review copy of “Bloodeye” by Craig Saunders.
Keane Reid has lost his purpose in life. Since his wife was murdered years before, he has simply wandered aimlessly through life caring more about getting by than on living. One day he is called out to a local bar to take care of a backup in the sewer system. He expects this to be just another mundane job. That starts to change when he finds the toilet to have been completely and purposefully shattered. All hell starts to break loose when he finds the crucified body of a girl on the wall behind the door.
Keane had seen something like this before. In fact, his wife was murdered in a similar fashion but that murderer had been stopped forever. Or had it? Now Keane must stare squarely into the face of madness as his past comes crashing into the present. He cannot tell fact from fiction or the past from the present and he feels his grip on his very humanity beginning to slip in the face of the shadow that has come calling for him once more.
“Bloodeye” is an interesting novella that is not afraid to stray very far from conventional storytelling to create something new and terrifying. There is a lot of imagery at play here that conjure up the darker side of all things. The reader quickly comes to realize that Keane is up against some sort of dark magic or that he is completely insane and Saunders pounds the reader with horrific images that could arguably support either claim. The chapters are kept very short and quick without much transition so that the reader is never quite able to settle in to a comfort zone when reading the novel. It is almost as if the story is unfolding in real time and the reader is trapped as an unwitting victim to the unrelenting horror of the novella. This is not a story that can be read passively but rather one that asks the reader to completely buy in to the experience to achieve its end.
With all of that being said, “Bloodeye” just never seemed to come together for me in manner that left me satisfied. The narrative remained too disjointed that I often found myself confused as to what was actually happening and this made the story difficult to follow at times. While I do not have a problem with that as long as the story pulls together in the long run, this never really seemed to happen either. I can appreciate what the author was trying to do but it just did not work for me in the end. I would say that I enjoyed reading “Bloodeye” but that it just lacked the focus that it would have needed to be more than just a good novella. I would still recommend it for fans of the genre but I would imagine that it is not a book for everyone.
I would like to thank DarkFuse and NetGalley for this advance review copy. “Bloodeye” is scheduled to be released by DarkFuse in September and is available for preorder now.