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Friday, May 8, 2015

No Reflection - A subtly terrifying paranormal investigation novel, and a treat to read! 4.25/5

Today, I am reviewing the Paranormal/Horror story No Reflection by Spencer Hughes. Reminiscent (to me) of the works of E.J. Stevens crossed with a bit of Stephen King, No Reflection introduces a regular (as far as we know!) protagonist, Nicole, who becomes the unexpected target of a serial killer after witnessing a horrific scene in the New York Subway. She teams up (reluctantly at first) with a group of “monster hunters” who believe the perpetrator to be some sort of supernatural.

I give this book a solid 4.25/5. Here is my breakdown.

Characters: 4/5. Pretty darn great. I’m a fan of the “normal person caught in the supernatural” trope, and Hughes did it well. I could feel Nicole’s terror as she faced these events without knowing why she was targeted…or even by whom. The violation of her personal everything was perfectly crafted. I look forward to learning more about the team she fell in with, though; their characterizations, while good, felt just a tad one-dimensional, probably because the story was focused so much on Nicole.

Plot/Storyline: 5/5. Bravo! I was creeped out from the beginning. The hook was effective, and the final reveal, while I (like the main character) saw it coming, was still emotionally powerful. I applaud Hughes for creating such an intricate thriller/horror and weaving it deftly.

Flow: 4.5/5. Great. I tore through this book as quickly as I could. There were sufficient slow-downs to keep it from being a madhouse, but there was always pressure, always something that needed to be done. That’s the way I like my books.

Spelling/Grammar: 4/5. There were a couple of typos in this book, but little of note. One thing I do want to mention (only because I noticed it) is that Hughes has an interesting thing he does in dialogue. Rather than using ellipses (I just…I just wanted to go.”), he uses a full period stop (I just. I just wanted to go.”). This happens a lot, and I’m not saying it’s wrong, but it’s different enough that I noted it and it caught me a few times. It’s a much more jarring transition than the ellipsis…not that I like books that are overpeppered with ellipses, either J

Overall: 4.25/5. Very good. Very, very good. I will be reading the sequel when it’s out. This kind of story is one of my favorites, and Hughes pulled it off with aplomb. Thank you for the opportunity to read it, and good luck!

You can purchase No Reflection at the link below. 

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