Monday, December 5, 2011

Forsaken by Andrew Van Wey

Andrew contacted me through email and asked me if I would like to review his book. I, of course, said "yes". I didn't know Andrew and hadn't heard of his book, but this is not unusual. There are so many books out there and so little time to read. What I have to say is-- if you only have time to read one book-- read this one. It's worth it.
The Synopsis: For art professor Daniel Rineheart, life's a dream. His children's laughter fills the halls of his home, and his wife's embrace lulls him to sleep. But summer's end heralds the arrival of three disturbing omens. A lost bird, thousands of miles from home. A beautiful student with whom he shares an insidious past.

...and a mysterious painting, dripping with malignant secrets.

It wasn't the strangest creation he'd ever seen, but close. A girl with a wounded, sack-like face; a boy with pinhole eyes and a cruel sneer; and a distant shadow peering out from behind a dying tree, all stared back at him from that perfect painted canvas.

Yet it wasn't only the subjects that challenged him, but the riddle that came with it.

"Here in Art, Denial."

Four words shrouding a secret that awakens a surreal nightmare. Where objects from his past manifest in canvas and oil. Where painted clocks tick-tock away in the dark hours before dawn, and a missing dog whimpers from between the walls. Where the painted children leave the canvas to stalk the halls of his once quiet and happy home.

And where all answers lead back to a blind artist and an impossible creation, one that threatens to destroy his family and devour his sanity.


Forsaken lives up to all of the potential of the synopsis. The prologue sets the mood for the rest of the story, dark and tragic. What follows is a dark and scary story with all the creepiness one expects from a good horror novel. We follow Daniel down into the darkness beyond the painting and watch as his family is swallowed up too.

The reader is left wondering whether the painting is really supernatural or if Daniel's starting the long spiral into madness or both. The plot spirals in an effective manner that keeps you guessing until the end. The end wraps up the package with a satisfying bow.

Honestly, I was a little creeped out reading it at night, before bed, as is my custom. After the lights were out, I experienced some trepidation. Normally, I pass out without a second thought. To me, that screams success on the part of the writer. If you can make me lose sleep because I'm still thinking about the book- you win- and so do I.

I've seen lots of authors claim that their work is for fans of King, Koontz and Straub. This is the first time I've agreed. Go. Buy this book. You can find it here.

Then stop over at The Author Spot and read my interview with Andrew. He's extremely interesting, funny and articulate.


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