Wakening The Crow

Wakening the Crow - Stephen Gregory

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Oliver Gooch is finding himself fulfilling some of his lifelong dreams, all due to compensation money given to him and his family after his daughter Chloe's accident. He opens up a book shop after buying a renovated church and is given a tooth claimed to be from Edgar Allan Poe when he was a boy. Oliver displays the tooth as the centre piece of the shop but is the gifted tooth a good luck charm or is it cursed. As Oliver gets ready to open up his shop he comes across a bedraggled looking crow that becomes a permanent fixture in his shop and home, it's presence soon begins to change the dynamics of the family causing their lives to slowly unravel.

 

I don't know where to start with this book, the sense of dread and impending doom was intense and there were so many moments in the book where I cringed at what might happen next. This read was so uncomfortable at times, the author managing to keep everything just off kilter enough to stop me feeling at ease with what I was reading.

 

There is so much beautiful imagery used that it made the disturbing scenes all the more effective, lulling me into a false sense of security before pulling the rug out from under me completely. I like to think it takes a lot to shock me as a reader and I was caught out on several occasions with the author setting up a beautiful scene only to do something so unexpected with it that it would stop me dead in my tracks, stunned at the outcome.

 

I'm only going to talk about one character, Oliver, I've never felt so conflicted with a character before. The author does an incredible job of setting him up as a believable, decent human being but then starts to pull at the threads of this, causing doubt, confusion and disbelief when he acts contrary to how he was first presented. I ended up hating him, his selfishness and acts as a father and husband were at times disgusting. A lot of my uncomfortable moments in this book came from his actions or thoughts. I'm not sure what to make of the ending, as everything is told through Oliver' s POV, I don't really trust that he's a reliable narrator.

 

An absolutely cracking read, it's a slow burn and it took me until about 1/3 in before it started picking up but this is well worth reading especially for those that love quiet, psychological horror.

 

Highly recommended.