I bought this ebook by mistake. I read good reviews of Seed by Rob Ziegler, an eco-thriller which sort of reminded me of the Wind-up Girl. And then I noticed the Seed ebook was on sale on Amazon for $2.99. They both have similar beige/orange color covers with the black outline of a tree but I should have noticed the horned and cloven footed guy under the tree and I obviously wasn't paying attention to the authors, so I just bought it. (So easy to do on Amazon with the Buy now with one click.) It turned out to be a happy mistake because this book was perfect for RIP and I really enjoyed it.
Jack and his wife Aimee are short on money and have some marital conflict over Jack's weekend performances in a band but they seem to be basically an average family with two cute little girls. One night they are in a car accident when Jack rolls the car with the entire family inside swerving to miss some yellow glowing eyes in the road. After that night their youngest daughter just isn't quite the same.
As the story unfolds we learn that Jack had seen these glowing eyes before when he was a boy in an old cemetery by his house and crouching in the corner of his bedroom. He had run away from his boyhood nightmare but cannot remember the details of what exactly happened when he ran away. As his beloved little girl changes dramatically before his eyes and his wife and older daughter become afraid of her, he must try to remember the past that he thought he put behind him.
This was a very creepy Southern Gothic horror story which I really enjoyed. The atmosphere was great. The evil stalking Jack and Charlie was suitably circumspect initially so you were left wondering whether it was real or simply in Jack's mind. Anyone who has read a horror story or seen a horror movie would know from the set up that things were not going to go well for this family once those glowing eyes showed up but the path of the plot was unique and interesting. And the characters, often not a strong suit in horror novels, were compelling. The only criticism I have is that there were certain story aspects that I thought were interesting which didn't lead anywhere but over all I thought it was well done.
I was curious about the history of this book because it was originally self published and I haven't really read any self published books before but the version I read was apparently published by 47North, one of Amazon's publishing groups and edited and expanded prior to this publication. The author talks about this re-release process on her blog which I found very interesting. Seed was the author's first novel and I would definitely be interested in reading more from her.