Book Review: Granjy’s Eyes by Matt McAvoy

About the Book:

Granjy's Eyes

Meet Ollie.
Well-educated and spoilt – a rich kid, fun-loving party-goer and brutal sociopath. Ruthlessly arrogant Ollie takes what he wants, when he wants it. But Ollie’s going to learn, the hard way, that for every action there’s a consequence, and for every bounty a price.

Because living with Granjy isn’t the bed of roses he thought it was going to be; the blind old lady sees everything – sees him – and most of all sees the monster he is becoming. It was she that made him rotten-to-the-core, and now his payment is due – Ollie will tear apart his own dark soul, and Granjy will teach him new meaning of the word ‘remorse’.

My Thoughts:

I come away with mixed feelings after reading this book. At the end, I just gave a sigh of relief that it is over. Some parts of the book had me cringing in horror and wonder at the kind of things the protagonist gets up to. More than that, it amazed me to read about his justification and rationalization of various events.

Our protagonist lives with his grandmother for a good number of years after being kicked out of his parents house. The dynamics between Ollie and his grandmother is weird enough to raise eyebrows, but is well portrayed in the book. However, it is sad that even though Granjy knew everything about Ollie, she didn’t have the mental strength to stand up to him and put him right, and in the end it cost her dearly.

Ollie is a self-absorbed, money minded and materialistic human being, used to getting his own way and not being accountable for anything he did. This is re-enforced when his grandmother always stands up for him and seems to always see the good in him. This particular relationship and Ollie’s ideas will be severely tested later on in the story. The author’s style of writing is quite different and it took me some time to get into the book. It feels abrupt and there seems to be a lack of flow between chapters. This isn’t that much of a problem since the plot seems to flow on in a clear direction.

The characters are interesting and developed to some extent, though there could have been some more depth given to Ollie. There are many incidents that are not even described enough but are mentioned quite extensively, seemingly to make the reader imagine additional details by themselves. The author maintains the pace of the story and the atmosphere quite well. The story moves at a steady pace, the destination becoming clearer and clearer as we progress, with a climactic ending that I am sure no-one will see coming.

A decent pick-me up for those who enjoy psychological thrillers which also touch upon horror.

Book Review: The Black Witch of Mexico by Colin Falconer

About the Book:

The Black Witch of Mexico

Would you sell your soul to have anything you wanted?

Adam Prescott has everything; he’s earning big money as an emergency specialist at one of Boston’s biggest hospitals, he has a fancy apartment in Beacon Hill, everything is working out fine.

But when his girlfriend dumps him, it hits him harder than he expected, and he lets himself spiral. On the advice of his boss he takes a sabbatical in rural Mexico – a place where they still believe in magic – and in witches.

A mysterious figure called the Black Crow tells him he can cast a spell and give him anything – anything – he wants … and though he doesn’t really believe in any of it, Adam is tempted.

Anything at all?

Okay, he says. Okay get me my girlfriend back.

And that’s when the nightmare starts.

From the witch markets of Mexico City to the ancient valleys along the Guatemalan border, places still haunted by the statues and ruins of the Olmecs, he is drawn deeper into a world he doesn’t understand and comes to question everything he once believed.

Are witches just superstitious nonsense? Or is there such a thing as real evil in the world?

The Black Witch of Mexico is a chilling psychological thriller where nothing is quite what it seems.

So be careful what you wish for – you might just get it.

My Thoughts:

“Be careful what you wish for – you might just get it.”

That’s how the synopsis of the story ends and this is an apt way to describe the plot of this book.

The protagonist, an emergency specialist at one of Boston’s biggest hospitals spirals down after his girlfriend dumps him. On the advice of his boss, he takes a sabbatical and moves to Mexico. Here he lives in a village where the people still believe in magic and the existence of witches. What follows is a series of events that form the entirety of the plot.

When the doctor encounters a witch, who offers to give him anything he wants, he asks for his girlfriend back. Thus all hell breaks lose and leads to the beginning of a series of nightmares. Playing on the psyche of the character, the author has written an interesting book. The author’s style of writing is captivating and will ensure that the reader is hooked.

The story is well written and is quite different from most books I have read. However I must say that I did not understand the ending and I feel a little let down by that. The story was built up really well up until that point, but the ending confused me. In spite of this, I thought that this was a good read and would still like to recommend it even though it left me a little confused.