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In the year and a half since Jack Clausen lost his five-year-old daughter, RosaMarie, his life has fallen apart. Depressed and despondent, he steps off a platform into an oncoming train, but just before impact, a strong hand pulls him away. A strange, small person offers Jack a way to bring his daughter back, but there is a high price to pay. After Jack's child is returned to him, he refuses to pay his debt, and he experiences a series of new realities, each worse than the one that preceded it. Jack searches for a solution to a problem that only worsens as he confronts his inner demons and the deep issues that destroyed his family.

Semi Finalist

Plot/Idea: 10 out of 10
Originality: 10 out of 10
Prose: 9 out of 10
Character/Execution: 10 out of 10
Overall: 9.75 out of 10

Assessment:

Plot: Knight has developed a twisting and turning tale that constantly keeps the reader interested. This book is far from predictable, and Knight does a wonderful job of retaining the feelings of desperation and suspense throughout.

Prose: The reader will enjoy Knight's effective prose. He is a master at evoking emotions, both joyful and uncomfortable.

Originality: Time travel and alternate dimension books are difficult, and often can feel cliche, as this is a worn-out trope that has been explored for decades. However, Knight spins his story in a wholly original fashion, with a focus on horror and disgust, rather than on space travel or more sci-fi elements. It works tremendously well and is greatly enjoyable, with a similar feeling for the reader as elicited by classics like The Exorcist or Carrie.

Character/Execution: All of Knight's characters are believable, and more importantly, they are extremely creepy in their own right. The realness of the sullen alcoholic father coupled with his depressed, exhausted wife, and their young children who are processing countless familial horrors makes the reader feel that they are living in the same home as this hapless family. Knight has a wide range of skill in character execution.

Blurb: Knight has crafted a disturbing, horrifying, and eloquently written novel that expertly captures the sensations of desperation, fear, and confusion.

Date Submitted: August 02, 2021

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