If I were to create a list of “A Reader’s Simple Pleasures”, the first two items that I’d jot down are:
- Reading a good book—but not just any book—one that not only provides a true escape, but the reader also can’t put it down. I’m talking about the kind of book that grasps you from the beginning, and never lets go until the last few words.
- Discovering new authors—feeling the accompanying sense of excitement and the urgency to tell other readers the great news.
Both of these statements apply to my experience reading Consequences. This book had so many features that I loved. I’ll begin by discussing the layout. I absolutely adore author’s notes of any kind in a book. This includes notes by the author of the book, but it’s an added bonus when there’s also a foreword by another writer. Imagine my glee when I discovered that not only is there a foreword (by Bryan Smith, nonetheless), but there’s also an afterword by John Quick himself. I really enjoyed this aspect, as well as the prologue and epilogue that begin and end this story.
Then we come to the bulk of the story, sandwiched in between the informative authors’ notes, and that’s packed full of some of my favorite things, such as:
-Great pacing: I was drawn in with the events in the prologue, and from then on I never noticed a lull in the story. I loved that the action was spread out over time, and that the killings didn’t happen in only one setting or over the course of a couple hours. Which leads me to the next item…
-Solid character development: I really enjoyed the characters in this one. The pacing of the action in this story allowed for time to get to know each character (some more than others). I was genuinely disappointed with each character who died along the way, and felt fully immersed in the experience. I could even see some of my own traits in a few of them, and this allowed for more of a connection to the story. The dialogue is not only true to the setting, but there are also some deep conversations that occur between some of the characters at different points in the story. Also, I found the villain to be extremely sinister. The fact that he was just a man without supernatural powers really creeped me out. There are a few types of villains that truly scare me, and this was one of them.
This is a novel that reads like a slasher film with depth. There are some gory moments when I actually caught myself wrinkling my nose in disgust, but in between those moments, there’s much more to the story. I’m so into John Quick’s storytelling style. He takes the reader on an adventure that conjures up an impressive range of emotions. Fear, disgust, and sadness abound, but there’s also a chance to revel in the connections between the characters—to share their moments of happiness and hope.
This is an impressive debut novel, and the fact that this was the author’s first release makes me even more excited to read his other work. Although the bulk of the story is set in modern times, Consequences has all the makings of the “Paperbacks from Hell” style books that we all know and love. For that reason, I think it’s the perfect novel to make its comeback in the form of a mass market paperback. I hope that this updated release sends John Quick into the spotlight where he belongs, and I have no doubt I’ll be sharing more of his work in the near future.
Rating: 5/5 Stars
Publisher: Poltergeist Press
Release Date: January 24, 2020
Note: I received an advance copy of this title for review consideration.