I buried myself in this book before All Saints’ Day, before all departed buried in cemeteries woke from their long deep sleep. But I was aware that there were invisible entities prowling in my pitch dark room with indescribably cold temperature; that there was someone with red eyes in black,sneaking a peek over my shoulder. But the most hair-raising part was when I heard a soft but hot whisper closing to my right ear, “ WHAT…ARE …YOU…READING…? My hair stood on end. I jumped to my feet and turned the light on. Shit! Who’s that?
I wish you were not a fraidy-cat . It’s just a corny introduction!
When I was in high school , my cousin and I were so fond of reading horror stories. We would borrow from our friends the famous book which could be bought in National Book Store , The Philippine Ghost Stories. I think it is still available in that book store. Also, we would fain watch such stories documented by then the most-awaited TV program, Magandang Gabi Bayan by Noli De Castro before or during All Saints’ Day. However, I lost my interest in them when I started to study psychology. I don’t believe in entities anymore since I was weaned on science . But I can’t hold back my desire to shatter my curiosity whenever I know of new Stephen King’s best-selling horror books. Thanks to his book On Writing. This book inclined me to read horror stories again.
Aware that Riggs intended to scare readers out of their wits, but I was not. Nevertheless, I was impressed by three things: his PROSE , his concept of the story, and his creative way of delivering the story.
The most commendable thing about this book is Ransom Riggs’s prose- very clean and qualitative. I enjoyed reading as every sentence is well-written. So, I could understand the sentences very clearly. Also, I liked the words he used in describing the situations- good enough to make me as a non-native reader imagine the scenes.
I may not have watched nor read all kinds of horror stories just the likes of Stephen King’s , but I would say that Riggs’s coming up with this kind of story is what is so-called the figment of an author’s imagination. Imagine , peculiar children could be used in characters as ghosts or frightening entities. (I wish societies of peculiar children would not take an umbrage at this concept.)
There is a plot I can bet where the author himself drew the story from and changed its fact. For instance, the experiment of the Hollows in Siberia that caused the vast explosion leading to mutation among them. Could that be the nuclear explosion in Chernobyl?
Another commendable element of this book is its annoying pictures- annoying because the pictures were faked! Only young readers could be fascinated by this trick. If so, why was I impressed? I was impressed because this is what I really want to do whenever I want to imagine the things I read in the books that are beyond my imagination. Just in the story, although Riggs narrated well with his beautiful prose , but since the creatures described are fictitious or made by the author’s imagination, I still had the nosy attitude to take a look at their real description in the pictures. As I was reading the author’s description, I was so excited to turn the next page where I could see the picture. In fact, there were times that I would feel nervous about doing so in fear that the next picture would scare me stiff. (sighs!)
The only parts that lost its originality as well as taxed my excitement or the thrills and chills in the story are:
1. The character who appears to be a friend of the protagonist turns out to be the archenemy. It is an old style.
2. The moments when all the characters fight one another , especially at the light house. What a boring and corny part!
3. As usual the leader of the clan who is expected to be powerful turns out to be a loser. Pooh, another poor imitation!
Whoa, Pardon me, Mr. Riggs! It’s just as well that you wrote it beautifully, but you failed to scare the living day light out of me. I was just tensed. Hehehe As a matter of fact, I would still fain read your sequel, Hollow City. I want to know more about Hollows and wights. ^^
Rating: 3/ 5 stars ( I liked it. )