I See You Paperback – 2015
Liam's life has become a waking nightmare. He's plagued by constant headaches and is hounded by inexplicable events bordering on the insane. He is convinced that his vindictive ex, Lily, despite her vehement denials, is the one sending him disturbing packages. The only bright spot in a life gone berserk is Aliana, the woman Liam has loved ever since he saw her in a parking lot. But a shocking revelation about her leaves him questioning everything he knows. As Liam plunges deeper into the twin abysses of unbridled love and unexplained insanity, he has to do all it takes to stop his life from spiraling out of control.
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Top customer reviews
Either the reviews are paid or they really fail to see the fallacies surrounding this lame attempt to write a book.
This is supposed to be a horror thriller. Neither is the story scary nor is it thrilling.
One of the most boring book i have read in the recent times.
The editing is choppy and is filled with typos and grammatical mistakes.
Get this if you have exhausted all the other options from horror genre.
One thing I didn't like was that it ended quite abruptly, as if the author was in a hurry to have all the questions answered.
Nevertheless, thoroughly enjoyed the story and even got fairly creeped out.
4 stars it is.
P.S: Don't read this before going to bed. I made that mistake, never again.
First Impression – The Title “I See You” and the smoky cover doesn’t scare you at its first pick, but once you’re done reading am sure it will scare you when you walk past your bookshelf. An Apt title and the best cover, I loved the blurb though I picked a dictionary to understand. Blame my vocabulary!
Overall Impression – Andy (that’s how I call her) just nailed it. She wanted to scare her readers, and she has done it with ease. Impeccable work, the narrative pulls you to the edge of the seat and tortures you to complete the read disturbing your day to day life. The first message I sent her when I was through 30% is ‘I hate you‘ that’s how she scared me.
What did I love about the book? – ‘Everything, every little thing.’ I loved the crispy dialogues. When the person over phone asks “am I clear” the other responds “Crystal” – can it be any better? Very crispy, neat, meaty and right. Needless to mention the awesome editing by Neil and Varun of Pen Paper Coffee.
Wow Factors: 1) As mentioned before, the dialogues and phrases, few samples below: (Am Sorry Andy, I loved these, bang me later for these spoilers!)
The icy tentacles of terror grasped his heart, squeezing it inch by inch, robbing his breath in the process
It was enough to tilt Liam’s world on its axis
“… was his bed, covered with a rumpled sheet and a blanket laying bunched at the foot.”
2) Vocabulary and choice of words: Impeccable! It was a treat to read, I should thank a fellow reviewer Komal who pointed out the sophisticated words throughout and hence, I picked a Kindle version to ensure that it eases my search. Few words like “Raspy, papery, girth, eke, nymph” were picture perfect. It added enough flavor that the world she built and the story demanded it all. Justice was done to be precise.
3) She fit in the pieces of puzzles in the right place. There comes a point where Lily’s action pins doubt, but then the author has cleverly inserted a leaflet to elaborate her character in advance. A clear and concise detailing that map of what each person would do and what their character is. Special kudos! I loved this trick. Way to go Andy!
Frown Factors: 1) The story is so interesting that few words that were way out of the league for me to understand made me frown and feel aargh. Example: Perfunctory, harrumphed, sinewy, olfactory and there are words for which Kindle threw up stating “No meaning found.”
2) The chapter “Fateful Encounter” ends with an astonishing element, which could have waited until the next chapter that would have hammered the reader’s skull. The actions following the broken-egg surprise element were skimmed. If another edition rolls out, I request the author to screw the nuts of this chapter.
3) The ending was a rush – I felt suffocated. All of it was answered in here. It felt like someone read the book till 90% and questioned why these happened for which the last chapter was used as an answer paper. It could have been a bit slow, but maybe, it would have resulted in a looser story. The author knows it better!
My opinion: I thoroughly enjoyed the book. The best read of my recent times. I didn’t sleep last night and answered every screech I heard given the impact.
Thoughts: Stephen King’s quotation says, “There are books full of great writing that don’t have very good stories. Read sometimes for the story. Don’t be like the book snobs who won’t do that. Read sometimes for the words – the language. Don’t be like the play-it-safer that won’t do that. But when you find a book that has both a good story and good words, treasure that book” – I treasure this book. Period.
To the author: Best entry Andy, I loved the read. Expecting a lot more from you! Sheer work of 2 years paid off well. As I know that you started off as a romantic flick and over the days it turned sinister. I would like to see a thorough romantic novel from you.
The book is a Kindle Gift, so I really cannot comment on the font and typeset of the paperback (yeah, obviously) but the Kindle book (read in PC) was a treat to read and follow. The cover (for an image that has a single colour tone) is chilling and I guess in tune with the contents of the book.
I started reading this book from the 'About the Author' and the 'Author's note' sections. They are very informative and gave me a wider perception and a good basic idea about the book and its contents. The language is a treat to read and I looked forward to completing the book as early as possible because the author attracted the reader in me with just the words in her acknowledgement and note pages. I will not deny that I felt a huge satisfaction (and consequently a pleasant anticipation) of reading a work that apparently had a good language structure!
The story and my comments while I read it:
As I began reading the book, an immediate thought flashed through my mind. Is the first chapter name a pun, seriously? For the book's title (I See You), the first chapter is curiously named. 'When I First saw you' is apparently a play of words! I would like to say, 'You had me at the usage of 'perdition' in the first line!' The book attracted me and kept me in its hold since here.
The story is about Liam Redmond, an heir to a huge empire, losing his parents at a young age and being brought up by his grandfather. One of my all time favourite lines – in fact one of the very lines that brought out the actual character of Liam Redmond, the protagonist (or should I say, the main ‘character’?) was in one of the first few pages. "But you're not me and I'm not you" says Liam to Griffin (his friend and Roommate), an amazing line that stayed with me for a long time.
Liam chooses to work, instead, at a local bookstore to make a unique identity for himself (thank god the story doesn’t really go into the ‘estranged from the family due to property troubles’ angle here). He has a very caring grandfather, good friends and no real villain in his life. He is a normal man who hasn’t done anyone any harm.
The Redmond heir is troubled by constant headaches that are attributed to dehydration. His friends Griffin and Max try to sort him out but are met with stubborn resistance on his part initially. In the midst of all this, Liam sees the beautiful Aliana in a parking lot and falls in love with her. Already frustrated with Lily and her whiny clingy attitude, Liam realises that she is after his money and breaks up having had enough of her.
With growing headaches, hallucinations and a vindictive ex threatening him with dire consequences, Liam realises his life is going on the path to perdition. His concerned friends are worried about his mental state and his constant rudeness, so out of character. Liam shuns away from others’ help but being a pragmatic man, consults a psychiatrist for his problems.
Ailina is his only relief, for when seeing her, the headaches that plague him magically disappear and he becomes a refreshed man. But a stunning revelation about her totally shatters his world. Amidst growing confusion about the strange behaviour of Nyx, Griffin’s cat, and his own worries about him being psychotic, Liam realises that there was no escape from what was plaguing him.
The author has a good eye for characterisation and has made sure each character stays true to his / her description. From the constantly swearing Griffin (even if he was over the top sometimes) to the calm but caring Robin, even the minor characters have been given good depth.
Level of stereotyping based on Genre:
Any story that talks about horror or paranormal genre has to have certain elements because they are the age old things we associate with the phenomenon we deem as either spiritual or ghostly. While the author has managed to bring out the elements well, there are some common stereotypes that were followed to make the readers realise what the story is all about. After all, isn’t it common knowledge that animals recognise ghosts before humans do?
The story build up and the ending:
The story had all the necessary elements expected for a horror thriller. The scenes are vividly described, the characters, for once are clear and make the right choices. The scientific angle approached is a really good take. In the little things like these, the author attracted the reader in me. But I had a vague foreboding that for such a beautifully crafted story, the ending would be a bit rushed and sudden, and sadly, the same came true. Were it not for the last defining chapter (the one before the epilogue) none of this would have made sense, except chilling the reader to the bone.
A really bold attempt at the horror genre. It takes confidence and a real love for the craft to attempt writing a book in this much abused genre. I really appreciate the author for not only tackling this genre but managing to give a spine chilling narrative.
There are two actually.
The author has managed to make readers realise that a paranormal story does NOT need the special effects and music etc like in movies to chill the readers’ bone. She has clearly shown that all the special effects can be easily achieved by words alone, if used right.
The second, and the most important appreciation is for the fact that, for once, the characters in a horror book (or movie) are not taking one stupid decision after another (like for instance asking the very presence that is making the noises stupid questions like ‘who is there? I am armed.’). The author has clearly managed to show how bad things could go even if all the characters behaved brilliantly and properly. Liam sought psychiatric help and does not freak out and wet his pants in the first instance. I send my personal thanks to the author for this.
WHAT I LIKED:
· See points under ‘special mention’.
· And additionally, I really loved the characterisation of Liam and Griffin. Also that of Yvonne.
· A really good book that keeps the reader’s interest alive throughout. I finished this in a day.
· Save a few avoidable typos and some grammatical flaws, this book has a powerful word and language structure. Eliciting certain emotions like fear, horror and repulsion using just words is a appreciable feat.
WHAT COULD HAVE BEEN BETTER:
· For such a beautifully crafted story, I felt that the ending was concentrated on one chapter and the subsequent ‘articles’.
· The mystery of the why and the how could have been revealed in bits and pieces throughout the story instead of it unravelling all at once towards the end.
VERDICT: Go for this, you will regret missing this one!
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