Tuesday, July 27, 2010
The Toymaker by Jeremy de Quidt
Mathias does not know that soon he is going to be running for his life after being tortured and beaten. Mathias has not met the only two people that he can trust in the world. Mathias does not realize that he is going to have the capability of taking down an empire. All Mathias knows is that his grandfather had a secret, and that secret is now his whether he wants it or not.
First off I would like to say that the cover that I have posted is not the one I had. This book was originally published in the UK in 2008, and is finally making its way to America with a different cover. I found the cover that I had a better representation of the book, but I couldn't find a free-standing image. But here's a link to it in case you want to see what it's going to look like for its Aug. 10 release.
On with the actual review:
I should preface this with the fact that I do not like the horror genre. I'm a pansy, so perhaps take this review with a grain of salt.
I found this book to be intensely disturbing. There is quite a bit of violence and the entire book is exceedingly dark. And not dark where it's obsessively awesome like The Marbury Lens, but as in I kind of wanted to read it faster so it would be over. It is a menacing story. There never seems to be a break from the tense pace, and always seems to be another harrowing experience just around the corner. As my friend Laura will attest, I spent most of the time reading this book with a distraught look on my face and exclamations of how much I didn't like it. Until I got to the end. The last four chapters kind of made the entire thing worth reading. Everything kind of comes together in a bone-chilling way that was actually, dare I say it, enjoyable. Sitting here, and being able to reflect, I think it's because for most of the book you are just as clueless as most of the characters are, just trying to survive long enough to figure out the mystery, and then by the end there's just one revelation after the other and all of sudden it's this massive release from the stress of reading the book. It's kind of an euphoric experience. And yet everything before that was so dark and intense. You can see that this was a rather conflicting experience.
The book was generally well written, I got a little bogged down (aside from my dislike of horror) by the switching perspectives and subplots. They all kind of made sense after finishing the book, but during the book I didn't understand why I needed to know certain little details. There were some really well drawn pencil sketches by Gary Blythe that added to the whole creep factor. I felt like every detail of the book added to the entire experience, again I'm just not sure if I condone that experience. I guess a closer analogy of what I experienced would be when you see a car crash take place. It's horrible and yet you can't stop watching.