Genres: Thriller, Horror
I have received this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
This book attracted me immediately with its creepy cover and intriguing synopsis: Ben is a medical student known for his pragmatic personality. He goes to a trip in Paris with his friend Laurette, where he enters a catacomb and gets hurt in an old bone.
I loved the creepy, horror feel of the novel. I flew through its pages and was always on the edge to see who would fall victim to the curse next and if they would survive! I really liked Laurette, too, a Haitian student who wants to become a nurse to help her country.
But I really didn’t like Ben, and thought he was an annoying narrator – he was rude, inconsiderate, selfish and always running after women and claiming to care so much about each one of them, but his grief for them hardly felt genuine, too superficial for the way he allegedly cared for them.
The writing felt amateurish at several points, for example: Ben is described as pragmatic, over and over again, ad nauseum. But we don’t get glimpses of that a lot, just of his skepticism and finding himself “better” than people who are believers in any kind of faith. Also more than one time the author had to assure the reader that, when Ben was among only black people and feeling nervous, it wasn’t “because they were black”, but because of whatever distressful situation was going on. Like – we get it! It didn’t even occur to me he might be nervous because everyone around him was black and from Haiti, I thought it clear that what made him nervous was the curse. So this made me feel uncomfortable, as if the author is trying to say “I’m not racist!”. But it’s okay, I suppose…
Talking about faith, Vodou is a Haitian religion, a lifestyle that many people in Haiti follow. And it felt several times through the novel, that it was used as a tool to give an air of mystery, darkness, a feel of something foreign and unknown to the story. Although Laurette doesn’t follow the religion and explains to Ben that it isn’t Hollywood’s voodoo, it felt that as the novel approached the end, that’s exactly what it turned into. The religion and the way the Haitian talked in English felt researched instead of naturally added to the story – the way they spoke, not knowing simple words like “crazy” but able to take classes and talk extensively felt weird and artificial to me.
All in all, I devoured the novel in a few days, it was SO entertaining and fun and dark! If it wasn’t for the issues I talked above, it would certainly be a 4 or 5 stars!
If you’re from Haiti, how did you feel about this? Have you read this book?
the religion and way of speak of the haitian characters looked researched and not the way a foreign english speaker would talk, maybe problematic but only a haitian person can tell