I See You is Aindrila Roy’s debut novel. I have read her excerpts and having known her for quite some time, I know she is entering the literature industry with a bang and yes, she did it. I am still hindering and quivering and am writing this review right away so please excuse the spoilers.
The novel is a horror genre book, and this is my first horror read. There are movies not as scary as it seems to be, background score and music they bang make it scarier. So I picked the book with a nebulous idea on how a read can scare me? Trust me, I lost my wits. I couldn’t shut my eyes as the story is running in my mind, and the story terrified me to bits.
The story is a revenge of a girl. What she does to him? How she quenches her thirst for vengeance ? Who came for help and what happened to them? – is the story that will shake your core.
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 7 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.