Rating:

13449631Reviewed by Caleb Shadis

White Space was not really what I was expecting. This sometimes can be very good and sometimes very bad. In this case, it was neither. The writing was very good, the descriptions and onomatopoeic words used were very vivid. At times almost too much. The storytelling was definitely not my cup of tea.

We meet Emma and her friend as they are driving north into a blizzard in Wisconsin. To all those outside Emma’s head she appears to be an intelligent normal college girl; we however get to see inside her mind. And while Emma wants nothing more than to be normal, she isn’t. Ever since her experience ‘down cellar’ (which she tries to keep locked up and never think about) she has had ‘blinks’ or episodes where she loses time. She does eventually come back to herself but feels like she is waking up–only she obviously has not been sleeping. Her friends do not seem to notice and she just tries to live with it the best she can.

The reason for the trip North is from a terrible surprise she got in class. She was given an assignment to write a story in the vein of a famous horror author, Frank McDermott. She was more successful than she could have ever imagined. Apparently, she tapped the same muse as McDermott, since she wrote a story that was almost word for word the same as one of McDermott’s unfinished and unpublished works. Her professor called her in on plagiarism and threatened to expel her.

We also meet Lizzie, through Emma’s blinks. Lizzie is a little 5 year old girl, who happens to be much wiser than she appears. We come to see her dad is Frank McDermott and his talent for writing incredible horror stories comes with a little help. Dark help.

The story spins around these two characters and they draw others in. Strange things keep happening and stranger explanations are postulated. It has a Lovecraftian feel where everyone seems to have trouble holding on to their sanity.

The writing was excellent, the descriptions vivid. The puzzle was intricate, and while the first stage was solved in this book, the ending is meant to pull you back for the next stage. I suspect that people who really enjoy psychological horror will love this one. As I mentioned before, I don’t particularly like this type of storytelling and I couldn’t give it more than 3.5 stars. If it wasn’t for the great writing, it would have been a bit less. It is an emotional rollercoaster and left me wrung out.

Rating: ★★★½☆ 

Caleb is a software engineer and amateur woodworker living in southern Minnesota. He has more hobbies than he has time or money for, and enjoys his quiet time reading.

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Audible.com. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.