Author: J.D. Barker
Publisher: Hampton Creek Press
Release Date: March 31st, 2020
A haunting tale of suspense, rendered with the masterful skill only Barker could muster.
After the loss of his parents, young Jack Thatch first met Stella as a child--this cryptic little girl of eight with dark hair and darker eyes, sitting alone on a bench in the cemetery clutching her favorite book. Gone moments later, the brief encounter would spark an obsession. She'd creep into his thoughts, his every waking moment, until he finally finds her again exactly one year later, sitting upon the same bench, only to disappear again soon after.
The body of a man found in an alley, every inch of his flesh horribly burned, yet his clothing completely untouched. For Detective Faustino Brier, this wasn't the first, and he knew it wouldn't be the last. It was no different from the others. He'd find another just like it one year from today. August 9, to be exact.
Isolated and locked away from the world in a shadowy lab, a little boy known only as Subject "D" waits, grows, learns. He's permitted to speak to no one. He has never known the touch of another. Harboring a power so horrific, those in control will never allow him beyond their walls. All of them linked in ways unimaginable.
David Pickford is a beautiful man. David Pickford is a beautiful man. David Pickford is a beautiful man. David Pickford is a beautiful man. David Pickford is a beautiful man. David Pickford is a beautiful man. David Pickford is a beautiful man.
Now I understand why all my friends love this book.
It was everything I wanted from a fantasy. For me, it was like Heroes and X-man had a kid while an 80's soundtrack was playing.
How cool is that?
At the center of the storyline we have a few main characters:
Jack Thatch (or Pip): an eight-year-old boy who meets a girl on a bench while visiting his parent's grave on August 8, 1984. You see, Jack's parents died in a car accident and he was the sole survivor. His aunt Jo is now his guardian.
Stella Nettleton: the girl on the bench. The girl with an extraordinary vocabulary for her age. A girl who uses gloves and reads her favorite book by Dickens, Great Expectations. She will arrive year after year in a white SUV surrounded by people dressed in white.
Subject D: a boy who wears a mask. A boy with power so grand that he has to be confined for years.
Detective Faustino Brier: The cop who knows every year someone will die on August 8th. A body "burned but not burned" will appear. on August 9th.
Detective Joy Fogel: who will join forces with Brier to discover the mystery of his Wall of Weird.
Duncan "Dunk" Bellino: a kid who becomes Jack's friend. As a teenager, he will make some not so legit choices.
"Preacher": a guy with a good sense in cars.
With this fabulous cast, how can you not enjoy it? I certainly did. My heart was beating fast. The action at the end was non-stop leading to a very fulfilling culmination.
I do wish this was not the end.