Narrator: David Ocean
Publisher: Books by R. L. McCallum (2016)
Length: 5 hours 12 minutes
Starting off in 1911 Ireland, Professor Emmet Brehon is on the hunt for fairies. He believes they are more than simple bits of folklore. He finds a secluded place that is rumored to be visited by fairies and surprisingly, he sees two young fairy like girls and a mysterious light. He snaps a photo, intending to use it as proof of the existence of fairies. Alas, one misfortune after another falls upon Emmet and those close to him. He starts to suspect the photo may be more than a simple picture.
The story took a little while for me to get into. Things start off quaint and cozy. Once horrible things start happening, the pace picks up and things are much more interesting. First, there’s this mysterious photo and Emmet is the only one who seems to be able to see the fairies and the ghostly light in it. Then he notices that when he sees nothing but the background vegetation in the photo, bad things happen. First, there’s a car accident and the mother of his fiance is killed. At the funeral, there is an awful storm and the open grave fills with water and the coffin floats off, perusing Emmet and Katherine (his fiance). It goes on from there – the spooky and misfortunate and disfiguring and sometimes deadly events pile up.
Emmet eventually learns that he can’t destroy or bury or pass off the photo to be free of the troublesome spirits that inhabit it. Unfortunately, he also can no longer get stinking drunk and forget about the photo. Poor dude. Emmet tries to the flee Ireland, hoping to leave the magic that powers the spirits behind. However, this proves very difficult. I really enjoyed that it was not easy or simple for Emmet to be free of these spirits. It becomes the thing that drives him but also the thing that gets him in trouble with friends and authorities alike.
The story spans 4 years and the author threw in some references to famous people or events of the time, like Houdini and the Titanic. I like that he did this, giving me reference points to other things happening in the world at the same time that Emmet is struggling with his spirits….. or a mental illness? Indeed, as the story moved forward, I had to start wondering if Emmet was all there, as some characters in the story wonder. The author doesn’t push the reader one way or the other and it’s up to you to decide.
Over all, it was a fun tale of classic horror. There’s not much gore, as the story relies mostly on the psychological terror of the events Emmet is party to, or at least a witness to. I really enjoyed this aspect of the story and I’m glad I stuck with it.
I received this book free of charge from the narrator in exchange for an honest review.
The Narration: This was a tough book to get through because of the narration. The volume keeps changing. The narration in general sounds either muffled or like at the end of a long metal tube. David Ocean tries to spruce it up a bit with a few sound effects but these are roughly pasted into the performance, like the sound of two girls giggling. Also, sometimes when he does a different character voice, like Katherine’s, that also sounds pasted in – not always, just sometimes. With that said, he does do an Irish accent for Emmet and Katherine all the way through the book. His female voices are believable.
What I Liked: Psychological horror; the quest to prove fairies are real; the cover art; references to other events and famous people of the times; mental illness or true fairie trouble?; satisfying ending.
What I Disliked: The narration; started off a bit slow and dull.