Review: Thomas Olde Heuvelt – HEX

Review: Thomas Olde Heuvelt – HEX

Welcome to Black Spring.

It is a small, haunted town. The inhabitants live together with the Black Rock Witch. This woman does not walk around with a broom and a pointy hat. Instead, she wanders through Black Spring with her eyes sewn shut and chains around her body. Because everybody is terrified that she might open her evil eye. Thomas Olde Heuvelt wrote a great story here. All I can say is the following.

Welcome to Black Spring.

Brief Recap

The Grant family is just one of those living in Black Spring. But they are about to play a special role in the history of the town. Tyler, the oldest son, wants to get the secret of the Black Rock Witch out to the public. In doing so, he hopes to get more privacy and to find people that can resolve the curse that haunts Black Spring. However, his plan brutally comes to an end: the members of his project snap and start harassing the witch instead of sticking to the plan.

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Whenever the Black Rock Witch is harassed, someone dies. Even though it has been decades since she killed someone, everybody is still frightened about it. So when some deadly events start to get in motion, it doesn’t take long before the people of Black Spring become anxious and panicked. And they want a scapegoat. Because what is easier than to blame someone?

Can Tyler and his father Steve stop the Black Rock Witch? Is the town really cursed forever? And do they have a chance against a populace that rather puts its head in the ground instead of facing their problems. What can I say?

It’s a whole new level of fuckedupness.

Characters You’ll Want to Follow

In this book are some characters that you’ll want to follow. Normally I’d say “to keep your eyes on” but believe me, you don’t want me to start about your eyes after this book.

  • Steve Grant is the father of the main family of the book. The Grant family lives in Black Spring and has come to peace with the weirdness of the Black Rock Witch. Steve does his best to be a great father, especially for Tyler. At the beginning of the book, he answers politically correctly on the question “who would you kill? Your own son or all the people of Black Spring”
  • Tyler Grant, the son of Steve, wants to show the world the mysteries of Black Spring. In doing so, he starts the series of events that haunt this book. He is smart and wants to fight for his ideals. However, the Black Rock Witch soon has him doubting his own sanity.

While you should keep focus on these characters, you can also follow Robert Grim. He is the leader of the HEX organisation and reports immediately to the council of Black Spring. He wants to do good for the people, in a civilised and correct way. However, near the end of the book he disappears. He is a strong character, but I think he could have played a larger role in the story.

My Two Cents

Books like HEX are the main reason why I love horror stories. The story has a lot of ingredients to make you quiver and shake. Mysterious events that you can’t get your head around or corrupt human minds are part of what make this book so awesome.

Really, there’s not much more to say about it. It is an amazing book. A great horror story. If you want to enjoy a nice story that makes you think about yourself and haunts your wildest dreams, I can only say one thing.

Welcome to Black Spring.

Conclusion

HEX is the international debut of Thomas Olde Heuvelt and one that shows he knows his genre well. It is a book that completely deserves five stars. I read somewhere that Stephen King thought the story was good, and I can’t differ from his opinion. It has everything a horror story needs. Except maybe for the role of Robert Grim, it’s perfect. Although I have started to doubt about Grim’s role. Could he be the one knocking on the door?

Have you read HEX? Did you like it? Why (not)? And what do you think about my last thoughts concerning Robert Grim? Leave a comment in the section below!

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