- File Size: 602 KB
- Print Length: 332 pages
- Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1482576562
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publisher: www.kit-tinsley.com; 2 edition (December 30, 2013)
- Publication Date: December 30, 2013
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00BH5IAGS
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,119,758 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Beneath Kindle Edition
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Dan Martin and his wife and two daughters move into a suspiciously affordable new house and discover the haunted undercroft of a long-demolished abbey of evil monks under their backyard. Terror and tragedy ensues.
The text is distractingly thick with typos and mechanical errors. It would be difficult to find a single paragraph without any missing punctuation or a misused to/too/two or their/they're/there. The story isn't particularly original or surprising in any way, relying on the old standbys of extreme denial and curiosity to tie the characters to the bad decisions necessary to support the plot. The characters themselves are heavily stereotyped by age and gender and then occasionally analyzed in Dan's internal monologue as if age and gender differences are a new and untapped subject.
If you're in the mood for a basic, classic haunted house story, you could do a lot worse. Reading Beneath is like going to see a decent generic jumpscare movie in the theater; as long as you don't go in looking for groundbreaking innovation and technical prowess, you won't be disappointed. The scares are solid, if standard, and well paced, enough so to keep even me distracted from the errors, which is quite difficult (after working as a technical editor, the urge to catch each one is hard to shake).
You've got your dream sequences from hell, your house calls from baffled professional ghost hunters, your it-was-only-the-cat (or in this case, dog) scenes, all effectively done. Dan himself is, for the most part, loveable and easy to root for as the heroic dad horror protagonist. Possibly, as an admitted daddy's girl with a little sister, I have a soft spot for him, but there it is.
There is one small but well-executed acknowledgment of the dubiousness of his decision to stay and keep his family in the house after the first few horrors they survive. He notes that the evil seems to have the power to make intense, terrifying psychic experiences feel small and ridiculous after the fact. The phenomenon is so real and relatable that its description is arguably more frightening than the scenes of terror themselves, so due credit for that.
I have no doubt that some corrections were made, but not nearly enough. I'll usually state in passing if there were editing needs left unaddressed and then usually have the pleasure of letting fellow readers know that it didn't detract from my experience, or the story. I cannot say that in this case.
The first thing I noticed were continuity issues. Very early in the book, our main character, Dan, is going to explore a hole in his yard that his dog has uncovered and fell down into. The neighbor, Bill, states that, "Dan and I could lower you down" when speaking to Dan. I can now only assume that the author meant, "Dan, I could lower you down," but while reading, it left me restarting from the beginning to confirm my understanding of who was in the scene and why I was so confused.
The next of these errors comes shortly thereafter when Dan wants to come back up out of the hole. At the beginning of chapter six, the sentence reads, "After getting out of the well." Again, I felt myself wondering what I missed that I was now so badly confused. Earlier in this scene, Dan notices what he thinks is an altar, a round structure with a slab on top of it, down in this cavernous space. Period. The author uses the word, "well" even before our main character, and therefore the reader, learns that that's what this structure is. Ironically, it's shortly thereafter when, again, neighbor Bill enters the picture and, upon hearing Dan's recount of his observations, states, "That sounds like a well."
The most disturbing to me were numerous exclamation points placed in very inappropriate places. This caused me to second guess the feelings evoked by the scene, and the author's words, and this, too, was extremely confusing. For example, a character has passed away, and another character is speaking to this character's family member. The author states that this family member has, understandably, been crying and describes what this distraught family member looks like to the character. Then, the family member states, "I'm [Name]!" This happens multiple times throughout the book. These errors plus numerous misspellings and missing words really did detract from my experience.
That being said, the story itself is rock solid. I really did enjoy the plot, and the characters. The author can write; of this, I have no doubt. He has a unique way of conveying a thought or emotion with mere words, and he obviously has a great understanding of how to include surprises and twists, as evidenced by the surprise ending.
In fact, my favorite quote from the book is, "It's strange how a buffet is such a perfect metaphor for life; when it begins it is a beautiful, wonderous thing, full of the promise of satisfaction, but over time people use up all that is good, leaving nothing behind but the worst parts, which quickly decay and become useless, until eventually it is all thrown out to rot."
The short story, "Fear Thy Neighbor" was included at the end of the edition I purchased and is another great example of this author's talent and promise. I read this book in one sitting, and would still recommend it to fans of horror fiction. Though I must make just as strong of a recommendation to the author to revisit the aforementioned editing needs.