- File Size: 1035 KB
- Print Length: 206 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publisher: Headtrip Productions (July 22, 2014)
- Publication Date: July 22, 2014
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00M17OP8I
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,453,909 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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The Plain Black Door: A Modern Gothic Horror Novella Kindle Edition
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Top customer reviews
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The storytelling is excellent! However, the personalized introductions of some key characters made it feel a bit more like a book of unrelated tales than one cohesive story. I think the details in the backstories could have easily been incorporated into the overarching story through conversations, etc. for much better flow and less choppiness.
My other issue is the end. (POTENTIAL SPOILERS AHEAD!)
While I'm all for a "spooky" end, I feel like there was far too much build-up for how this ended, and it didn't make a lot of sense for a story supposedly set in a modern era. While in times past, mental hospitals were littered with problems of less-than-ideal hygenic conditions, that's simply not the case any more. If this had been set even a few decades before, I could see it as a thing. But since the author dates the work pretty clearly with the costume one of the characters wears, it's hard to believe that conditions would be that bad in any first-world hospital no matter what color the door was. Many patrons with the kinds of conditions these had would be treated at *least* by sedatives, if not extensive counseling. They wouldn't just be sealed away behind a random door unless something else was going on; from all the build-up, I would have expected at LEAST a crazy scientist experimenting on people, or a portal to a hell dimension, or something other than just....really crazy people. Huge let-down, especially when one is familiar with mental illness. :/
What's more, I don't understand how a patient in a mental hospital was able to...get a job..? That was confusing after the big reveal as well; I'm not sure that people in mental hospitals are allowed to go in and out as they please, much less for jobs, whether or not they obey the rules; the point is to spend the days getting well under supervised care, not galavanting about town for whatever reason. (Which, for all except the most dire of cases, aren't patients taken out for trips by supervising staff now and again anyways?)
I guess, in the end, that's what bothers me the most: A good writer who doesn't really understand how mental health works. Or, doesn't, rather. Again, a great book of tales, but one that could have used a great deal more research.
M Jet's third-person narrative method is interesting, alternating between telling Josephine's story and detailed examinations of each character. These synopses all contribute important elements to the plot and help the reader to predict later events, whether rightly or wrongly. I thought Josephine was an intriguing individual and wondered whether she was naive or just unable to admit the truth. I liked her positive attitude but found her choice of friends curious; Archie the ghost, Amanda the thief and Josh the pyromaniac. Although a romance is hinted at between Josephine and Zak I also feel this is a way M Jet alludes to Josephine's delusions.
By the time the reader reaches the end of The Plain Black Door it is almost as though we have been dragged into the psychologically disturbed world of Eriwick. Though I continued to be haunted by Josephine I also questioned whether my feelings of empathy were misplaced and had been for the entire story.
M Jet's writing is fantastic in this novella and I am glad I have the opportunity to read more of her work.
I received this as a complimentary review copy, but this has had no influence on my opinion.
The visual imagery in The Plain Black Door was stunning, along with frightening and compelling characters.
I will be back for more horror from M Jet!