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Six Days Paperback – February 14, 2013
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Kelli Owen has pulled off a kind of dark magic with this book... She's made us care deeply about a flawed character completely alone in the dark, a scary one-character play peopled with everyone she's close to...which is no mean feat for any magician. And the ending packs a hell of a wallop.
~Jack Ketchum, author
This is one HELL of macabre, psychological mystery. One of the most suspenseful books I've read in long time, and a stellar debut.
~ Edward Lee, author
About the Author
Kelli Owen was a reviewer for fifteen years and editor of some of the biggest names in the genre for over ten -- before they found some of her writing, and collectively told her to go get published. She listened and has been getting published every since.
She's not a horror writer in the traditional sense, but no one knows exactly how to categorize her. Rather than throwing blood at the page, she prefers to let it soak in slowly. Creepy, moody, atmospheric, and quiet are her favorite ways of getting under your skin. And she will. With a smile.
If you enjoy Kelli's work, please consider becoming a patron at patreon.com/kelliowen & get exclusive behind the scenes info, notes, etc. on Kelli's fiction.
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I really enjoyed Owen's decision to allow Jenny's character to make believable choices and not what you might expect from a horror movie bimbo or to serve a predetermined cliched plot point. The choices and thought process she makes are what I imagine a real survivor might go through. Totally believable and utterly convincing. 99% of this novel is quite excellent, but I did have an issue with the incredibly abrupt ending. I even went back three or four times to make sure I had not accidentally skipped a page or two. The way the ending was written was just not consistent with the pacing and tone of the rest of the book. But regardless, this strong debut will have me seeking out more of Owen's work.
In Six Days the protag wakes up in a dark room. She can't see and can't remember how she got there. She then has to explore her environment and go back through the significant events in her life to see if anyone in her life could have done this.
Here, the female victim of a crime is practical, a fighter, she has agency and determination. In other words, hey!, as anyone would be in this situation. She isn't reduced to a blubbering mess [not fully and immediately anyway:)] waiting to be rescued.
The POV also stays tight and with her. Her sensory access (and thus ours) is what she can hear, taste, and touch, smell and the reader will explore every inch of that basement right along with her.
What we get by the end is a character that isn't a blank screen for the other characters in the book to project on to (especially since she gets to tell her own story). But a fully realized character who is also a victim and not just a victim.
Savvy readers will become aware that is also a story that parses out information in a careful manner in order to build to a desired effect or reveal. In that respect Six Days would appeal, additionally, to fans of books like Gone Girl and Before I Go to Sleep. It's also worth noting that Owen comes from the horror community, that Six Days has primarily received coverage in the horror community, and the book is even treated as a horror novel. It isn't. I've seen this type of thing before with other horror authors that write more crime fiction type books. So Six Days is a book that you may not have heard of but is worth your time.
I have to say that I really enjoyed the premise of this story. Jenny Shultz finds herself suddenly in a completely dark, underground room of some sort, with no idea of how she got there/who would put her there. The complete absence of sight would be a traumatizing event all on it's own, but the looking back over her life--trying to figure out who could hate her enough to do this to her--added a psychological depth and emotional impact that really made this a compelling read for the first 2/3 or so of the book.
It was about that time that I felt I knew what had happened. Although that in itself wouldn't have been enough for me to take away much from the rating, the ending struck me as a little too predictable and anticlimactic considering the tremendous buildup beforehand.
I've really been enjoying stories from Kelli Owen lately, and have already bought a couple more to start on.
struggles to remember and try to figure out who and why someone would do this to her!
Scary! However, torn between a two and a three star I have to say the introduction made no sense to me or how it was relative. It takes a good couple chapters of background to develop an interest. Then it becomes gripping. That being said I absolutely hated the ending.