Ignatius Perrish (aka Ig) is a bad, BAD man. He’s suspected of murdering his girlfriend almost a year ago to the day. He’s an alcoholic with a penchant for drinking beyond the point of no return. His current girlfriend he’s admittedly with mainly for the “extracurricular activities”. Yep; he’s one BAD fellow. Guess it’s only fitting that his new image is going to include horns now isn’t it? But there’s more here than meets the eye. Secrets and lies, deep seeded fears and darkest desires all bubbling just beneath the surface, ready to break through. In short…all “H-E-double hockey stick” is about to break loose…
Seems like I’ve had to use the “warning” spiel a lot recently as for some reason or another I’ve run into a string of books that warrants them. Interesting…but alas, it was bound to happen at some point, hence the pitfalls of reading books across so many genres (but that’s a pitfall I’ll gladly traverse, thank you). Anywho…back to the story at hand.
It’s not that the writing isn’t good, because it is. It’s not that the story isn’t original, because unless there are two people running around with these ideas in their heads (scary thought) than it is. It’s the actual events in the story. They rank among that rare group of ideas that you find morbidly fascinating. It’s like one of those proverbial accidents waiting to happen that you can’t seem to look away from; those slow motion falls that you see coming but are somehow helpless to do anything about. That’s the meat and potatoes of this book…but the gravy bringing it all together is much deeper (and darker).
Ig wasn’t always a bad guy; in fact he was rather good hard as that may be to believe. I mean sure, he did some fairly stup…silly things as a boy and his adult life may not have been perfect, but he had a good heart and always tried to do what was best for everyone even if it shorted himself in the end. So…why the turn from angel to devil? That’s where the story gets a bit fuzzy. You can see the murder of his long time girlfriend acting as the hinge that came undone, but only if you take the stand that he internalized his feelings of guilt towards what happened…or rather what didn’t because his brain is playing hide-and-seek with that information. And that my friend is just the beginning of the “sticky” part…
It’s an actual tree house that I can only liken to the Room of Requirement in Harry Potter, you know, it appears only when it’s actually needed, though this couples “use” of it was far less studious. The events that occur in his youth regarding this tree house circle back to him towards the end of the book, almost like an intensely real moment of déjà vu. I don’t want to ruin the surprise for anyone, but it left me a bit befuddled. (Perhaps if you’ve read it, you can share your thoughts on it?)
I did find that underneath the hardcore creepiness seeping off the pages, the mystery and how the truth was uncovered was really GOOD. We live through Ig’s past to get a sense of who he is. We’re welcomed into his present as the pieces slowly fit (or are pounded, whatever works) together to form the bigger picture not completely anticipated though vaguely revealed in a general sense early on due to the penchant for revealing hard truths and desires that his newly grown horns endows. (Can you imagine having THAT power? ~shudders~) We even get a glimpse of his future as it slithers closer and closer leaving no doubt what end he will choose (or will choose him) by the conclusion of the story. It’s quite the roller coaster but one well worth strapping in for.
Is this for the faint of heart? No. Is this for the squeamish? Nope. Is this for young readers? Uh, that’s a “heck no” if ever one was deserved. What in the world is it then? Well I’ll tell you. It is what it is; a book dark and twisted around a plot perfect for adult readers and a story you won’t soon forget. The odd sense of humor grows on you...much like the horns on our old pal Ig, but with less permanent effects (so far at least). It boggles the mind to the point of “dear-goodness-why-did-I-start-reading-this-again” and brings you right back around to reveal that apparently, you were in the mood for something a bit out there and hey, you found what you sought.
A few final notes you may find intriguing (as I know I did). First, there is an interesting inclusion of Morris Code within the book as it’s used to gain the attention of someone and later on to reveal hard hitting truths, but it also makes an appearance somewhere else…the cover, or rather inside the cover on the hardback edition. At first glance, I thought…huh, interesting choice of decorating. I mean it looks like a pattern. After having read the book, I was curious and decided to decipher the message…revealing a rather fitting (and laughable) statement. (Shan’t be revealing it here, but trust me, it’s fitting.)
Second revelation of sorts, it appears as though the book has been slated to be brought to the big screen. That’s right, another book turned movie. But will it be a hit or a miss? Personally I think it has a good shot at being a hit (and it even might make a few scenes clearer, ya never know), especially with the potential actor cast as Ig….Shia Labeouf. Yep. Whether you love or hate him, I think he’d do the role justice when considering the actual written characters personality. Thanks goes to popculturenerd on Twitter for the heads up on that!
Recommended for adult readers only due to content, language, situations…you get the picture; 18+ or older. While this book was published in hardback previously, it just made its paperback debut this month so whatever your reading preference may be, the format is now available! Review copy received courtesy of HarperCollins Publishers. (THANKS!) For more information regarding this title as well as their full catalog be sure to visit them online or follow along on Twitter. To find out more about the mind behind the vision, head over to the author’s website or follow his Twitter feed.
(Yes…I did have too much fun with the Morris Code aspect of the book. What? What?! Oh come on….I’ll even give you the link to the “guide” to decode it and a hint that each line of the code is only one word... ^_^)