Shadowlands by Alan S. Kessler is a psychological horror that left me thinking about life as I see it and reflecting on the thoughts of the main character Steve Goldblatt. Shadowlands is written in the first person, softening the impact of the cruelness within whilst creating a novel that plays with your mind in a thrilling yet disturbing way.
Although Kessler has the ability to use strong imagery I found the first few chapters of Shadowlands a little slow and difficult to follow. I will admit that once I got use to the writing style of Kessler I was reading with intrigue from page to page. For myself part of the slow beginning was due to having to take my mind and place it within that of Steve Goldblatt, absorbing the way his psych works. In Goldblatt Kessler has developed a character that harvests a lot of hurt, carrying a wounded and battered soul. Shadowlands is psychological horror at it’s best. It is difficult to find any normality within the pages. Just when you think you have the mind of Goldblatt figured out along comes a twist that has your own mind whirling.
After reading Shadowlands I was left with thoughts that I found hard to clear in my mind. I found myself doing a little internet searching to see if others had sat in the place I was. It seems the views of Shadowlands are varied but one thing all agree with is that it is a psychological thriller that will leave you as my mind was left - whirling, twisting and wondering. I felt at unease yet wanted to start from the beginning all over again. All agreed that fans of Edgar Allen Poe would thoroughly enjoy the writings of Kessler.
Indie Books R Us ( http://indiebooksrus.wordpress.com ) writes: “ This is truly Kessler’s style–you’re never ever quite comfortable with what you’re reading, and sometimes you’re not entirely sure why.”
I have to say I totally agree with them but just had to keep reading until I was sure I was deeply in the mind of Goldblatt, yet I feel I never was.
In closing Indie Books R Us state “ ...if you’re not okay with not knowing 100% of what’s going on, you may want to pass.”
I am unsure how I feel about this statement. I feel that if I had passed on Shadowlands I would never have had the opportunity of that of being introduced to the literary world of Alan S. Kessler. I will agree that Shadowlands is not a book for everyone but if the genre of psychological horror is one of interest then Kessler is not to be passed by. On Kessler’s site there is a quote from Village Book Review “ ...Creepy, surreal, unconventional and strange, definitely an original read.”
Original is a word that can be used to describe Shadowlands by Alan S. Kessler but I would more tend to refer to this literary piece as a work of mind blowing psychological suspense that has you turning pages and wondering why and how.
Find out more about Shadowlands and other works by Alan S. Kessler at www.askessler.com.
Copies of Shadowlands can be purchased from Barnes & Noble, Vook Store, Amazon and Apple.
review: Jennifer Douglas