Welcome to Paradise! Paradise I said! Where it’s blue skies! Clear waters! The peace and quiet of solitude! Zen and happiness at it’s best!
Isn’t it amazing how a good getaway is mind relaxing? How a trip into Paradise does a person some good. Not to mention your marriage after you tremendously messed up. Breath in, breath out.
Everything you ever wanted in a getaway and Jackson R. Thomas brings all those aspects of paradise alive with a nasty twist! Maybe an ugly twist is an understatement?
So, what precisely is this book about? A man by the name of Darren and his wife Vanis are having a difficult time with their marriage. (No, I’m not going to say what the issue is, that would be a spoiler, my friends!) Feeling like a dirtbag and realizing this Darren hears a radio commercial on a getaway to Paradise, Maine. Sounding too good to be true!
He picks up the phone and easy as that, he and his wife are off for the getaway of their lives!
When I started to read this book, I read the warnings. I said what? Warnings for a book? The text said, “For mature audiences only.” I thought to myself. Ok, I’m old, I can read this. Next came, “This is a splatterpunk novel.” What’s splatterpunk? This is my first voyage into the world of the splattering punks? (Is that even a real thing?) Finally, it said, “There will be carnage, blood, and scenes you may not be able to handle.” Ah, that’s easy.
I read the prologue, and it was like a scene out of a Friday the 13th movie. Sliced and
dice and everything nice! I blinked, and my anticipation grew. I was liking where this was going. Thank goodness I didn’t put the book down, the rest of the story just got better.
But once chapter one started, it was back to an ordinary story. Then into chapter two
everything seemed somewhat typical for a book that dealt with a dysfunctional marriage. So I thought then, that was it, and the rest of the story was going to be a beautiful time in paradise!
But, guess what? I was wrong. You see, Jackson is a great storyteller and does an exceptional job of relaxing you into The feeling of paradise, and just when you get comfortable, Darren and Vanis are all having a good time, he introduces The Watcher on you in chapter 3! Who’s The Watcher? That’s not for me to say, but I’m pretty sure he’s the head of the welcoming committee in Paradise. Believe me? I wouldn’t, it’s a horror book remember?
So my thoughts about the book.
I never read a splatterpunk book before. So this book was a treat for being my first time. Mr. Thomas does a magnificent job making the reader feel uncomfortable in more scenes than one. I tried to tell my wife about the storyline, and she told me to shut my mouth, and that was that. It was way out of her comfort zone apparently. I wasn’t allowed to talk about it again. I didn’t mention it to her anymore, but I kept on reading. I so wanted to share what was happening in the book, but she couldn’t handle it!
Why did I keep on reading? I am a huge horror fan and kept on reading like a champ.
I’ve already talked about the plot, that the book is a horror fan’s dream, and this novel isn’t for the squeamish. I haven’t talked about the characters.
Jackson put you right into the thick of things when introducing characters and letting you know what they are all about. They were really well created and well thought through. Not at all two-dimensional. You got a pretty good feeling about who was naughty or nice, evil or angelic, and trustworthy and untrustful. I like that with characters when you can really feel what they are all about.
The supporting characters were just as good as the main characters, especially the little Mary.
By now, you can tell how I liked the book. I thought it was great! Overall I really enjoyed it. All blood and guts put aside, it was an entertaining read.
My recommendation. Take the warning at the beginning into consideration. The book is brutal. It’s scary, has a lot of blood, and copulation (trying to keep it clean) in it. If you are a splatterpunk or horror fan, you can’t go wrong this book. It is skillfully written and designed to disturb you in more ways than one.
Well done Mr. Jackson, well done!