Considering how many horror authors enthused about this book I was thinking that this book would go down as a classic that I would read for years to come. Instead I found most of the book to be very slow moving. I thought the whole witch who cursed a village thing would be interesting and scary, but the author has the characters treat her like a hilarious oddity.
Whoever is born here, is doomed to stay 'til death. Whoever settles, never leaves.
Welcome to Black Spring, the seemingly picturesque Hudson Valley town haunted by the Black Rock Witch, a seventeenth century woman whose eyes and mouth are sewn shut. Muzzled, she walks the streets and enters homes at will. She stands next to children's bed for nights on end. Everybody knows that her eyes may never be opened or the consequences will be too terrible to bear.
The elders of Black Spring have virtually quarantined the town by using high-tech surveillance to prevent their curse from spreading. Frustrated with being kept in lockdown, the town's teenagers decide to break their strict regulations and go viral with the haunting. But, in so doing, they send the town spiraling into dark, medieval practices of the distant past.
I can't really call anyone a main character in this book. We follow several families and of course more than a handful of people that are important to the story. I can see why a lot of people ended up DNFing this one, because having to track this many people through a so-so story just ends up boring after a while. I kept reading about what person A said or thought or did and I was bored out of my mind.
I think the reason why King gets such a reaction out of me as a reader is that he puts you in other people's heads. I felt like Heuvelt kept up a wall between me and all of the characters in this book. I just didn't feel a thing when I finally got to the ending.
The writing was technically correct. But once again, I didn't feel anything. Maybe because Heuvelt does a lot of scenes that you don't figure out what happened before until several pages down the line. I guess you can call it the literary version of a flash forward (man I do not miss Lost).
I do think that one of the biggest misses for me was that Heuvelt moves the story to a U.S. city for the English translation. He also supposedly changed the ending for an American audience. I really wish that we had gotten a chance to just read the original story. Because for me, I thought the whole book was kind of a big miss. I didn't really get a very good sense of a town in the Hudson Valley that is dealing with a curse. Heuvelt throws in a few things about Youtube, an app that monitors the witch, and of course video cameras and all, but I still felt the book was off in a way I can't quite put my finger on.