In 1988, young American traveler Quincy Redding is trekking across the misty terrain of the Scottish Highlands. She is destined for the infamous peak Ben MacDui, the summit of which soon finds her inexplicably debilitated and at the mercy of a malevolent entity.
The book spans twenty years, alternately following Quincy in her 1988 ordeal in Scotland as well as Quincy in 2008, when, as an adult, she begins experiencing abnormalities that threaten her family and her life – phenomena that may be related to what happened all those years ago.
As both older and younger Quincy learn more of their situation, and as their worlds further entwine, she becomes increasingly uncertain of the perceived temporality or reality of each period
“You are in a nightmare not even yours.”
Reading this book has been a journey in itself. I started reading in April and read it on and off until I finally finished it last week. It was a lack of organization, not a lack of interest, believe me; this man knows how to haunt his readers. I read Green Eyed Monster by Mike Robinson last year and fell in love with his prose and this book was no different. It was haunting and poetic and a little bizarre at times – most of the time – like every phrase, every moment in time was its own story.
Poor Quincy has these voices in her head that aren’t really on her side but follow her through past, present and future. Like maybe this whole story is just in her head. Or maybe it’s all in the reader’s head and we’re just crazy. That’s what he does to you. It’s not the plot. It’s the words. The images. The little snapshots of Quincy’s life that we see fading away with each page turn.
“…and then she was there staring at Quincy from a jawless and balding cranium, from which hung the decrepit stalactites of her teeth over loose tendons draped down her neck. Her skin was clammy and death-white, though still burning far in her eyes was a waning candle of consciousness.”
See what I mean? It’s 184 pages of THIS. Of terrifyingly morbid scenes and mysterious metaphorical meanings – with less alliteration – that take the laws of reality and chuck them out the window. It’s awesome. There are no scenes out of place which may seem odd with all the time jumps and flashbacks but everything falls into place…until I got to the ending. Then I was just dazed and confused.
The Prince is this mythological super villain type character that just rips everything to shreds – including sanity – and it almost seemed liked it was all about to click into the rest of the puzzle and then it…didn’t. I had to stop after I finished the last page and go “what. Just. Happened?” Really I should have seen the ending coming but I didn’t so I was blown away.
Gushing aside, I’m constantly amazed at Mike Robinson’s ability to create haunting prose and incredibly terrifying stories. It’s a must read for paranormal lovers.