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3.72  ·  Rating details ·  14,409 ratings  ·  2,594 reviews
The English language debut of the bestselling Dutch novel, Hex, from Thomas Olde Heuvelt--a Hugo and World Fantasy award nominated talent to watch

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 m
Kindle Edition, 448 pages
Published April 26th 2016 by Tor Books (first published April 17th 2013)
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Daniel Definitely not worth the hype. Apart from constant inconsistency in tone and the author's obvious and weird obsession with breasts and nipples (jeez,…moreDefinitely not worth the hype. Apart from constant inconsistency in tone and the author's obvious and weird obsession with breasts and nipples (jeez, what's that all about?) this is not even mildly scary to the experienced horror reader. Even my girlfriend who is easily scared shitless by anything remotely creepy found some of the scenes I gave her to read absolutely preposterous. Add to that a predictable plot and finale, logic holes all over the place, uninspired and mediocre writing as well as the desperate attempt at trying to say something "more" even if is a pretentious mess and you have nearly all the reasons in place why most of today's horror fiction is downright laughable. This is washed-out, harmless and easy to consume mainstream horror by the numbers for the generation that thinks "Insidious" and "Paranormal Activity" are the greatest scare flicks ever made. Do yourself a favor and get yourself some Laird Barron, Greg F. Gifune or Thomas Ligotti instead of this plastic crap and see what contemporary horror fiction can do.(less)
Scott I found it condescending. I read Japanese novels, I read Scandinavian novels, I am perfectly capable of "getting" the story if it takes place in a…moreI found it condescending. I read Japanese novels, I read Scandinavian novels, I am perfectly capable of "getting" the story if it takes place in a country foreign to me. Also, I would have loved to get a taste of Dutch culture. As for name pronunciation, who cares? I still don't know how to pronounce the first part of John Ajvide Lindqvist's surname, but I love his books. (less)
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3.72  · 
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 ·  14,409 ratings  ·  2,594 reviews

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Mar 08, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
**There are spoilers here - in case you couldn't tell from how long the review is. I mean, I figure that's to be assumed. But I'm going to hold your hand now and say there are spoilers here.**

***Apparently I also need a trigger warning for assholes with too much time on their hands. If at any point while reading this review, you find yourself frustrated with my opinion - a lone rural librarian with absolutely no influence on the author's bank account or sense of self-esteem - and decide that you
Hannah Greendale
Click here to watch a video review of this book on my channel, From Beginning to Bookend.

Tense, thrilling, and liable to make the shadows darken, Hex is fodder for nightmares.

Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
Hell with it. I'm in the minority of people that didn't really like this book.

It started out really good and creepy with the witch just randomly showing up in people's houses just standing there with her eyes and mouth sewn shut and her arms chained to her sides. I would freak clean out. BUT, it just didn't go anywhere for me and I didn't like some of the stuff in the book and that's about it.

I'm really happy so many of my friends loved this book but it just wasn't for me. Sucks, I was hoping
Shelby *trains flying monkeys*
It's that time of year again. When the leaves start turning and the air gets cooler...wut? I live in the south. That crap ain't happening. But I still wanted some scary reading.

I may have lost my ever-loving mind. BECAUSE the place where I work is probably haunted. I'm about 97.8% sure it's haunted. Then I pick up a creepy ass book to read.

After figuring out that I couldn't read this either before I went into work, during work or when I was thinking about work...I finally got a couple of days
Mogsy (MMOGC)
4.5 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum

Oh, how scary could this be, I asked myself. It can’t be as creepy as everyone says, I foolishly thought. Seriously, a story about a three-hundred-and-fifty-year-old witch who just appears wherever she wants around town, and all everyone does is throw a dish towel over her face or otherwise pretends she’s not there. The whole business sounded more comical than frightening, to be honest.

Well, fast forward to about a quart
fulfilling book riot's 2018 read harder challenge task #19: A book of genre fiction in translation

extry points given to me, by me, for choosing a book that has been in my house for more than a year.

extry points given to me, by me, for piggybacking this onto my october is spoooooooky reading goals.


As in so many fairy tales, the cruelest part is often overlooked. It’s not the depravity of the witch, but the mourning of the poor woodcutter over the loss of h
Jan 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
(edit 03/02/16) I'm having to up my stars on this one as every time I pass a dark corner, I think of that bloody witch. It obviously got to me more than I thought...

Hex starts off really well, the creep factor was so high that reading it at half five in the afternoon felt far too close to bedtime for comfort. For me, it's not so much that it features a witch, but that the witch acts more like a ghost. Who can turn up in your house, at any time. Awful. Just awful.

Living in Black Rock is not fun:
Oct 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 Stars with a round up to 4.0 for CREEP FACTOR and PLOT ORIGINALITY.

Ratings are a mixed bag for HEX, and I must admit, there are a few portions of the novel I didn't care for that have to do with animals (but it's brief and easily skipped). So overall (for me) one fine CREEP-FEST...and a great October read!

Welcome to Black Spring....the small town is cursed....her name is Katherine van Wyler aka The Black Rock Witch. Her history is Dark, Sad and dates back to 1664. She's a horror of a sight.

Diane S ☔
This is one of the strangest and creepiest books I have read in years. Starts out very strong, but flags somewhat in the middle. The author rewrote the book, changing the location to a place in the United States, really wish he would have left the Dutch setting alone. Not sure why it was necessary to do this since it was translated anyway. Unlikable characters, a little touch of Lord of the flies, and maybe The Lottery as well. The witch is not the only evil to be found in this town, nor the sca ...more
Jan 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow. Just... wow.
What a fantastic story.
There are numerous reviews with the plot on here, so I shan't add to that, but I just want to say that this book blew me away.
It was creepy and it was horrific, but what made this book different to so many horrors that I read is that the supernatural wasn't to blame. Yes, there was always a supernatural presence there, but the real atrocity, the real horror, is how people treat each other.
Whilst I expected some of the ending, the final sentence was absolut
Edward Lorn
Jul 28, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who get off on someone pissing in their ears for fourteen horrors
According to my Audible app, I've listened to 127 audiobooks. You might say, I dig audiobooks. I listen to at least one a week. Which makes me feel that I can say, with the utmost honesty and accuracy, that Hex, written by Thomas Olde Heuvelt and narrated by Jeff Harding, is the worst audiobook I've ever had the displeasure of listening to.

The story isn't half bad. Just the opposite. It's half good. The plot and pacing and horror is really effective once you get past the halfway mark. But that
HEX was not what I expected. At all. It had some very creepy moments and for that reason I'm glad I read it, but I didn't find it to be the end all-be all of dark fiction like most of my friends did. I'm a little bummed about that because my expectations were high.

I'm not going to get into the plot much as this book came out several years ago and everyone knows it's about a witch. She haunts the town, but her type of haunting mainly consists of showing up at weird times and places, creeping the
(Updated now that I finished the whole book.) 4 stars: "I really liked it." Warnings for sexual violence, violence toward animals, violence toward children.

The good: Wow, what a different horror story--one that's actually chilling. It's so rare to find a horror novel that's unique. The ending is crazy and I loved it. Don't read this book if you want good characterization or strong writing (the translation is a bit stiff), but if you're looking for a disturbing plot, give this a try.

The not-so-go
Jun 12, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010s, horror, dutch-lit
Thomas Olde Heuvelt is obsessed with nipples. There are so many damn nipples in this book. Gross rotting witch's nipples, creepy sexual assault nipples, giant metaphorical nipples. The nipples of a teenage boy are also described in detail at one point. This dude LOVES (or possibly is deeply terrified of?) nipples.

What does he not care for? Characters.

Also, I feel like -- ladies.

There are four (third person) POV characters in this book.

1. Concerned father
2. Rebellious but kind-hearted teenage son
Feb 02, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: a-z-challenge, 2019
Damn! This book had so much promise with a creepy plot and the writing was very atmospheric at times.

BUT, here's the problem with this book. I liked no one in this book, the descriptions got a bit too wordy and I lost some of the scare factor at the end. I was just happy that the (view spoiler)

It was also a bit l
aPriL does feral sometimes
'Hex' is the worst disappointment I've had this year so far from my stack of books.

The book was translated from Dutch to English, so from the start I thought the writing was odd, with off-of-the-beat misplaced idioms alongside the manner of speaking that someone has having learned English from action movies (the narration reminded me of how the Star Wars character Jar Jar Binks spoke), with odd cadences and peculiar constructions in places. Still, it was a terrific book for 200 pages. The parano
Oct 16, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of horror
(#Spookathon Challenge: Read a Book with a Spooky Word in the Title & that has a Spooky Setting.)

Tense, cruel and horrifying: Hex was so impossible to put down, it was almost as if the book was stitched to my hands. (Ha!) Because this dark modern tale of a witch with sewn shut eyes haunting a small town starts out light, but slowly grows into a disturbing monster.

“The Black Rock Witch is always here. She confronts us with her presence like a fenced-in pit bull. Muzzled, never moving
Paul O'Neill
Five star concept, three star execution

I'm soooo disappointed in this. The concept is absolutely awesome and by all accounts it provides the backdrop for what should've been a classic. The writing, pacing and descriptive powers of the author let it down badly.

It's hard to put my finger on exactly what went wrong. The writers descriptions are so strange and random at points that it sucked me out of the story. 'his smile rose like a cloud of carbon monoxide...'. I'm pretty sure that gas is invi
Jack Stark
5.439 stars.

This is a masterclass in how to write contemporary horror. This has everything that I enjoy in a good horror story. It feels new and different to your average horror. I really like it when someone takes a classic, overdone theme and breathes new life into it. This is what we have here. I LOVED it.

The story is about a witch/ghost that haunts an American town. Although, when I say ‘haunt’, I sorta mean that she just exists there. The town has their own emergency decree and organisation
Liz Barnsley
Hex is hands down the creepiest book I have ever read. Yes thanks SO much to the author for those nightmares. Loved it. When a book genuinely disturbs you, you know you are onto a good thing.

The Black Rock Witch AKA Katherine just insinuates herself into your life while you are reading this book – there was one night that I woke up in a cold sweat absolutely certain she was stood at the end of my bed. Took half an hour and a compulsive check of every room in my house before I was convinced she w
HEX, by Thomas Olde Heuvelt, is one of the most intriguing, thought-provoking novels I've read lately. The central idea concerns the modern-day town of Black Spring, NY, and a 17th century witch that appears to all the residents--even inside their homes--at all hours of the day. Anyone that moves into the town is likewise "trapped" there for the rest of their lives. They are able to leave the town for short periods of time, but after a prolonged absence, they are bombarded by suicidal feelings s ...more
Eon ♒Windrunner♒

Ok, first off, disclaimer. I do not like horror stories in any medium. Nope, nope, NOPE.

Imagine my surprise when I woke up the other day and had a need for exactly what I just told you I avoid at all costs. Yeah, I have no idea how or why that happened, but I embraced it and went with the flow by picking up HEX by Thomas Olde Heuvelt.

Hex was a hit in his home country the Netherlands and also in Belgium, but was written in Dutch with Dutch settings and things that Dutch people would identify with
Dec 28, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016-read
The picturesque town of Black Spring is not only haunted, it's cursed. The Black Rock Witch, a woman killed by the town's residents back in the 17th Century, regularly haunts the town in corporeal form, and if you happen to hear the whispers coming from her stiched up mouth, you feel an overwhelming urge to kill yourself. Not only that, but once you move to Black Spring, you can't leave, as the urge to commit suicide follows any who stray from the town's borders for too long.

The story certainly
Sadie Hartmann Mother Horror
Big thank you to the Willoughby Book Club for sending me HEX based on the kind of books I enjoy reading. I have no idea how they knew I didn't have this book--but they're the experts.
3.5 stars!!
Right away, I have to mention that the plot of this book is entirely unique and original. The author imagined a very dark story and managed to turn the tables on me after reading the synopsis on the back and thinking the evil entity was going to be supernatural. (you'll see)
I experienced many emotions du
Jenny (Reading Envy)
Horror is not a genre I read often, and I most definitely won't watch horror films or television. But I am trying to read more in genres outside my comfort zone, and I really liked a fantasy story I read by this author a few years ago, so I thought I'd give it a try.

Black Spring is a town in the northeastern United States, with a witch that has controlled the town since the 1600s. Even though the town lives in the 21st century, in some ways they are still following rules from Puritan days. If yo
Jul 11, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness.

I have been looking for a good ghost story for some time now. One of those stories that I am unable to read at night, or risk going to bed hiding under my blankets.

After reading some good reviews I picked up Hex, hoping that it was the thing I had been looking for for some time.

Welcome to Black Spring.

Black Spring is a town under a curse. Katherine van Wyler is the Black Rock Witch, a supernatural e
Elements of Hex were deliciously creepy, and the opening definitely suggested that it would be the type of story to keep readers up at night. And, I’ll be honest… there was a week or two there during and after reading where I would brace myself for sightings of Katherine whenever I turned on a light.

But beyond the creepy, lurking presence of someone long dead, someone who is the cause of many deaths within this town, is a story of small-town hysteria.

Small town hysteria was what saw Katherine ex
Melissa Chung
Nov 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
I want to thank SocialBookCo for sending this book to me for an honest review. I also what to let everyone know where they can get this book if you are interested. If you click on the link it will take you to and through them you can buy the book through ten different retailers and choose the lowest price.

Wow! I am amazed at the way this book kept me in total fear the whole time. It's insane how scared words can make someone and the suspe
✨The Reading
Dec 14, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
The story sounded promising: A modern day village is cursed and haunted by a 17th century witch.
The witch will show up at any time in any place in the village. If she chooses to stand at the end of your bed in the middle of the night and watch you sleep, well - you’ll try and have a good night! But then again: she can’t really watch you, because her eyes and mouth are sewn shut.
To make her even more powerless, she has big iron chains wrapped around her body.
And that’s where the f
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Dead and Well-Rea...: HEX Discussion 2 24 Apr 30, 2018 06:47AM  

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Dutch novelist THOMAS OLDE HEUVELT (1983) is the author of five novels and many short stories. His work has appeared in many languages, including English, Chinese, Japanese, Italian and French. In 2015, his story The Day the World Turned Upside Down was the first ever translated work to win a Hugo Award. Two more of his stories have been nominated for both Hugo and World Fantasy Awards.

In 2016, Ol
People find hope, comfort, or confidence in making the sign of the cross or not walking under a ladder, just as you find hope and confidence in offering a pennant to the witch. Magic exists in the minds of those who believe in it, not in its actual influence on reality. 10 likes
“Later, when he was able to see the bigger picture, he imagined that wild animals must feel the same kind of uncontrollable fear when they first inhaled the smoky air of a forest fire.” 3 likes
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