Charlene's Reviews > Braile House

Braile House by James Wayne King
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it was amazing
bookshelves: genre-ghosts, genre-demons, genre-horror, favorites

★★★★★ 5 STARS ★★★★★

Every face is a mask.

A beautiful smile may hide an engaging secret, great joy, or perhaps, a good deal of pain. Starlit eyes may show an abundance of love, a feeling of contentment, or sadly, may be a mask that hides inner turmoil and grief. Each day we get up and try to show the world that we are well, we are happy; we have found balance in our lives. And for a time, we might succeed in this trickery, but rarely, do we fool ourselves. Somewhere hiding beneath the carefully constructed layers of our lives, we know the truth. We are in essence, a composition of all we’ve known in the past. Every experience, everything we’ve learned or been taught, everything we’ve seen, everything we’ve touched. Everything we’ve sensed. Everything we’ve hidden away.

This terrifying book delves beneath the surface of the everyday smile and reaches into the soul of the reader to expose our fears and question our very sense of reality.

What is real? To me, real means something that I know with absolute certainty exists. I can touch it, smell it, see it, and sense it. But those things that I sense … are they real or has my mind just accepted them when the reality is, I’ve tricked myself into believing it?

The premise to this compelling tale brings us back to a time none of us remember. Back before modern times, modern man, back to the very soil we walk on, back to the very roots of this country … Native American mythology and folklore. When Good and Evil were created and feared and never questioned because at the time, they were thought to be real. These stories have continued to travel seamlessly through tribal storytelling, through time, through our very history books. We’ve read them either to simply get through a class, or because we find them a little fascinating and enjoy a good story from yesteryear.

Most stories that we learned as children find a special place in our heart and we keep them pocketed away. Every once in a while we take them out and admire them as a warm memory. And then we tuck them away again, a nice, safe story from the past which holds no real place in the present unless we want them too.

Braile House takes one of these warm, pocketed stories and demands that we explore it more deeply. What if a little known story, such as Akono’ke is real? What if the safe, treasured little piece of folklore that kept us amused at times isn’t so safe? Braile House takes us to that mysterious level of questioning what is Good. What is Evil? Was it real? Was it just a story? Are we as safe as we thought?

Mr. King gives us a story of a small group of young boys, who in their eager quest for adventure and excitement visit Braile House, a supposedly haunted house on Taylor Street in Albuquerque, New Mexico. These pre-teens find the adventure that they wanted, but they also gaze into the very eyes of Evil and terror. As they try to move on with their lives into adulthood, each of them has to live with the consequences of that night. While forced to accept what had happened, they also find a way to emotionally detach themselves from their adventure. They put the events into a little pocket in their minds and only bring the memories back when they absolutely have to. The problem with that is the events were too grand and are too large to be hidden. They must each learn to face the truth and face the Evil that had attacked them. They have to learn that for them, Evil really did exist and they couldn’t hide it anymore. Evil simply will not stay hidden and ignored.

The characters were very well developed in this book. I felt as if I become friends with each of the boys, and eventually, the men they become. Mr. King’s ingenious mind created a world where Good and Evil bounced off each other and won’t settle. He showed us that both Good and Evil can exist in each of us and that while we think we choose the path for ourselves, sometimes, due to something beyond our control, or even our understanding, the path we wish for isn’t and perhaps never was, our decision.

I highly recommend this book to all of you who wish to read something beyond what has become a ghost story by today’s standards. This book is frightening, exciting, and will keep you on the edge of your seat. It’s hard to put down and when you do, you’ll find yourself wanting to pick it right back up. Sleep be damned! Dishes be damned! They can wait until you’re finished.

This is Mr. King’s debut book and he is surely an author to keep an eye on. He’s going to bring us on some wild rides and introduce us to some amazing stories.
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Reading Progress

October 24, 2014 – Shelved
October 24, 2014 – Shelved as: to-read
January 19, 2015 – Started Reading
January 19, 2015 – Shelved as: genre-ghosts
January 19, 2015 – Shelved as: genre-demons
January 20, 2015 – Shelved as: genre-horror
January 21, 2015 – Shelved as: favorites
January 21, 2015 – Finished Reading

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