Figgy's Reviews > Hex

Hex by Thomas Olde Heuvelt
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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 executed for being a witch, and that same hysteria is going to prove just as hard for these modern-day townsfolk to deal with. There’s no denying that she has a power over them, that she’s the one stopping them from leaving and sending them eagerly reaching for the tools to end it all when they hear her voice.

But it’s so easy to attach extra weight to things and see signs that aren’t there… so easy to get caught up in the witch hunt.

The rest of this review can be found HERE!


Please please please please PLEASE be as creepy as you sound!
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Reading Progress

January 18, 2016 – Shelved
January 18, 2016 – Shelved as: to-read
April 3, 2016 – Shelved as: owned-but-not-read
April 3, 2016 – Shelved as: arc-or-netgalley
April 3, 2016 – Shelved as: one-hundred-percent-rock-reviews
April 3, 2016 – Shelved as: review-copy
April 3, 2016 – Shelved as: publisher-hachette
April 4, 2016 – Shelved as: format-proof-copy
April 11, 2016 – Shelved as: format-final-copy
April 24, 2016 – Started Reading
April 24, 2016 –
page 12
3.13% "Steve followed her glance through the open French doors and into the living room. Sure enough, standing in the odd corner between the couch and the fireplace, right next to the stereo - Jocelyn always called it her Limbo because she couldn't figure out what to do with it - was a small shrunken woman, skinny as a rail and utterly motionless. \n \n [1/2]"
April 24, 2016 –
page 12
3.13% "She looked like something that didn't belong in the clear golden light of the afternoon: dark, dirty, nocturnal. Jocelyn had hung an old dishcloth over he head so you couldn't see her face. \n \n [2/2]\n \n Already creepy! In that "something the characters have grown used to, but the reader knows is off" kind of way."
April 24, 2016 –
page 19
4.95% "Then the picture straightens up, and although the splotch of noodles hides most of our view, we see a gaunt woman making her way through the living room toward the open French doors to the kitchen. Until then, she has stood motionless in Jocelyn's Limbo, but suddenly she's right there, as if she had taken pity on the fallen Matt. \n \n [1/2]"
April 24, 2016 –
page 20
5.21% "The dishcloth had slid off her face, and in a fraction of a second - maybe it's only a couple of frames - we see that her eyes are sewn shut, and so is her mouth. It all happens so fast that it's over before we know it, but it's the kind of image that burns itself into your brain, not just long enough to pull us out of our comfort zone but to completely disrupt it. \n \n [2/2]"
April 24, 2016 –
page 21
5.47% "Cautiously, Steve walked around to the living room via the hallway. The woman hadn't budged. There she stood, right in front of the French doors with her face pressed against the glass, like something that had been put there as a macabre joke, to replace a floor lamp or a houseplant. \n \n \n \n \n Modern ghost story... They have an APP to log sightings of her!"
April 24, 2016 –
page 22
5.73% "The pale TV light flickered on the metal chains around the blind woman's body - or at least on the links that weren't rusted. Beneath the dishcloth, the dead flesh at the open corner of her mouth twitched, barely visible. It pulled on the jagged black stitches that sewed her mouth tight, except for that one loose stitch in the corner that stuck out like a bent piece of wire."
April 24, 2016 –
page 29
7.55% "That night he called Delarosa on his cell phone and begged him to give up on the purchase. When the man asked him why he was going to so much trouble, Grim told him that Black Spring suffered from a three-hundred-year-old curse, and that it would infect them, too, if they decided to settle in town, and that they'd be doomed until their death, and that there was a wicked witch living in Black Spring. Delarosa hung up."
April 24, 2016 –
page 45
11.72% "Why she follows EXACTLY the same pattern at the square and past the graveyard EVERY Wednesday morning is beyond me, but the Black Rock Witch is like Ms. Autism, unchallenged titleholder for three hundred fifty years running. Which is not, like, at all what witches are famous for. Makes you wonder if she ever gets dehydrated."
April 24, 2016 –
page 46
11.98% "Tyler always found her less spooky when she walked, because then you didn't have to wonder what she was plotting behind those stitched-up eyes of hers."
April 24, 2016 –
page 53
13.8% "It's those smiling faces that get to him. They should seem pleasant, but they're not. They're perverse, like they always have been. Because when those faces smile, he no longer recognizes them. They're faces that have forgotten how to smile. They're faces with too much skin on them, too many wrinkles for their years. \n \n [1/2]"
April 24, 2016 –
page 53
13.8% "They're faces that are leading lives of their own, and every day they sag a little further. They're flattened faces, grim faces, faces under insurmountable stress. They're the faces of Black Spring. And when they try to smile, it looks like they're screaming. \n \n [2/2]"
April 25, 2016 –
page 56
14.58% "As the HEX security chief, Robert Grim had always had the feeling that he was playing a part in a James Bond movie directed by the mentally deprived. The most painful example of this was the cardboard box donated weekly by Colton Mathers that contained instant ramen noodles and Lipton tea in fourteen different flavors. \n The electric kettle had been out of service for months."
April 25, 2016 –
page 59
15.36% "For many newcomers in Black Spring, the irreversibility of their fate, the finality, was their first uncanny confrontation with their own mortality. People desperately resisted the idea of their own death by looking away for as long as they could and avoiding the subject. But in Black Spring, they lived with death. They took her into their homes and hid her from the outside world."
April 25, 2016 –
page 72
18.75% ""We're assuming she wants revenge," Pete said grimly. "Whatever it is that's driving her, her death released a power that seeks revenge against the people who made her commit those terrible acts. And even though three hundred fifty years have passed, those people are us, the people of Black Spring.""
April 25, 2016 –
page 79
20.57% ""You said 'your' village ghost and 'your' witch earlier. I'm sorry to have to tell you this, but I'm afraid that starting tonight, it's your problem, too. She's not going to let you go. You live in Black Spring now. That means the curse is on you as well."\n The silence that followed could only be broken by Robert Grim: "Welcome home." His face assumed a morbid grin. "We have all sorts of great town fairs.""
April 28, 2016 –
page 92
23.96% "She was stooped over and clutching a small white bag to her chest, and the poncho she was wearing had a plastic hood from which her prematurely gray hair stuck out in dripping tufts. If the hood had been red, she might have been mistaken for the little girl from that other fairy tale... the one with the wolf, not the witch."
April 28, 2016 –
page 138
35.94% "A flash of bright white light as Jaydon took a picture with his iPhone. The flash revealed it all, more than Tyler ever wanted to see, burning into his retina the horrifying image of Katherine's black nipple on the soft, dead vaulting of her breast. It wasn't sexy, as some strange exotic breasts could be. It was repulsive, obscene. And there was more: Jaydon hadn't cut carefully."
April 30, 2016 –
page 154
40.1% ""I think the fact that Katherine follows her same old pattern every day is the only reason the situation here is livable. It's been so long since things got out of hand."\n \n That's a foreboding statement if ever there was one."
April 30, 2016 –
page 157
40.89% "The border collie hung with his head and forelegs caught in a forked branch, the fur on his upper body bunched up because of his hanging weight. He was in no way mutilated, not even visibly disfigured, and the fact that he was unblemished imparted a sinister quality to the cadaver, as if it might open its eyes at any moment and start barking."
April 30, 2016 –
page 176
45.83% "She gnawed off two yards of rope and tied one end around both handles of the shopping bag. Then she took a pair of was earphones out of her pocket - she used to put them in every night because of Jim's snoring, and she still did it out of habit - when she realized something that made her stop dead in her tracks. \n The witch wasn't whispering. \n Only now did Griselda realize how utterly silent it was in the woods."
May 1, 2016 –
page 184
47.92% "Katherine stood facing them, motionless. Something in the way she held the undoubtedly dead bird gave them the impression that she was mocking them, as if with that one simple act she was reminding them who was boss here in Black Spring. Grim tried to appeal to reason, but he felt the world tilting crazily, straightening itself out, and skidding to the other side."
May 1, 2016 –
page 197
51.3% "He turned around an directed the Maglite down the path they'd come up over, where the scattered trail of dog kibble disappeared in a grisly tunnel of trees. Tyler was just calming himself with the though that, as in every fairy tale, you only had to follow the trail and retrace your steps along the path to get home when something moved down there in the darkness."
May 1, 2016 –
page 199
51.82% "Yet, oddly enough, that soothed Tyler's panic, and deep in his heart he felt a strong sense of belonging because he knew exactly where they were: out in the middle of nowhere being chased by a nightmare straight out of a fairy tale, and at the end of the trail was Black Spring. At the end of the trail was always Black Spring, the end-of-the-line from the cold outside world..."
May 4, 2016 –
page 266
69.27% "That night, after Jocelyn had gone upstairs, he and Steve were on the couch watching TV when Tyler suddenly burst into tears. He cried long and hard and Steve calmed him, held him tight, told him everything was all right. But nothing was all right, nothing could ever be all right, because it was the last time they would hold each other, and what would they have done differently if they had known."
May 4, 2016 –
page 269
70.05% "Part 2\n \n 2NITE? #death"
May 4, 2016 –
page 271
70.57% "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 his children."
May 5, 2016 –
page 282
73.44% "They discussed their options, Katherine stood motionless behind her prey, like a lioness guarding a carcass from a pack of rapacious hyenas eager to gnaw on the remains. With growing horror, Grim sensed that she wasn't going to leave. This was non uncalculated. This was an ordeal."
May 5, 2016 –
page 286
74.48% "Grim himself was relieved to get out of the house. He could feel the presence of death hanging over it like a heavy, contagious veil, creeping up on him from the every corner."
May 5, 2016 –
page 290
75.52% "Grim scrambled away on his ass as the Black Rock Witch came closer and closer on her bar, gray feet. Her nails were a morbid yellow, long and curved at the tips. The iron chains clanked around her gaunt body. In a state of pure panic, Grim bumped up against the big screen and slit backward into a corner - ah, it always ended in a corner."
May 6, 2016 –
page 307
79.95% "At first she didn't understand what she was looking at, fooled into thinking that someone had taken all the meat away and replaced it with an odd, dusty blanket. Then she saw that everything was covered with a blue-gray layer of mold, like spongy tissue on an infected wound, dull but glaring in the striplight of the display case. \n \n [1/2]"
May 6, 2016 –
page 307
79.95% "All her meat, from left to right, was spoiled and flecked with fly eggs, as if she had been away for weeks instead of a little over forty minutes. The ground beef was crawling with pale worms. The steaks were discolored like tubercular lungs. The meatballs she had kneaded that morning stank as if they had been rotting in their gravy since October.\n \n [2/2]"
May 6, 2016 –
page 317
82.55% "Katherine van Wyler was standing beside the dining room table, her figure emaciated and drooping as if her spinal column had been horribly deformed. She came with a foul, low smell of age and corruption. Decay had taken the dignity from her face, but beneath that etched layer of dirt something seemed to be waiting."
May 6, 2016 –
page 323
84.11% "Everywhere in Black Spring, people looked up from whatever they were doing, as if they heard distant thunder in the skies. People abruptly put down their work, stopped cooking or doing the dishes, and experienced a collective ripple of alarm that permeated into the core of their bones. No one could identify it, but everyone felt that instinctively that something, something was dreadfully amiss."
May 6, 2016 –
page 339
88.28% "By seven o'clock, only he wind and it shadow moved through the streets of Black Spring. Katherine's expected revenge failed to happen, and if people were dying it was under their own spell."
May 6, 2016 –
page 343
89.32% "As a grim hubbub arose from a crowd of people who had apparently gathered on the town square outside her window, the oh-so-plausible idea began to dawn on Griselda that she could indeed save herself by sacrificing her son, Jaydon, to Katherine... thereby entirely misinterpreting what the witch had meant by her message."
May 6, 2016 –
page 348
90.63% "As soon as they passed the back of the Black Springs welcome sign it was as if they had entered an invisible cloud of poisonous gas, leaden with pessimism, fear, and a craving for suicide. Grim had to keep Warren from smashing his skull against the road's pitted blacktop surface, but he himself yearned to crack his head open and release the hideous thoughts that plagued it."
May 6, 2016 –
page 357
92.97% "The crowd shrank back even father. Some tried to make a run for it, but most understood that running away was pointless. As if at an invisible cue they all dropped to their knees, hundreds together, like Muslims turning toward Mecca. With lumps in their throats, they threw themselves at the witch's feet, entirely at their mercy, and begged her in a collective prayer..."
May 6, 2016 –
page 366
95.31% "Steve tried to recognize his fellow townsfolk in the features of individuals, but realized it was impossible: Their faces seemed rubbed out, without eyes and without mouths, and not a single madman's face deviated from that of another. These were the faces of Black Spring, and Black Spring was at its darkest hour."
May 6, 2016 –
page 369
96.09% "They knew. \n They knew he was the one who had opened the witch's eyes. He was like the scapegoat in a seventeenth-century trapper's colony... and you know how those stories went."
May 6, 2016 – Finished Reading
February 17, 2017 – Shelved as: reviewed
August 8, 2017 – Shelved as: topic-ghosts

Comments Showing 1-3 of 3 (3 new)

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karen should i buy this or not????

message 2: by Figgy (last edited Jun 01, 2016 05:53AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Figgy It was a little creepy at the start, but grew into more of a cautionary tale of people in small towns and small town hysteria.
It lagged a little around the middle, but overall glad that I read it.

Now I just have to find out how the original, Dutch version ended...

And the time to write a review...

Probably 3.5-4/5 for me.

karen hmmmm. i'm counting my pennies and trying to decide. i think i shall go for it, though! thank you!

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