Kimberly's Reviews > Hex

Hex by Thomas Olde Heuvelt
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it was amazing
bookshelves: mount-tbr, emotional, favorites, legends, occult, psychological-horror, witch
Read 4 times. Last read February 14, 2017 to February 18, 2017.

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 so potent that they end up taking their own lives, unless they quickly return to the town. Due to the "curse" the HEX council has cameras, sensors, and other modern technology in place to record the witch's physical sightings in order to "hide" her from outsiders--not wanting others to become entangled in their misfortune.

". . . For many newcomers in Black Spring, the irreversibility of their fate, its finality, was their first uncanny confrontation with their own mortality . . . "

It's precisely this infusion of a 17th century curse, merged with today's technology and state of the art surveillance that makes HEX truly stand out among other books of its kind.

One of the main things I usually take into account when reviewing is characterization. I have to say that this was most definitely NOT a strong point in this novel. While I got a feeling mainly for some of the town's kids--and a bit from Katherine, the witch--there really wasn't enough here to feel that I "knew" any of the main characters.

Why the five star review, then?

I get the distinct impression that Thomas Olde Heuvelt meant for it to be like this. The story isn't so much about the individuals in Black Spring, as it is about the town as a community--the "whole".

". . . Imprisioned in a fate they all shared, not one of them raised their voice higher than that of their neighbor or suffered any less. These were the rules of chaos, and from that chaos a sort of deranged solidarity emerged . . ."

I won't go into further details about the story itself, for this is one that I feel you truly need to read for yourselves in order to draw your own conclusions. I will say that some scenes were nearly unbelievable to me when I first read them, but when taken in context with the entire novel, they were the only "plausible" outcomes. This was a book that kept me entranced each and every page--and yes, the horror element was strong here, especially in a cerebral sense.

". . . inexplicable things happened, bewildering things, even in a world that regarded itself as fully unenlightened . . ."

In an afterward, Heuvelt explains that he translated his original Dutch version of this novel into English, and completely rewrote the ending. What the original ending was, he won't say, but personally, I believe this version of HEX ended on the most perfect note it could.

"One evil spawned another, greater evil, and ultimately everything could be traced back to Black Spring."

HEX was an incredible novel that brought together elements of the 17th century civilization and fused them together with our modern day devices and practices, so seamlessly that I couldn't believe this was the first book I had read by this author. As a social commentary, this gave me an incredible insight into our human mentality and the evil that we, as a species, can bring about on our own. It is a book that I can not stop thinking about, and mentally following the "subtle" scenes that began immediately and continued throughout the entirety of the book--almost a "trail of breadcrumbs" that leads us to the end.

"Sometimes you did it because of Black Spring."

A powerful, original book that I give my highest recommendation to!
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Reading Progress

February 12, 2017 – Started Reading
February 12, 2017 – Started Reading
February 12, 2017 – Started Reading
February 12, 2017 – Shelved
February 12, 2017 – Shelved as: mount-tbr
February 12, 2017 –
page 13
Finished Reading
February 14, 2017 – Started Reading
February 14, 2017 –
page 35
February 14, 2017 –
page 39
February 14, 2017 –
page 35
February 15, 2017 –
page 69
February 15, 2017 –
page 69
17.97% "Why is this not letting me update my reading?????"
February 16, 2017 –
page 13
February 16, 2017 –
page 103
February 17, 2017 –
page 127
February 18, 2017 –
page 256
66.67% "Page 256 (since GRs isn't recording my updates)...."
February 18, 2017 – Shelved as: emotional
February 18, 2017 – Shelved as: favorites
February 18, 2017 – Shelved as: legends
February 18, 2017 – Shelved as: occult
February 18, 2017 – Shelved as: psychological-horror
February 18, 2017 – Shelved as: witch
February 18, 2017 – Finished Reading
February 18, 2017 – Finished Reading
February 18, 2017 – Finished Reading

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